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The Orioles placed Steve Trachsel on the 15-day disabled list today with a strained gluteus muscle - and I know the obvious joke but have chosen to ignore it - and recalled left-hander Kurt Birkins from Triple-A Norfolk.

Birkins is expected to arrive before the game and give the Orioles a much-needed long man, with Rob Bell unavailable after going 4 1/3 innings last night.

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Trachsel was bothered by the injury during his last start in Arizona, and it apparently affected his preparation for last night's start, when he allowed five runs and nine hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Approached by reporters a short time ago, Trachsel said he had no idea that he was going on the DL.

"A little bit of a surprise," he said. "I haven't even seen a doctor yet."

Trachsel had one more turn before the All-Star break, so the Orioles will need someone to start Wednesday's game in Chicago. I brought up Garrett Olson's name to manager Dave Trembley, and he smiled and shook his head.

"Where do you guys come up with these things? You do your homework," he said.

Yes, the Orioles are giving serious consideration to Olson, who allowed two hits and struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings last night against Pawtucket. Bell also is a possibility, though the Orioles like him as a long man.

Meanwhile, Trembley had Ramon Hernandez and Paul Bako performing some catching drills before batting practice.

Here's the lineup:

Brian Roberts - 2B

Brandon Fahey - SS

Kevin Millar - 1B

Ramon Hernandez - C

Aubrey Huff - DH

Melvin Mora - 3B

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Jay Gibbons - LF

Jay Payton - RF

Corey Patterson - CF

Brian Burres - P

Nick Markakis is getting a rare night off. No injury, just a rest.

Reliever Scott Williamson is limping and has his left ankle tapped. He's supposed to be examined by team orthopedist Dr. Andrew Cosgarea later today. He's considered day-to-day until told otherwise. X-rays taken last night were negative, but as we've learned by now, that means nothing.

He could have a family of four living in his ankle, and I'm not sure an X-ray would show them. Bring on the MRI!

Danys Baez threw a side session in the bullpen today. His ERA went up a point.

Kidding. I really like the guy and he's working hard. Pretend I never typed that.

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