Arrieta among possibilities to pitch in relief

Arrieta among possibilities to pitch in relief

BALTIMORE -- Given the performance of some of the Orioles' Triple-A starters, manager Dave Trembley said there have been discussions of possibly calling up a young starter to help out the team's beleaguered bullpen.

"[Pitching coach] Rick Kranitz and I talked about that [Saturday] night after the game about a couple different guys that are down there [in Norfolk]," Trembley said.

In the past, the Orioles have taken thriving young starters and inserted them into the bullpen to get their feet wet in the big leagues. Trembley said Sunday that he doesn't necessarily think those days are gone.

"Personally, if a guy's fully developed and he's as good as he's going to get, and there's just not a spot for him as a starter, OK, now you can start looking at maybe putting him in the bullpen," Trembley said. "But if he's still got room and there's still things he needs to get better at and learn, [then] No, no no, don't do that -- let him keep starting every fifth day, wait 'til he's more of a finished product guy first."

Although Chris Tillman pitched a no-hitter in his most recent start for Norfolk, the feeling around the organization is that he is still working on things. This spring Trembley dismissed the potential of Tillman being a bullpen guy if he didn't break camp as Baltimore's fifth starter.

Jake Arrieta could be a candidate for the 'pen if the O's think he's ready. Arrieta entered Sunday with an International League-leading 1.61 ERA in five starts and is holding opponents to a .171 batting average. The 24-year-old Arrieta is 2-1 and has allowed four earned runs over 31 innings.

Baltimore is without closer Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara -- both sidelined with injuries -- and the club optioned setup man Jim Johnson back to Norfolk on Saturday to try to get him back on track.