Rotating names in a rudderless rotation

I hustled over to the gym between games of Saturday's doubleheader and news broke of the Koji Uehara trade. I brought my laptop with me and did my writing and made my phone calls from Triangle Fitness.

I went to the gym yesterday, pulled into my parking spot and received an e-mail from the Orioles detailing the Jo-Jo Reyes waiver claim, Justin Duchscherer's release, Brad Bergesen's return from paternity leave and Luke Scott's transfer to the 60-day disabled list. I didn't bring my laptop, so I had to e-mail my blog entry via my Blackberry to someone in MASN's Web studio.

I stopped by Liberatore's last night, took a seat and was notified of Jake Arrieta's scheduled visit to Dr. Lewis Yocum and the likelihood that his season is over because of a fibrous mass in his right elbow. My laptop was in my trunk, so I filed a blog entry from my bar stool.

The moral of this story: I should never leave my house. Or I should have gone to medical school.

I won't repeat how I thought Arrieta should have undergone surgery in September to remove the bone spur. I'll just point out that the rotation has lost another member of the cavalry - Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman are at Triple-A Norfolk - and anyone judging manager Buck Showalter this season needs to take into account that the rotation has dissolved into a pile of dust.

I assume that if something dissolves, it can become a dust-like substance. That sounds like science, and I avoid it almost as much as math.

Jeremy Guthrie starts tonight. Zach Britton starts tomorrow. Tommy Hunter, acquired from the Rangers in the Uehara trade, is expected to start Friday at Camden Yards after throwing one inning last night.

Maybe Tillman is recalled for Saturday's start. Or maybe it's Zach Phillips, who was acquired in the Nick Green trade with the Rangers that didn't exactly rock the baseball world. Or Bergesen, who pitched on Thursday before going on paternity leave.

Heck, his infant son might be a candidate if he's been stretched out enough.

I'm having flashbacks to Victor Zambrano and Victor Santos. I'm ready to look up Adam Eaton's phone number. I'm ready to beg for Sidney Ponson's forgiveness and see how quickly he can shed 50 pounds and join the rotation.

Has anyone heard from Kris Benson? Richie "Hellcat" Lewis? Either one of the Mike Smiths (Texas or Mississippi)?

I might have settled for Justin Duchscherer with a bad hip. Is there a rule against using a folding chair on the mound?

When the Orioles fall apart each summer, usually by August and September, it's mostly due to the rotation. It all starts with starting pitching.

The young guns didn't uphold their end of the bargain this season. Blame doesn't rest entirely on their shoulders - the middle of the lineup was supposed to be more potent with Derrek Lee and Vladimir Guerrero, the middle relief wasn't supposed to be a toxic dump and the farm system was supposed to be better equipped to provide assistance - but it really does start with the starting pitching. This rebuilding plan won't work if the cavalry is cursed.

Arrieta's issues are more health related, but they could have been avoided.

There, I said it.

Thank goodness for Alfredo Simon, who's become the stopper, the ace, the savior.

He isn't part of the cavalry, but he hasn't been thrown from his horse.

Down on the farm, first baseman Aaron Baker hit a tie-breaking two-run homer last night for Single-A Frederick. Baker was acquired from the Pirates late Saturday night for Lee.

I was home for that one.

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