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09/21/08 7:45 PM ET

Orioles being cautious with Guthrie

Trembly elects to skip starter's turn in rotation

NEW YORK -- The Orioles acted on the side of caution again with their staff ace on Sunday, when manager Dave Trembley elected to skip Jeremy Guthrie through another turn in the rotation. Guthrie, who hasn't pitched since late August because of a tired right shoulder, successfully threw a side session Saturday and is lobbying hard to pitch again this year.

"I definitely talked to my pitching coach and expressed that I'd love to pitch sooner rather than later," said Guthrie, who started on Opening Day for Baltimore. "It definitely makes it more exciting, the opportunity to pitch two games. But everyone who is making decisions around here is trying to be smart and safe. That's kind of where everyone is going."

Trembley, who wouldn't rule out Guthrie making a start in the season's final week, tabbed reliever Alfredo Simon to start the second half of Tuesday's doubleheader against Tampa Bay. Trembley said earlier in the month that Simon has different release points for all of his pitches, and he also said pitching coach Rick Kranitz would work hard to correct that flaw.

Guthrie said Saturday that he believed Trembley wanted to give him some more time, and the manager referenced that interview on Sunday when explaining why he didn't want to act before he had spoken to his pitcher.

"I want to talk to him," Trembley said of his ace. "I'm not going to say anything until I talk to Guthrie. I tried to get him before I came out to the field, but I think he was in a personal tour of the ballpark, so I couldn't get him."

Guthrie (10-11, 3.57 ERA) is hardly alone on the injured list. Baltimore lost Adam Loewen to an early elbow injury that prematurely ended his pitching career. Matt Albers suffered a shoulder injury at midseason and the Orioles recently shut down Daniel Cabrera and relievers Dennis Sarfate and Jim Johnson for the year.

Guthrie said Sunday he's 100 percent healthy and acknowledged how much he wants to pitch. But then again, he said he just wants to compete as opposed to making a final statement on his season.

"Absolutely nothing to prove," he said. "I' d just love to get back out there. My approach is the same. I feel healthy so I'd like to pitch just like every time this season. But if I don't get in, it's not going to change the way I feel going into the offseason. Last season, I felt a little different. I really wanted to make another start. This year, I'd like to pitch because of the team, but it's not like there's anything to prove or I need to accomplish anything by starting once more."

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