Pitching Shortage Addressed

By Adam Kilgore
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 6, 2007

BALTIMORE, May 5 -- Having lost a third starting pitcher for the majority of the season in Adam Loewen, the Baltimore Orioles now face the challenge of finding arms for the remainder.

Brian Burres, who will make his first start Sunday, and Jeremy Guthrie, who will start Tuesday, have replaced Loewen and Jaret Wright for the time being. Both are long relievers, however, probably capable of going six innings at most, which further strains an already taxed bullpen. So the Orioles might need more help.

"We're looking at some different options," Orioles Vice President Jim Duquette said. "We're looking at some guys we could possibly have in Class AAA inside the organization, and we've been looking at things outside the organization as well. We've had a few conversations with teams."

On Saturday, the Orioles contacted the agent of Brian Lawrence, who was acquired in a trade by the Washington Nationals before the 2006 season but has not pitched since 2005 because of a torn labrum. Lawrence said Baltimore was one of four teams vying for him.

"We received a pretty good offer -- actually, a really good offer -- from a team," he said. "We sent that offer to Baltimore, so we'll see real quick how serious they are."

Lawrence signed a one-year deal with Colorado in January, but spent spring training returning from the shoulder ailment and became a free agent after being cut by the Rockies last week. His arm has "responded really well," he said. "I just have to get back out there and log some innings and get back to the form from a couple years ago. I'm really excited."

The Orioles' best pitcher at AAA Norfolk has been 23-year-old Garrett Olson. "Right now, he's developing," Duquette said. "If he keeps pitching well, maybe he forces his way into the picture. Right now, we're not looking at him as an option."

UP NEXT Today vs. Indians1:35 p.m. Burres (0-0) vs. Sabathia (4-0) WJZ-13, MASN Tomorrow vs. Indians12:35 p.m. Carmona (2-1) vs. Trachsel (1-3) MASN

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