Berken update, Strop quotes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Jason Berken said his sore left hamstring is "definitely feeling better," but he'll go at least one more day without throwing.

Berken continues to receive treatment on the hamstring, which he strained while running sprints toward the end of Thursday's workout.

"There's definite improvement," he said. "The stability is better. Walking feels more normal."

Berken is competing for a bullpen spot. He has an option remaining.

Pedro Strop is out of options, so the Orioles can't send him down without exposing him to waivers. He'll get a long look in camp after going 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA in 12 September appearances after being acquired from the Texas Rangers.

"I don't even think about it," Strop said. "I'm just trying to do the best I can do. I'm not worried about that stuff. That's their decision, whatever they want to do. I have confidence. I know what I can do and I'll push hard."

Strop sat at his locker, taping his right thumb like a boxer. It seems like an appropriate analogy, since he's fighting for a roster spot after the Orioles picked up late-inning relievers Matt Lindstrom, Luis Ayala and Darren O'Day to go with Jim Johnson and Kevin Gregg. Alfredo Simon is also in camp and also out of options.

"I'm not worried about it," Strop said, flashing a smile that comes easily to him. "However the bullpen is going to be, it's going to be good. They've added a lot of good pitchers to the bullpen."

Strop seems to qualify as one after allowing only one run in 12 1/3 innings with the Orioles, walking three and striking out 12. Left-handed batters were 2-for-19 against him.

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