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Major pressure: Olson 'nervous'

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said he and pitching coach Rick Kranitz have thought about every possible reason Garrett Olson can't succeed at the major league level after doing well in the minors.

The conclusion is Olson simply isn't comfortable pitching in the big leagues.

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"To me, he looks nervous. I'm going to tell you straight out. He looks nervous out there," Trembley said. "Whether or not we can do something, or he can do something, to get over that hurdle, that's yet to be seen."

Olson, 24, allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning Saturday night, the shortest outing of his brief career. He is 9-8 with a 6.84 ERA this season and has a 7.04 ERA in 31 major league starts. In contrast, Olson has a 2.96 ERA in 71 minor league games.

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"The difficult thing to try and ascertain is that he dominated in the minor leagues. He dominated in Triple-A, and he comes here and it is just the opposite," Trembley said. "He is still not used to pitching at this level."

Trembley said Kranitz spent much of yesterday morning talking to Olson, who arrived early and was running on the field by himself three hours before game time.

Olson's work ethic and attitude can't be questioned, Trembley said, but the manager wondered whether the former first-round sandwich pick out of Cal Poly is too analytical.

"He looks like he's trying to figure it out there with angles, you know, diagrams," Trembley said. "He's overcomplicating the whole process. That's what it looks like."

With no real alternatives, though, Olson likely will stay in the rotation this month despite his shaky performances.

"He has got to be putting such a tremendous amount of pressure on himself, and for what reason I don't know," Trembley said.

"We don't put any pressure on him. We keep running him out [there]."

Spoone has surgery

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Right-handed pitching prospect Chorye Spoone had surgery this month to repair a slight Slap tear in his right shoulder and will likely miss a sizable part of the 2009 season. It's the latest blow to an organization that has lost several of its top young pitchers for extended periods because of serious injuries.

"It should be closer to midseason when he'll be ready to pitch in games," said David Stockstill, Orioles director of player development. "We're very hopeful about his long-term [recovery]. There's been nothing said by the doctors or anybody else that we shouldn't be. We'll just let him go through rehab and the throwing program, and when he's ready to pitch in games, we'll put him in there."

Spoone, who turns 23 tomorrow, was ranked by Baseball America before the season as the Orioles' eighth-best prospect. A Pasadena native who went to CCBC-Catonsville, Spoone went 3-3 with a 4.57 ERA in nine starts for Double-A Bowie this season before he was shut down and operated on by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

Burres wanted more

Reliever Brian Burres became the first Orioles pitcher since 2004 to throw in both ends of a doubleheader Saturday. Jason Grimsley and B.J. Ryan did it that season. Burres allowed three runs in one inning in Game 1 and one run in 1 2/3 innings in Game 2.

Burres said he was a little surprised at getting the call in the second game after pitching poorly in the first. But, he said, "at the same time, I was just glad to get back in there after such a bad first game, to get in there and do a little better the second time."

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He said he was ready to pitch again yesterday, an idea Trembley quickly shot down.

Around the horn

Jeremy Guthrie (tired arm) played catch but hasn't thrown a bullpen session yet. He still hopes to pitch again this season. ... Melvin Mora, recuperating from a hamstring injury, was rested Sunday after playing both ends of the doubleheader. ... Stockstill said right-handed pitcher John Mariotti (3-2 with a 3.74 ERA for Single-A Delmarva) had surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

300

Wins against the Twins in Orioles history, with the victory yesterday. They are 300-259 all time against Minnesota.


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