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Byrdak's Injury Puts Club in Bind

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 18, 2006

BALTIMORE, April 17 -- The Baltimore Orioles are pondering whether to place left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak on the disabled list because of a sore left elbow. He has been mostly ineffective in his five appearances, allowing six runs in three innings. Byrdak, who will have a CT scan on the elbow on Tuesday, said he has felt pain in his elbow since the second week of spring training and has been receiving treatment, which has not helped. Byrdak said the pain is in the back of the elbow, alleviating concerns the injury is related to the ligament that was operated on in 2001. The injury, Byrdak said, keeps him from fully extending his arm, which saps him of his velocity and his ability to control a breaking pitch.

The injury, if serious, could put the Orioles in a bind. Baltimore is already without Todd Williams, who is nursing a sore right shoulder and calf, and the Orioles don't have a capable left-handed replacement for Byrdak. Williams, who threw two innings in a simulated game on Sunday, will travel from Sarasota, Fla., to Baltimore to be examined by the coaching staff and team doctors.

If Byrdak goes on the disabled list, Baltimore may be forced to call upon yet another rookie, possibly Scott Rice. The Orioles already have rookies Sendy Rleal and Chris Britton in the bullpen.

Benson Hears the Love

Orioles pitcher Kris Benson said he was pleased to hear that Mets fans chanted "Bring Back Benson!" this weekend after former Orioles reliever Jorge Julio, whom New York acquired for the Baltimore starter, had allowed a three-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers.

"I think Baltimore got the better end of that deal and the fans realize that," Benson said. "It's nice to know that [New York] fans, as up and down and as rowdy as they can be, were throwing that around."

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