Monday, April 28, 2008

Loewen: MRI Exam on Elbow

CHICAGO -- The Orioles still don't know the extent of southpaw starter Adam Loewen's elbow injury, but they should know by Monday night. Loewen, a former first-round Draft pick, is set to undergo an MRI on Monday afternoon to gauge how badly he's hurt and how long he might need to stay on the disabled list.

"Loewen's getting an MRI and a CAT scan this morning and will see [team physician] Dr. [John] Wilckens this afternoon," said Baltimore manager Dave Trembley on Monday. "I won't have anything until I get back to Baltimore tomorrow. I think [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells] will get the reports this afternoon."

Loewen, who made six starts last season before being shut down with a stress fracture in his left elbow, has said he doesn't think there's anything drastically wrong with his arm. The left-hander reported forearm pain in his pitching arm during his last start, and the Orioles elected to push him to the disabled list as a precautionary measure.

"There's been a couple things that were bothering me before and started to go away," he said last Thursday. "When that starts to happen, something else comes up. I might be overcompensating for something. That's why I'm getting all these different types of pains. I really don't think it's anything serious, but it would be nice to step on the mound and feel 100 percent."

The Orioles have been patient with Loewen's recovery, and they don't want to do anything to aggravate the injury. His rotation turn comes up Tuesday for the first time since the injury, and Baltimore is expected to promote Garrett Olson from Triple-A Norfolk. Trembley wouldn't quite confirm that on Monday, but he said as much as he could without being uncomfortable.

"Obviously, we'll have a spot-starter tomorrow," Trembley said. "We need to make a move on the club so I can't release that, but you guys have all done your homework. As a courtesy to all of you who have figured it out, if we play today -- which I'm fully expecting we will -- [Jim] Johnson will start on Wednesday."

Johnson, who has thrown 11 scoreless innings in relief, is looking forward to his first career start. Trembley's plans could change if Monday's game is rained out, because Daniel Cabrera then would start on Tuesday and Olson likely would pitch on Wednesday. But for now, Trembley's counting on Johnson to be his chief contingency plan.

"They really haven't told me anything yet, so it's really just play it by ear," said Johnson. "But as of right now, I'm in the bullpen now, and it's fine. But whatever he thinks I can do to help us out, I'll do it ... if I get that chance. Nothing's set in stone yet, and things can change pretty quickly from day to day. You really can't look too far into the future."


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