CHICAGO — CHICAGO -- Feeling that they couldn't consistently rely on the oft-injured Scott Williamson, the Orioles designated the reliever for assignment yesterday, ending his short tenure with the club.
Williamson, an eight-year veteran, signed a one-year, $900,000 deal with the club this past offseason, one of four additions to the bullpen. He pitched reasonably well at times, going 1-0 with a 4.40 ERA in 16 games. But he spent 19 days on the disabled list from April 24 to May 12 with tightness in his right triceps tendon, and he hadn't been available recently after getting hit in the left foot by a come-backer Friday.
The Orioles have 10 days to either trade Williamson or give him his outright release. There has been little interest around the major leagues in the 31-year-old.
"We'll see what happens and we'll go from there," said Williamson, who was designated to make roster space for Garrett Olson. "I'm definitely at a crossroads. It's the first time this has happened. I don't know how to react. I'm dumbfounded.
"I don't want to say anything negative. That's not me. I'm not a negative person. I'll go home and think things out, I guess. I don't know what I'll do, to be honest with you."
Williamson said he isn't ready to retire. He has a detailed injury history with his latest ailment - albeit a minor one - giving the Orioles an opening to drop him from the roster. New president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said yesterday that Williamson was healthy enough to pitch, but the executive thought it was more important to get a look at different arms in the system.
"I think he was able to pitch," MacPhail said. "I wouldn't have designated him if I wasn't getting reports that he was able to pitch. A lot of what this is about is I would really like to get the opportunity to see some of the younger pitchers in our system [to] try to get an understanding of what we have available to us."
Interim manager Dave Trembley said he wanted to use Williamson in Tuesday night's game, but couldn't.
"He wasn't available. There is a difference between not pitching and not being available," Trembley said. "That just leaves you one guy short. ... We came into the series thinking that Scott was going to be available after the first day and he wasn't. We knew Olson was coming and we had to get a spot."
Asked whether there was confusion at times about whether Williamson was or wasn't available this season, Trembley said: "I don't know if confusion is the right word. I think it was more really thinking he was going to be ready. I saw him throwing a bullpen [session] yesterday. But then I watched him try to run and it really didn't look like he was able to go full-out. I really didn't know when he was going to be ready."
Bedard not worried about fatigue
Perhaps not making the All-Star team was a blessing in disguise for Erik Bedard. The Orioles' ace acknowledged yesterday that he is going through a little bit of a "dead-arm" period, which affected him in his most recent start.
Bedard gave up six earned runs on five hits, including a career-high three home runs, and four walks in Monday's series opener. He acknowledged he had no command of his pitches, and the velocity on his fastball was down to around 91 or 92 mph from between 93 to 95 mph.
"Normally, when I throw that, it's pretty easy, but the other day it didn't feel the same," Bedard said.
Bedard makes his final start before the All-Star break Saturday against the Texas Rangers. Asked whether he is concerned, Bedard said: "No. It happens every year."
Around the horn
Despite their bullpen struggles, the Orioles don't have much interest in right-hander Hector Carrasco, who was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels. ... Melvin Mora (bruised left foot) didn't start his third straight game, telling Trembley he wasn't comfortable moving side-to-side at third base. He'll likely be back in the lineup tonight. ... Danys Baez, on the disabled list with a strained right forearm, will start his rehabilitation assignment today for Double-A Bowie. He'll throw again Saturday and Monday, with Monday's outing scheduled to be more than one inning.