- Associated Press - Monday, August 16, 2010

BALTIMORE | Orioles reliever Jason Berken is probably done for the season after an MRI on Monday determined the right-hander has a torn labrum and inflammation in his pitching shoulder.

Baltimore placed Berken on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Friday. It is uncertain whether he will pitch again this year.

“At this point, the good news is they don’t think surgery is necessary,” Berken said. “So hopefully I can just rehab through this and come back stronger next year.”

He did not, however, completely dismiss the possibility of returning in September after rest and treatment.

“It’s a matter of how I respond to it. I’m going to take some good time off and see how my shoulder reacts,” Berken said. “The last thing I want to do is rush back and make things worse. I’m going to be smart about it. Get after my rehab and move forward.

“It could have been a lot worse. But it’s disappointing and frustrating that I’ll be shut down for a while.”

Berken gave up runs in seven of his last nine appearances. He is 3-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 41 games, and his 62 1-3 innings leads AL relievers.

Before his rough stretch, Berken was 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA.

“Everybody who’s been here knows how he pitched,” said manager Buck Showalter, who took over on Aug. 2. “I’ve got to make sure he understands that I know it, too. I don’t want him pushing to get back and jeopardizing the things that he might do for us in the future.”

The Orioles recalled right-hander Rick VandenHurk from Triple-A Norfolk to fill the void in the bullpen. VandenHurk was acquired from the Florida Marlins on July 31 for pitcher Will Ohman.

The 25-year-old VandenHurk was 1-1 with a 2.18 ERA in three starts with Norfolk. He was in uniform for Monday night’s game against Seattle.

VandenHurk appeared in two games with Florida this season, allowing one earned run in 1 1-3 innings.

“I was happy getting traded, to come over here,” he said. “There’s going to be opportunities for me. It’s going to be good. I’m going to try to make the most out of it.”

The Orioles are now without late-inning specialists Berken and David Hernandez (ankle), but Showalter took an optimistic view of the situation.

“I look at it as an opportunity to get educated more on where we are with some other people,” he said.