Orioles summon Leicester, send down Birkins Print
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Monday, 07 May 2007 08:01
MLB Headline News

 BALTIMORE (AP) -Jon Leicester became the latest addition to the ever-changing pitching staff of the Baltimore Orioles, joining the bullpen Monday as a long man in place of Kurt Birkins.
Birkins pitched three innings Sunday, and he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Leicester's contract was purchased from Triple-A Norfolk, and the Orioles transferred left-hander Adam Loewen from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
With Loewen sidelined with a stress fracture in his elbow and Jaret Wright on the disabled list with a sore shoulder, the Orioles dipped into their bullpen for starting help. Brian Burres pitched Sunday and Jeremy Guthrie is scheduled to start Tuesday against Tampa Bay.
Baltimore added right-hander Todd Williams to the bullpen on Friday, and turned to Leicester to serve as the long man, a role that this season has been filled by Birkins, Burres and Guthrie.
``If we keep using them like that, we'll just keep rotating until we keep somebody fresh and available,'' manager Sam Perlozzo said. ``We just needed someone who could throw multiple innings. We needed a long guy today.''
Leicester went 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts with Norfolk. The right-hander was signed by Baltimore in November as a minor league free agent after missing most of the 2006 season with a torn ligament in his left knee.
Back in the majors for the first time since pitching for the Chicago Cubs in 2005, Leicester wasn't bitter about missing time last year with a serious injury.
``It was good, actually. It was part of the whole experience of being a professional baseball player. Sometimes you have to sit out and take a look back on which direction you want to go,'' he said ``You're always trying to pitch, just to get back up. They tell you there's no chance.''
Birkins has been recalled twice by the Orioles this season. He pitched in two games, going 0-1 with a 15.75 ERA over four innings.
Asked if he was concerned about the changes his pitching staff has undergone this season, Perlozzo replied, ``I think the core bullpen will be there all the time. It's a normal occurrence when it comes down to having long men available. It will straighten out. Hopefully our spot starters will come back and pitch a little better and make things settle down a little bit for us.''
 

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