08/23/08 7:43 PM ET
Albers won't return this year, O's say
Rehabbing hurler will not pitch in Majors until next season
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley said Saturday that he doesn't expect to see Matt Albers back in the big leagues this season, giving the pitcher extra time to return from a slight tear of the labrum in his right shoulder. Albers chose to rehab his injury instead of undergoing surgery, and Trembley said he hasn't healed enough for a September callup.
The right-hander has gotten up on the mound at the team's Minor League complex in Sarasota, Fla., but he's not progressed enough to where the Orioles feel the need to jeopardize his arm by rushing him into competitive action.
"Albers is not going to be a guy that will be called up here in September. We don't need to put his name in the mix," Trembley said. "The choice that he made was to rehab it instead of having surgery. Time will tell if he made the right decision or not. My understanding was if he had surgery, it would take eight months to get back. By him rehabbing to this particular point in time, he saved that amount of time. But we'll tell on him next year in Spring Training and when the season starts."
Albers, who worked to a 3-3 record with a 3.49 ERA before his injury, was one of Baltimore's most versatile pitchers this season. He served as a long man and a spot starter for the Orioles and was quickly working his way into contention for a rotation slot when he got hurt, an assignment that Trembley said he may pick up again next season.
"I think he's a candidate for the rotation. I think that's what he is," he said. "I think it would suit him better to know when he's going to pitch, to get him more on a routine of what he does in between starts. I think that would suit him better.
"I would think it might do him better and us better for him to start and keep him on a routine, based on his history with the shoulder. That would be another thing that will be discussed, I'm sure, but that's the opinion I'm going to give."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.