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August 16, 2010

Berken has tear in labrum, rotator cuff inflammation; 2nd opinion likely (Updated)

Reliever Jason Berken, the Orioles best pitcher in the first half, could miss the rest of the season after a magnetic resonance imaging showed a tear in his right labrum and some rotator cuff inflammation.

"At this point, they think that surgery won't be necessary, which is a good thing," Berken said. "There's some time now for some good rest. I'll be shut down for a little while. If that calms everything down, at some point, I'll start the rehab process."

Berken will get a second opinion later this week, likely from New York Mets team physician Dr. David Altchek.

Berken was put on the disabled list today and Rick VandenHurk, who was acquired from the Florida Marlins for Will Ohman on July 31, was promoted from Triple-A Norfolk.

It's too early to tell if Berken will pitch again this season, but obviously, there's only a month and a half left and the Orioles aren't going to rush things.

"It's a matter of how I respond to it," Berken said. "I'm going to take some good time off and see how my shoulder reacts to that time off. The last thing I want to do is rush back and make things worse. I'm going to be smart about it. Get after my rehab and move forward."

Berken said it wasn't a severe tear, but the MRI obviously showed a little more than just the standard wear-and-tear.

"Hopefully, I can just rehab through this and come back stronger next year," he said. "It's not a clean tear. If surgery isn't necessary, it can't be too extreme, but I've just got to stay positive, work through it and move forward."

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 5:24 PM | | Comments (9)


Torn labrum visible by mri - Berken will not pitch again this year.

Shut berken down and help him all we can to be healthy next spring...Thank you berken for a fine year just get better.. The same might apply to johnson and hernandez.. Buck needs to see and evaluate some other guys in september like uhara,albers,sarfate, and some others..FOR once I really like most of our bench for the offseason being patterson,fox,tatum and only needing a utility SS..When you actually draw up our needs in the starting nine, I see our big need of a slugging 1B fielder would still be my choice for age and soft hands..If Andy feelshe can upgrade at SS, DH, or 3B, I look for him to do it but Izturis has been the solid SS and leading the league in fielding and Scott has been more efficient and less cold periods and is leading us in HR again this year.. Bell will be the hardest call to decide to see what he can do unless a real slugging 3B is available then return him to AAA and make him hit well enough to force them to bring him up.. Buck will like wigginton being the versatile hard nosed player he is but I doubt he will have another offense next year unless they resign him as a 3B to have insurance waiting on Bell.. There is no doubt the 30-40 HR 1B will be the number one need if we can get him if not I don't want to consider..

Why do all of our pitchers have to have three or four bad outings before we find out they are injured??? If we could take back half of the games that we lost due to a pitcher pitching while they were injured, we might be closer to .500...

Great job by Trembley and Samuel to overuse this kid to the point he tears his labruma nd jeaoprdizes his career.

I wonder if it has occurred to anyone that the reason the Orioles young pitchers are not performing up to expectations just might be because of poor conditioning or preparedness. I blame the strength coach , the pitching coach ,and also the players themselves. They continue to be concerned about the pitch count but that doesn't seem to be the problem when they go by that and still develop torn labrums and such. No other team in either league has had as many arm related injuries to their pitchers over the last 4 or 5 years as the Orioles. It's a fact. Lame armed pitchers can't help a team. This needs to be looked into and fixed, SOON!

Does anyone wonder why we didn't try to resign Aubrey Huff? If we had, he'd be the 30 HR 1st Baseman Grant is speaking about for less probably than Atkins signed for. Huff wanted to stay here and had good years here even though last year was a down one and didn't even get an offer. He's leading the SF Giants in Hitting, HR's and RBI's last I looked. On track for 30+HR,100RBI and .300 average.

Shut him down.... good job Berks...

By the way, TampaBay hs had only one starter on the DL this year and the pitchers say it is due to the shoulder exercises they are required (forced) to do by the trainers....

jongermany- get your facts straight. Tampa Bay has 2 starters on the dl with shoulder problems right now.

Huff always does that. His first full season with a club he'll play really well. The second and third seasons he starts to decline. Aubrey will eventually go back to being a marginal player next season, just wait.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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