The Orioles will dip down to the Minor Leagues Tuesday to promote right-handed rookie Jason Berken, marking the second time this season that the farm system has produced a replacement starter. Berken follows Brad Bergesen in that respect, giving Baltimore two starters its drafted and developed.
Baltimore stopped short of making that announcement on Monday, choosing instead to wait until hours before Berken's debut. The Orioles will make room for the him by placing Lou Montanez on the 15-day disabled list, and Baltimore will likely need to make another move later in the week.
"It's just a matter of not making an announcement because of the transaction," said manager Dave Trembley, explaining the protocol behind the delay. "There's nothing to be read into and I think everybody knows pretty much who the guy is. It shouldn't be a surprise. When the transaction takes place tomorrow and they place Montanez on the DL, they'll announce who the guy is -- but the guy has already been told."
Berken, a former sixth-round Draft pick out of Clemson, spent most of Spring Training at the team's Minor League complex in Sarasota, Fla. Berken went 12-4 for Double-A Bowie last season and started there again this year, but he moved up to Triple-A Norfolk when Bergesen joined the big league rotation.
And once he moved up there, he quickly set about polishing his resume. Berken went 2-0 with a 1.05 ERA for Norfolk, setting himself up to be next in line should the Orioles have a vacancy. Baltimore wound up releasing veteran Adam Eaton over the weekend, and Berken became the natural choice to replace him.
Trembley wouldn't make any promises about how long Berken would remain with the team, choosing instead to wait and see how the youngster pitches in a big league uniform. But one thing is clear: the Orioles are still sticking to their own timetable and will promote players once they demonstrate they're ready.
"We're not going to rush people just for the sake of filling roster spots and getting guys here," said Trembley, preaching the organizational mantra of patience. "Guys are going to come here when everybody feels that they're ready to come here. Not just to get people here. I don't think that's fair in the long run to them."
Baltimore is still taking its time with prized prospects Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta, but there are a few other arms who could make an impact on this year's rotation. The Orioles may even see one of them -- David Hernandez -- later in the week, depending on Koji Uehara's ailing left hamstring.
Baltimore is still evaluating Uehara, who may or may not need a stint on the disabled list to heal up. The right-hander is going to attempt to throw a side session on Tuesday, and if Uehara can't do it, he won't be able to start on Thursday. In that case, Baltimore would likely move Uehara to the DL and replace him with a starter.
"I don't have an update on Koji. I won't know until tomorrow when he's supposed to throw his sideline," Trembley said. "I can't really say anything about his status. If he throws on the side tomorrow, he'll start on Thursday. If he can't throw on the side tomorrow, then we have to do something to get a pitcher on Thursday."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.