Berken Down, VandenHurk Up

The Orioles have placed RHP Jason Berken on the 15 day disabled list with a slight tear in his labrum. RHP Rick VandenHurk has been promoted from AAA Norfolk to take his place in the bullpen.

Another reliever bites the dust. Berken joins David Hernandez and Jim Johnson on the disabled list. I don’t like hearing that theres a tear in his labrum, no matter how slight. Labrum injuries can be devastating to pitchers and aren’t as easy to come back from as elbow injuries. I’d say shut him down for the rest of the season and give him the whole offseason to get ready for spring training next year. I had a feeling there was an injury involved with Berken since his performance has dropped significantly over his last 10 outings or so. VandenHurk was acquired in the Will Ohman trade from the Florida Marlins. He made three starts with AAA Norfolk after the trade going 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA over 20.2 innings, 7 strikeouts, and 4 walks. He’ll start out in the bullpen for the Orioles but could move into the rotation if Kevin Millwood is traded or one of the young starters gets shut down early. I guess the silver lining on the Berken injury is we get to see what we’ve got in VandenHurk as he’ll be out of options next year and will need to make the team out of spring training or be passed through waivers.

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