O's place Mora, Simon on DL

O's place Mora, Simon on DL

ARLINGTON -- The Orioles made a pair of expected roster moves Wednesday, when they placed third baseman Melvin Mora and right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon on the 15-day disabled list. Baltimore recalled relievers Matt Albers and Radhames Liz from Triple-A Norfolk to take their place.

Simon, who got just four outs on Tuesday night due to discomfort in his right elbow, flew back to Baltimore to be examined by Dr. John Wilckens and Dr. Andrew Cosgarea. Mora, who has been slowed by his left hamstring since Spring Training, won't be eligible to return from the DL until April 28.

"The report I got from Dr. Wilckens today is he has a mild hamstring strain," said manager Dave Trembley of Mora. "Simon, from what I was told, has a degenerative issue with his right elbow. Dr. Wilckens and Dr. Cosgarea are going to get together tomorrow to talk about a course of action with him. ... I couldn't tell you how long he's going to be out. I would think it's going to be a while there with him."

It will be a while, indeed, with one source saying Simon could be gone for a month or more. Consequently, that means the Orioles will begin scheming ways to fill in the gap.

Trembley said the Orioles will not consider Liz as a starter and that he'd prefer to keep Danys Baez and Brian Bass in their current relief roles.At the moment, all indications point to Brad Bergesen, who made a big impression in Spring Training and has pitched well for Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles could also consider Chris Waters or David Pauley, but Andy MacPhail, the team's president of baseball operations, didn't duck any questions about Bergesen.

"I would say that's a viable internal option," he said of promoting Bergesen to make a start early next week. "His scheduled turn would be that Opening Day in Camden Yards, and we could move [Mark] Hendrickson to the Patriots Day game in Fenway and not subject some kid to that."

Trembley hewed the same line, saying that Thursday's off-day allows the Orioles to make do with their current four-man rotation. Baltimore can get through the Boston series without making any further moves and won't have to do anything until the White Sox visit Camden Yards on Tuesday.

"If Hendrickon's OK tonight and doesn't throw a whole lot, we'll bring him back on five [days] and we'll need a starter for Tuesday," said Trembley. "I don't know if that would be a guy that's just a spot-starter or someone we'd bring here for a long-term basis.

Albers and Liz, meanwhile, help shore up a beleaguered bullpen. The Orioles saw their relief staff log 8 2/3 innings of action on Tuesday night, and just two relievers -- Baez and Bass -- didn't get into the game. Albers was optioned out late last week and arrived in time to make a difference.

"It's been a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster," Albers said. "In '07, I went back and forth with Houston. But the last thing you can do is get is get upset or take it too personal. They explained to me that it was a baseball decision and I'll be back up soon. I was lucky it was only a couple of days."

And in a couple of days, the process might repeat itself all over again. The Orioles will need to make another roster decision when they flesh out their rotation, and either Liz or Albers will be a prime candidate to get optioned back to Norfolk. For now, however, the concern is on Simon and his health.

When Trembley was asked to detail the exact nature of the injury, he said that he doesn't believe there is a torn ligament or anything catastrophic. Still, the Orioles don't expect Simon back soon.

"We'll probably try the conservative approach first, give it some rest and then evaluate it after that," said MacPhail. "I don't see this thing resolving itself in two weeks or anything like that. I think this will be at least -- best-case, from what I've got from the doctors -- three or four weeks. Best case."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.