Jason Berken was placed on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon with right shoulder inflammation, and the Orioles promoted right-handed pitcher Rick VandenHurk from Triple-A Norfolk.

Berken, who was 3-3 with a 3.03 ERA and was the club's best pitcher in the first half, had struggled recently and hadn't pitched since Thursday in Cleveland. The move will be retroactive to Friday, Aug. 13, meaning he'll be available to come off the DL on Aug. 28.


Berken had a magnetic resonance imaging on his shoulder this afternoon, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter wouldn't characterize the injury until after the results were explained to Berken and the medical staff. But the manager said he doesn't believe it will require surgery or keep Berken from pitching later this season.

"He definitely is going to take this [15-day] period and see where we are at the end of it," Showalter said.

Berken was 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 32 games in the first half but 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA in nine games since the All-Star break. He allowed earned runs in six of those games. His 41 appearances this season are second among active Orioles pitchers behind only Matt Albers.

Showalter said he could tell something was wrong with Berken based on how he didn't have the crispness and late action on his breaking pitches that made him so effective early on.

"Also, you read the body language a little bit. You can tell when a guy is out there without his bullets," Showalter said. "I think what is challenging for me here, everybody that has been here knows how well he pitched. I've got to make sure he understands I know it, too. Because I don't want him pushing to get back and jeopardizing the things he might do for us in the future."

To take Berken's place on the roster, the Orioles promoted VandenHurk, whom they acquired from the Florida Marlins for left-hander Will Ohman at the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.

VandenHurk pitched in two games in relief for the Marlins this season, allowing an earned run in 1 1/3 innings (6.75 ERA). A Netherlands native who speaks five languages, VandenHurk has been effective as a starter for the Tides since the trade, going 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in three starts.

Initially, VandenHurk will pitch out of the bullpen, but Showalter said VandenHurk could start some games if and when the club decides to limit the innings of its younger starters. VandenHurk, who was on the 40-man roster, will wear uniform No. 54.

He was on the Camden Yards field to stretch by 4:50 p.m. and because he hasn't pitched in several days he would be available if needed on Monday.