Arrieta among possibilities to pitch in relief
O's young righty starter off to impressive start at Triple-A
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.
Latest start boosts Bergesen's confidence
BALTIMORE -- Following a week-and-a-half stint in Triple-A, Brad Bergesen isn't ready to deem himself cured. But winning his first start back -- Saturday's 12-9 series-clinching Orioles win over the Red Sox -- went a long way in helping Bergesen's confidence going forward.
"That's the biggest situation you are going to get put in, Saturday night, game against the Red Sox, to come out of it with a win, especially when you don't have your best stuff, your best outing, it's huge," Bergesen said. "Hopefully you feel like you are catching some breaks."
Bergesen allowed a pair of solo homers and another two runs in the fourth inning and was charged with four runs on seven hits over five innings in the 86-pitch performance.
"I think he figured some things out away from here for a while; he certainly looks a lot more relaxed," O's manager Dave Trembley said. "But he can throw better [than Saturday's performance]. He's got more in the tank. There was probably some apprehension and some reluctance. You saw it a little bit, every once in a while."
Bergesen said he was satisfied with his changeup and slider Saturday, but his fastball -- which has a nasty sink to it when he's on -- is still not where it needs to be.
"In years past, I could throw everything at the knees in and out without even thinking about it," Bergesen said. "And right now, the location and that confidence with it, is not quite there. But I'm starting to get it back."
Injured Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez (left shoulder strain) started a throwing program in Sarasota, Fla., on Saturday. It's expected to be about three weeks before Gonzalez can begin a rehab assignment. ... O's manager Dave Trembley said Sunday Adam Jones will remain the primary leadoff hitter with Brian Roberts on the disabled list (herniated disc). ... Catcher Craig Tatum threw out his first baserunner of the season on his first attempt in the first inning of Sunday's game. Tatum nabbed Boston's Marco Scutaro trying to steal third base. Last season, opposing runners were 7-for-10 in successful steal attempts off Tatum, who played with Cincinnati in 2009. ... Making the first in what is expected to be back-to-back Minor League appearances, righty Koji Uehara tossed a scoreless seventh inning for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday afternoon. Uehara allowed a one-out single and tossed seven of his eight pitches for strikes.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.