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Loewen's exam comes back clean; pitcher to throw soon

The Baltimore Sun

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Orioles pitcher Adam Loewen, who is on the disabled list with a sore left elbow, will report to the club's minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., and start a throwing program in the next couple of days.

Loewen's elbow, which was operated on in June, was examined yesterday by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and no damage was found. Loewen is expected to stay in Sarasota for two to three weeks and could return to the Orioles late this month or in early June.

"Encouraging, very encouraging," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. "Obviously, we're pleased that there isn't anything that is demonstrably wrong. That's good news. We'll get Adam started in Sarasota and get him back on track."

MacPhail said the Orioles will be "conservative" in their approach with Loewen, who is 0-1 with a 7.85 ERA in four starts after missing most of last season with a stress fracture in his elbow. Andrews inserted a screw in his elbow to help the healing, and Loewen said last week that his discomfort was just a matter of getting used to pitching with the screw in his elbow.

"It's just like [the Minnesota Twins' Francisco] Liriano," MacPhail said. "These guys don't come back right where they left off. That, I think, is to be expected. There's nothing here in that respect that is terribly surprising to me."

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said the club hasn't decided how many rehabilitation starts, if any, Loewen will need, "but I wouldn't think he'd be out six to eight weeks."

"This sets him back obviously somewhat, but it's better than losing him for the whole season," Trembley said. "His progress will obviously be monitored very closely in Sarasota. He'll tell us when he's ready, he'll tell us what his limitations are, and I'll probably go quickly back to him.

"But I'm glad for him and I'm glad for our team and the organization because he's a central figure in what we're trying to do here and he's one of the guys that we're trying to do it with."

Sticking with Trachsel

Trembley said yesterday that struggling starter Steve Trachsel, who hasn't completed four innings in three of his past four outings, will start Friday in Kansas City.

"I would say that there's not going to be any review and he will make his next start," Trembley said. "His role here is to start. ... I've never thought about putting him in the bullpen. He's pitched for a long time in the big leagues, and he's never pitched out of the bullpen. I don't see a reason to even think about doing that now."

Trembley, R. Hernandez meet

A day after getting thrown out at second base by a healthy margin after breaking out in a home run trot against the Los Angeles Angels, Ramon Hernandez was summoned for a meeting with Trembley, who told the catcher that his lack of hustle on the play was unacceptable.

Hernandez hit a drive off the left-field wall in the first inning Sunday and was jogging around first base with his head down before he realized the ball did not leave the park. He even slapped first base coach John Shelby's hand, thinking he had a home run.

"It may be a part of what's going on in the major leagues now, with guys when they hit it, somewhat styling it when they hit it," Trembley said. "That may be the norm with what happens for the most part in the big leagues now. But it's not acceptable with me; it's not acceptable with what we're trying to do or the direction we're trying to go. I told Ramon that. He fully understands where I'm coming from."

Shelby also shared some of the responsibility for the incident.

"When it was hit, I thought it was [a homer], but still, my job is to watch the ball, and I need to make sure he's running," Shelby said. "It was one of those things where I got caught up in him not running. I didn't do my job. I didn't hit it, but I still feel responsible. I need to make sure that these guys are coming in hard and they touch the base and pick up the ball. I didn't do my part."

Around the horn

Trembley originally had outfielder Luke Scott in the lineup last night, but Scott, who has been struggling with the flu, said he didn't feel strong enough to play. ... Triple-A Norfolk infielder Scott Moore, who missed several games with a knee injury, got an at-bat in the Tides' game Sunday.

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