Test confirms Bedard has muscle strain

The Baltimore Sun

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Orioles didn't learn anything new about pitcher Erik Bedard's physical condition yesterday, which was exactly how they wanted it.

In this case, less was better.

A magnetic resonance imaging of Bedard's right side didn't reveal anything more serious than a strained oblique muscle - the exact injury that the Orioles have been treating him for since his last start Aug. 26.

Rather than travel to Florida, Bedard will wait until the Orioles return to Baltimore to rejoin the club. The team remains hopeful he'll pitch again this season, though oblique injuries tend to heal slowly.

"We'll see where he's at when we go back on Thursday," manager Dave Trembley said. "I'll be interested to talk to him."

Bedard didn't inform the club that he was bothered by soreness in his right side until after he allowed six runs over six innings in his last start. His condition had worsened, and Bedard decided he no longer could pitch with it.

"We wanted to rule out anything further by getting the MRI," Trembley said. "The guy you're dealing with, Bedard, you don't want to take any chances. You want to make sure he's 100 percent."

4 promoted from minors

The Orioles brought up four players from the minors as part of their expanded roster, including reliever Fernando Cabrera, who signed as a free agent Aug. 21 after the Cleveland Indians released him.

The Orioles purchased Cabrera's contract from Triple-A Norfolk and transferred closer Chris Ray to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. They also recalled infielder Brandon Fahey from Norfolk, and infielder Luis Hernandez and catcher Gustavo Molina from Double-A Bowie.

Cabrera made three appearances at Norfolk after a long layoff, allowing one run and one hit in three innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. The Indians designated him for assignment Aug. 1, and he didn't pitch again until Thursday.

"I did OK in Norfolk, but I'm not feeling real sharp right now with my breaking stuff or the consistency of my delivery," said Cabrera, who was 1-2 with a 5.61 ERA in 24 games with the Indians. "I spent too much time away from the game, but I know everything's going to come back. I just don't want to push myself too much.

"I know I need to recognize that I was out of baseball for a lot of time. But at least my arm feels healthy, and I'll try to put everything back together again."

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays put in a waiver claim on Cabrera, but he refused it. Granted free agency, he signed with the Orioles.

"It's a good place," he said. "It seems like they give their pitchers a chance, and that's what I was looking for."

Fahey batted .231 in 23 games with the Orioles earlier this season, and Trembley said he'll be used in a utility role over the final month.

Hernandez appeared in 13 games with the Orioles, batting .333, and was so impressive defensively that Trembley wants to give him a few more starts at shortstop.

Molina batted .364 in 22 games with Bowie after the Orioles claimed him off waivers July 30. He went 1-for-18 in 10 games with the Chicago White Sox.

Cherry's ERA plummets

Though the Orioles didn't win Monday's game, reliever Rocky Cherry had to feel a sense of accomplishment. It's not easy lowering your ERA by about 93 points.

Cherry allowed four runs in one-third of an inning in his Orioles debut after being acquired in the Steve Trachsel trade, but he rebounded with two scoreless innings, and four strikeouts, against Tampa Bay. His ERA shrank from 108.00 to 15.43.

"Obviously, that first outing I wanted to do real well, and the complete opposite happened," he said. "I've been throwing the ball really well, but my mind just went off in another land, and I wasn't pitching to my capabilities.

"And I started thinking too much, and things weren't going the right way for me. Those things happen. Learn from it and return from it."

Around the horn

Reliever Rob Bell cleared waivers yesterday and is expected to return to the team today. ... Bowie coach Moe Hill will join the Orioles' coaching staff tomorrow. Hill completed his fifth season in the organization, his second with the Baysox.


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