Is Simon the solution?

Good luck trying to memorize the 25-man roster. The Orioles keep changing it.

Pitchers come and pitchers go - sometimes in one day. The right side of the infield is on the disabled list. The bullpen is on fire.

It's become a daily game show at Camden Yards, and your next contestant hails from the Dominican Republic.

Alfredo Simon is hoping not to return there for a while.

Simon will be removed from the restricted list today and placed on the 25- and 40-man rosters. Infielder Cesar Izturis is expected to be transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

The Orioles envision using Simon in long relief, which makes sense, since they optioned long reliever Jason Berken to Triple-A Norfolk after last night's game. Simon made three starts with Double-A Bowie, so he's capable of eating up innings despite dropping 30 pounds over the winter.

Simon went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA for the Baysox, allowing six earned runs (seven total) and 14 hits in 16 innings. He walked five and struck out 17.

In his last start, Simon blanked Richmond on three hits over six innings Tuesday.

The Orioles were given an extra day to keep Simon on the restricted list after he flew back to the Dominican last Saturday, which meant they weren't forced to make a decision on him until tomorrow.

They couldn't wait any longer.

Manager Buck Showalter indicated after last night's game that a second roster move could be made. He said "at least one." That also means "maybe two." The bullpen needs a lot of work.

Is the 'pen your biggest concern about this team at the moment?

Is this year any different?

Simon might not be a long-term solution, since he'll reportedly stand trial in the Dominican following the New Year's Day shooting that killed a 25-year-old man and wounded his 17-year-old brother. No date has been set.

As far as we know, Simon never was charged with a crime, so I'm not sure how he ends up on trial.

I do know how he ended up here. The Orioles need relievers and he's a power arm who can cover innings and be used in a variety of roles. He's in good shape, he's ready and he isn't carrying around an ERA that matches the price of a Ruth's Chris steak.

If Simon can't get hitters out, I'm sure the Orioles will have some nice parting gifts for him. And there's always another contestant waiting in the wings.

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