Orioles Pitching the Big Question Mark for Baltimore

Baltimore Sports ReportContributor IMarch 11, 2009

Story from BaltimoreSportsReport.com

Thirty-seven pitchers ventured south to sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida to attend spring training with the Baltimore Orioles. So far the rotation seems to be missing three spots. Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara have filled the top two.

The Birds' arms have started to go down like flies though in the past few days. Rich Hill is nursing an elbow injury. The Orioles’ official website reports that he is able to throw long toss, but not on the mound. “I’ve made good strides,” Hill said. The O’s have not officially said how long it will take Hill to get ready, but many are guessing that within the middle of next week we should see Hill on the mound.

Jim Hennessey went down with a shoulder injury, Mark Hendrickson suffered a lower back injury, and John Parrish is hurting with shoulder problems. The Baltimore Sun is reporting that both Hennessey and Parrish are not being considered for the rotation. Manager Dave Trembley told reporters that they will not be ready for Opening Day.

Uehara was the latest Oriole to go down with an injury, as his hamstring was bothering him yesterday. Uehara told reporters through an interpreter that he has “had a history of hamstring problems,” but that he will definitely be ready for Opening Day. In all likelihood Koji will miss one start.

With Guthrie gone during the World Baseball Classic, the Orioles have all kinds of openings for the 2009 rotation.

The O’s have looked at Danys Baez, Brad Bergesen, and David Pauley for the starting role. Adam Eaton will be analyzed later in the week. Matt Albers and Radhames Liz are also possible candidates for the rotation.

Things appear completely up in the air for Baltimore.