Notes: Patton to undergo further testing
Surgery may not be necessary according to team doctor
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The Orioles got further word on Monday on injured starter Troy Patton, who was shut down from his Sunday sideline session. Patton, who's believed to have a tear in his left shoulder, was examined by team physician John Wilckens and will undergo further testing in Baltimore later in the week.
Patton has already had a standard MRI test, but the Orioles will send him for a more advanced test on either Wednesday or Thursday in Baltimore. Patton will have to take an arthrogram, which involves an injectable shot of dye that will help the doctors ascertain the amount of damage in his shoulder.
Wilckens apparently believes that surgery is not a foregone conclusion. Patton went four months without throwing this offseason, but still felt discomfort when he got going this spring. If he undergoes surgery, the southpaw will likely miss the entire 2008 season and will come into Spring Training untested.
Patton, one of the key pieces in this offseason's trade for Miguel Tejada, has said that he'll listen to the doctor's advice before determining any final outcome. The Orioles knew about his injury before the trade and had access to his medical records but believed in his potential enough to take the risk.
Locked up: Baltimore manager Dave Trembley made his strongest comments to date in favor of swingman Brian Burres, who's vying for a slot as either a starting pitcher or long reliever. Trembley said before Monday's game vs. the Dodgers that he thought Burres would be on his roster in some form or another, and he reiterated the same thought afterwards.
"I would think with what he did for us last year, he's going to factor in there somewhere for us," Trembley said after the start. "I mean, he's definitely in the mix for some role."
Burres threw two innings on Monday, allowing four hits, one run and no walks. The left-hander is one of at least five candidates for the fifth-starter job, along with Matt Albers, Garrett Olson, Radhames Liz and Hayden Penn. If Burres doesn't crack the rotation, he would compete with Albers, Lance Cormier and a host of others for the long-relief job.
"[Burres'] velocity was good," said Trembley. "I thought his changeup was probably a little too hard. The two fastballs that he tried to two-seam, he probably overthrew somewhat. They flattened out on him."
Relief review: Trembley graded out a bunch of his relievers on Monday, assessing the performances of Albers, Greg Aquino and Randor Bierd -- each of whom threw a scoreless inning in Baltimore's 4-4 tie with the Dodgers.
"Albers had late life and he had sink," he said. "Aquino had a finish pitch, and Bierd has a swing-and-miss pitch. It's kind of a combination of a split and a changeup, but he throws it hard. It's good against left-handed hitters."
Bierd, a Rule 5 Draft pick, will have to make the active roster or be returned to Detroit's organization. Trembley said that Albers, who came over from Houston in the Tejada trade, was impressive on Monday. He also said that pitching coach Rick Kranitz has temporarily stopped Albers from throwing his curveball, forcing him to rely on his slider and sinker.
"It was better today because his arm speed was quicker," Trembley said of the right-hander's sinker. "That's the report that we got on him, that he's a ground ball late-life sinkerball pitcher."
Quotable "It's like I said before: 'If you hit, we're going to try to find a place for you.' And he's doing that." -- Trembley, on Scott Moore, who had three hits and a walk on Monday
Up next: The Orioles will return home on Tuesday for a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. ET, and they'll start former first-round pick Adam Loewen against the road team's Anthony Reyes.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.