TORONTO - Daniel Cabrera returned to Baltimore last night and will have his right elbow examined today, a development that could make him the latest Orioles pitcher to be shut down before season's end.
Cabrera, who was scratched from tomorrow night's scheduled start at Yankee Stadium, felt some tingling in his elbow during his bullpen session yesterday at Rogers Centre. Orioles manager Dave Trembley said it was not in the same area Cabrera complained of discomfort last month. That led the pitcher to get a magnetic resonance imaging, which didn't reveal any structural damage.
Trembley said he isn't sure Cabrera will get an MRI when he is examined by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens today.
"It was more ... the top of his arm. Now it's a different part of his elbow, so he's going to get it looked at," said Trembley, who will have Radhames Liz start on regular rest tomorrow night but isn't sure who will pitch Saturday. Cabrera "went out to throw his side [session] today, and he felt some discomfort. He had some tingling in his elbow, so they had to shut him down."
Cabrera is 2-5 with a 7.59 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break. His velocity has been down significantly during many of those starts, though Trembley has said repeatedly that if Cabrera, 27, weren't healthy, he would not be pitching.
If Cabrera were shut down for the season, it would be fair to question whether he has made his last start as an Oriole. Cabrera is expected to make about $5 million in arbitration this season, a salary the Orioles would be unlikely to pay for an enigmatic pitcher with a career record of 48-59 and an ERA of 5.05.
Dennis Sarfate, who was placed on the disabled list yesterday with a right distal clavicle fracture, will get a second opinion from Los Angeles Angels team physician Lewis Yocum, but the right-hander has already decided to have season-ending surgery, Trembley said. Sarfate suffered the shoulder injury when he was struck by his car door while he was moving into his apartment in April.
"I'm told it's a rather normal procedure," Trembley said. "It will not affect his activity at all."
Jeremy Guthrie, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 29 because of a right shoulder impingement, will throw a bullpen session Saturday, and the hope remains he'll be activated from the disabled list in time to start one of the games in Tuesday's doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Approaching it wrong
Garrett Olson, who will start tonight's series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays, didn't entirely dispute Trembley's assertion this week that the pitcher's main problem stems from an inability to deal with his nerves.
Olson said his main problem has been his approach, but he also said that has led to his being more nervous than normal on the mound.
"If you're not comfortable with your approach, it can cause you a little anxiety and nervousness," Olson said. "Maybe that's happened a little bit. Talking to [Trembley and pitching coach Rick Kranitz] about it, it's kind of a relief. I think, this year, there have been times I haven't been confident. I think you just have to relax and let it happen naturally."
Knowing he might be pitching for a spot in next year's rotation, Olson (9-8. 6.84 ERA) also said there have been times when he has put too much pressure on himself.
"I just think in the minors, you have one mind-set, and that's you work a certain way to get here," Olson said. "Once you reach the top, you kind of have to redirect yourself and figure out what you can do to stay motivated every day. I'm not saying I'm not motivated. It's just maybe instead of going out there and just being myself, I'm going out there and trying to impress too much."
All about next year
Released yesterday, the Orioles' 2009 schedule includes an April 6 Opening Day matchup at Camden Yards against the New York Yankees.
The Orioles will face the National League East in interleague play, with the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets visiting Camden Yards and the Orioles going on the road to face the Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins. They'll also play their usual home-and-home series against the Washington Nationals.
The Orioles' record in series-opening games this season