NEW YORK -- Tuesday's rainout further clouded the Orioles' plans regarding right-handed pitcher Brad Bergesen, who remains in roster limbo while the team tries to shake out what its needs are over the next five games.
Bergesen, who is unofficially with the team in New York, was expected to be activated and make Wednesday's start at Yankee Stadium, but the postponement pushed back Tuesday's starter Chris Tillman instead. The Orioles chose to keep Jake Arrieta on turn for Thursday, effectively skipping Bergesen in the rotation.
While the team would prefer to let Bergesen -- who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk Saturday -- get stretched out and get back in a rhythm by making a start or two at Norfolk, they don't have that luxury. The O's starting rotation is thin, with both Brian Matusz and Justin Duchscherer on the disabled list, and the team needs a fifth starter for Sunday in Cleveland. If Wednesday's game is played -- there is rain in the forecast as well -- the Orioles will likely activate Bergesen and have him in the bullpen in case Tillman gets bounced early.
Given that J.J. Hardy is ticketed for the 15-day DL, the O's can recall Bergesen without the usual 10-day waiting period because it's an injury situation. If Wednesday's game is also rained out, things could get trickier since it would erase the need for a fifth start for Sunday and buy the team some more time. In that event, the O's could send Bergesen to Norfolk until the following week -- which would exceed the 10-day rule and make him eligible to be recalled whenever -- and possibly call up an extra position player in Hardy's place.
The team would like to add backup catcher Craig Tatum, but the uncertainty in the starting rotation has limited their options and forced the Orioles to carry an extra arm in order to avoid overtaxing the bullpen.
Matusz could rejoin Orioles next week at home
NEW YORK -- Orioles starter Brian Matusz (strained left intercostal muscle) threw from 60 feet -- his first time since hitting the disabled list -- at the team's extended Spring Training in Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday with no reported problems.
Manager Buck Showalter said Matusz felt good and the team is tentatively planning to have the lefty return to Baltimore next week.
"As soon as he's able to get on a mound he may come back to us," Showalter said. "By the end of this road trip, he could conceivably maybe come back and do his side work with Mark [Connor] and Rick [Adair] -- that's what we hope."
Showalter acknowledged that Matusz would still need to be sent out on a few rehab games, although the specifics of that are still being worked out. The team's No. 2 starter, Matusz's absence has thinned an already-depleted starting staff, leaving the Orioles trying to patch things together.
"[Am I] concerned? No. It's life in the American League East," Showalter said of the state of his starting staff, which also has Justin Duchscherer on the DL. "A lot of the work that [president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail] and the scouts and everybody did in the offseason was to make sure we had some depth, but we didn't ... Guthrie had pneumonia, Matusz was a kick in the you-know-what's. But we got Guthrie back and Matusz had a ball in his hand [on Tuesday] so I'm looking at it half-full."
Duchscherer (left hip soreness) threw at the team's spring facility on Tuesday and will get a guided injection in his left hip on Wednesday. There is no timetable for his return.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.