A call to arms?

So what else is happening today besides the countdown to the midnight deadline for signing draft picks?

Well, reliever Jason Berken will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder this afternoon in Baltimore. The results might not be immediately available, but a trip to the disabled list isn't an outrageous assumption. His shoulder is sore, and rest and treatments aren't alleviating the problem.

David Hernandez already is on the DL, so it figures that Berken could join him. You just can't separate those two guys.

If the Orioles need a bullpen replacement, they've got the usual list of suspects to sift through.

Troy Patton threw 69 pitches Friday for Triple-A Norfolk. Like the MRI results, he might not be immediately available.

Frank Mata, who's also on the 40-man roster, hasn't allowed a hit or run in his last six appearances covering 6 2/3 innings. Before this stretch, he was getting lit up like Sidney Ponson's face at the Cheesecake Factory (I think that's four, but I've lost count.)

Kam Mickolio has made four scoreless appearances at Norfolk since coming off the disabled list, allowing two hits, walking one and striking out six in five innings. He hadn't pitched for the Tides since June 11.

Then there's our friend Dennis Sarfate, who isn't on the 40-man roster. Sarfate is 2-1 with a 3.07 ERA and 15 saves in 38 games. He's allowed 25 hits, walked 24 and struck out 59 in 44 innings, and International League opponents are batting .166 against him.

Sarfate has given up one run since July 3, with four walks and 21 strikeouts.

I wonder if he's given up all hope of having his contract purchased.

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