The Orioles didn't rush to Jay Gibbons' defense yesterday. They chose instead to tread lightly, their steps and words measured.
Players are hesitant to discuss the controversy swirling around Gibbons until more information becomes available. Many declined to comment. Others weren't available to the media before taking the field.
According to a story that ran Sunday night on SI.com, Gibbons received shipments of testosterone and human growth hormone. The substances are banned by Major League Baseball and could lead to disciplinary action from the commissioner's office.
Shortstop Miguel Tejada said he didn't want to comment, but added, "It's not really good to see a teammate go through that."
Bill Stetka, the Orioles' director of public relations, wouldn't allow manager Dave Trembley to take any questions about Gibbons during the pre-game media session.
"Before we get started, with regards to Jay Gibbons' situation, we don't know anything officially," Stetka said. "We haven't heard from the commissioner's office, and it's inappropriate for us to comment on it at this time. If you have questions for Dave related to the team or related the upcoming series, that's fine. But we're just not in a position, any of us, to answer questions related to Jay Gibbons."
Baseball officials have requested a meeting with Gibbons, according to an industry source.
"We don't know what happened," Aubrey Huff said. "It seems like every morning you wake up, you see somebody's name in the paper, whether it be him or anybody else. Who knows if they're doing anything. You don't know what it's about.
"I haven't talked to him. But who's to say that the stuff isn't prescribed. Who knows? That's the bad thing. All these names get thrown in the papers and whether or not they're innocent or guilty or even if they are innocent, they go out and play the rest of their years and fans are all over them about being a steroid user. That's the tough thing. All this stuff gets into the papers before anybody knows what's going on."
Good news on Guthrie, Olson
The Orioles are hopeful that Jeremy Guthrie will pitch again before the season ends.
Guthrie will be skipped in the rotation after leaving Sunday's game with a strained oblique, but Trembley said yesterday that the rookie's condition has improved.
Guthrie said he remains optimistic that he'll pitch again in 2007.
"It's not an arm issue where you think it's recovered, but you're still nervous. I have a really good feeling, for whatever reason," he said.
Trembley said there's a good likelihood that another injured pitcher, Garrett Olson, will return from a strained left forearm this season.
New arm in rotation
Another pitcher who didn't begin the season with the Orioles will become a member of their rotation.
Victor Zambrano, whose contract was purchased from the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend, will start Saturday in Toronto. Zambrano threw a side session the past two days. He hasn't pitched since Aug. 30.
Brian Burres will start Friday night's game, and Victor Santos will go Sunday.
Around the horn
Second baseman Brian Roberts remained in the lineup last night, but he'll undergo a magnetic resonance imaging today because of an earache. ... Center fielder Corey Patterson missed another game with a sprained left ankle. ... Angels center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. will miss at least five games with a sprained ankle.
Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec and the Associated Press contributed to this article.