Manager Dave Trembley made it clear during his pregame news briefing that Brad Bergesen is not here as a spot starter.
"It's a big night for the organization with Bergesen making his first start,'' Trembley said. "He was the guy we all agreed was the closest (rotation prospect) to breaking with the club. We sent him to Norfolk to work on some things.
"This is not a tryout. It's not a one-time deal. He's in the rotation."
Somebody asked Trembley what would constitute a successful night for Bergesen tonight.
"Not having to hand me the ball,'' he replied.
He also gave a quick rundown of the injury and roster situation, explaining that Lou Montanez is not in town yet and will start tomorrow night's game against left-hander John Danks. Ryan Freel returned from Boston today and will be examined by the team physician before there will be full disclosure of the extent of the head injury he suffered in Monday's game at Fenway Park.
Trembley announced that Rich Hill will leave on an injury rehab assignment to one of the minor league affiliates at the end of this week. He can stay down a month after he reports, and he'll probably use most of that month since the club wants him to make at least three or four starts and build up to more than 100 pitches.
The Orioles manager said he isn't worried about how the club will bounce back after the four-game sweep in Boston.
"I believe everybody is experienced enough to know that ups and downs are part of the game,'' he said. "I don't think we're the only team in the major leagues that's having trouble with pitching. But we need to pitch better."
The Felix Pie experiment came up in the conversation, as it probably will fairly regularly over the next few weeks, and Trembley gave the first hint that he may not necessarily be the everyday starter in left field through the All-Star break.
"I'll do what's best for him and the team,'' Trembley said, "and observe the situation closely."