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Orioles ponder more roster shuffling

The Orioles are once again in a position where they have to make some roster decisions because of the 12-inning game Thursday and Chris Tillman's 4 1/3 inning start last night.

As masnsports.com first reported last night, Double-A Bowie left-hander Pedro Viola was summoned to Oakland. However, I'm told that it's unlikely that he will be recalled today.

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Tomorrow could be a different story. One option for the Orioles is to recall Viola tomorrow to get another fresh arm in the bullpen for a couple of days and then send him out Wednesday when Brian Matusz is activated to start the series and road trip finale against the Seattle Mariners.

Either way, Matusz is going to take the rotation spot of Tillman or Brad Bergesen who has a big start tonight. After tonight, Bergesen and Tillman wouldn't be available for a couple of days anyway so you might as well augment the bullpen during that span, and go with just the four starters.

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Starting Thursday, the Orioles will have three off days in a 12-day span so there is no need to have an extra starter around.

Why Viola you ask?

The 27-year-old lefty is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in 17 relief appearances for Bowie. But his promotion would be more a matter of convenience than rewarding good performance.

He is on the 40-man roster, and for a guy that may only be up for three games, he probably would be the path of least resistance. Chris Jakubauskas just pitched seven innings on Thursday so he really wouldn't be an option. Troy Patton is expected to report to Triple-A Norfolk tonight or tomorrow. Jason Berken hasn't been down in the minors for the required 10 days yet and the team doesn't want to yo-yo him around anyway, especially for such a short-term fix.

The Orioles desperately need innings out of Bergesen tonight.

Alfredo Simon threw 55 pitches over two innings last night so he obviously wouldn't be available. Simon, who has either pitched in a game or warmed up four consecutive days, admitted that he was a little tired on the mound last night. Michael Gonzalez also wouldn't be available after he threw 41 pitches over 1 2/3 innings.

That would seemingly leave Jeremy Accardo as tonight's long man, but I'm not sure how "long" he could go. Accardo pitched two innings on Thursday, and 1 2/3 innings on Tuesday so saying that he's fresh is probably a bit of an exaggeration.

Clay Rapada, Koji Uehara, Jim Johnson and Kevin Gregg would also be available tonight.

That would seem to be enough to have things covered, but Showalter is big on the "What If?" game, so I'm sure he's pondering what would happen if Bergesen was knocked out of the game in the first couple of innings either by ineffectiveness or an injury, or what would happen if the Orioles were forced to play another long extra-inning game.

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