BOSTON - Pitcher Jason Berken broke his nose during today’s start with Triple-A Norfolk when he slammed into first baseman Joe Mahoney while chasing a foul ball in Rochester.
Berken could make his next start. It depends on the amount of swelling around his eyes.
“He’s not going to do anything as far as resetting it,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Right now, he’s scheduled to start again. Of course, it depends on what goes on with (Jamie) Moyer. Tommy (Hunter) might be pitching Saturday there, too.”
The Orioles weren’t concerned about Mahoney, who’s listed at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds. Berken is 6-foot and 205 pounds.
Second baseman Brian Roberts had a scheduled day off. He didn’t have a setback.
Showalter still hasn’t named a starter for Saturday. Hunter was held out of today’s start with the Tides to give the Orioles another option, but reliever Miguel Gonzalez and Dana Eveland remain in the mix.
Gonzalez may be emerging as the favorite. Much depends on whether he’s needed in relief before Saturday.
“We’ve done things to keep our options open,” Showalter said. “The next two days, we’ll see how we come out of the bullpen. We’ve got some good options out of there if we want to go in that direction Saturday. But it was only prudent to keep all of our options open today with Tommy, so we did that last night after the game. It was Berken’s day to pitch anyway.”
Nick Johnson has one at-bat since May 28, but there doesn’t appear to be a health issue. Showalter said Johnson is OK and will be “back in there.”
“He’s doing good,” Showalter added. “Chris (Davis) is swinging the bat well and Mark (Reynolds) has done well in this ballpark.”
Reynolds is getting another start at first base tonight, with Davis serving as the designated hitter.
“I think everybody would rather be in the game defensively, but Mark has played OK over there,” Showalter said. “Chris can handle the DH spot. I think there’s a lot more to it than just the physical four or five at-bats. There’s some mentality to it, too. They both can play first, and they both can DH if they have to. Mark has seemed to adapt to it pretty well so far.
“It’s a versatility thing. I feel comfortable with Wilson (Betemit) at first and third and Chris at first, and he could play third. And same way with Mark. I want to keep their ability to play at multiple positions, because when injuries happen, it’s something you have to be ready for. Same way with (Ryan) Flaherty, (Endy) Chavez.”