Berken to the bullpen & Os pen plans

Nothing is official, but
manager Dave Trembley acknowledged Wednesday that Koji Uehara won’t be ready for the start of the season and that it
might be too late for Kam Mickolio
as well. Mickolio has been sidelined with a sore groin and hasn’t thrown off
the mound in nearly a week . Talking to him today, it’s safe to say Mickolio’s
already figured out that he might start the year on the disabled list or in Triple-A,  with an injury he called “frustrating” given
how hard he worked this offseason.

That leaves seven relievers
left for seven spots, making the Orioles bullpen the kind of math I like to
deal with. It also factors in Jason Berken as the second long man on the team.  Berken turned in his worst performance this
spring Wednesday against the Red Sox, allowing five earned runs on seven hits
over 2 1/3 innings. Ironically enough, his two weakest performances have been
starts.

“[I don't know] if that
means anything or not, the times I’ve come out of the ‘pen this spring I’ve
felt good and I’ve felt comfortable and I felt like I’ve been able to get ready
in time,” Berken said.  “There’s some
adjustments I have to make, but I feel like the opportunities, I’ve gotten out
of the pen this spring have gone pretty well. And I think I’ll be able to
handle that role.”

Like the other Orioles
relievers who are up for a spot, Berken said he hasn’t been told anything by
the team yet. But he made it clear he will do whatever will help Baltimore this
season.

“I want to be part of this
team and I want to help any way I can,” Berken said.  “If that means coming out of the pen than I’m
more than happy to do that.”

Along with Berken, Cla
Meredith, Matt Albers and Will Ohman -barring injury –  will round out the rest of the Orioles ‘pen.  Mark Hendrickson, Jim Johnson and closer Mike
Gonzalez are already guaranteed spots. Of those seven guys, only Ohman is not
on the roster, which will require a corresponding move by the Orioles.  

The deadline for teams to
have their 25-man roster set is Sunday April 4, at 3 p.m. ET.

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