Reliever Dennis Sarfate, who has been sidelined most of the year because of a circulation problem in his pitching arm, made his final injury rehabilitation appearance on Friday night. The club must make a decision on his future status in the next day or so, and that may be more complicated than you'd think.
Sarfate has been on rehab assignment since July 24, so his 30 days are up today. He must either be returned to the 25-man roster, waived and outrighted to one of the minor league affiliates or -- if the team can make the case that he's still not physically ready to pitch -- returned to the disabled list.
What I'm trying to get straight in my head is why the Orioles didn't wait a week until Aug. 1 to send him on the 30-day assignment, which would have allowed him to come back when the roster limit rises to 40. Probably because the club needed the bullpen depth at the time and figured he would pitch well enough to return to the major league bullpen way before now. Instead, his rehab hasn't gone that great and the O's need to bridge the final week until the roster expansion.
The other complicating factors are the strong performance of Kam Mickolio, who has pitched his way into a setup role, and a seemingly rejuvenated Chris Ray. Can't imagine the O's would option Mickolio again to avoid a tough decision, so it would appear that there just isn't room for Sarfate until Sept. 1.