Orioles pitcher Bedard placed on 60-day DL with muscle injury

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles placed AL strikeout
leader Erik Bedard on the 60-day disabled list Sunday, opting to
end his season rather than wait for the injured left-hander to
rebound from a strained muscle near his right rib cage.

Bedard finishes 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA and a club-record 221
strikeouts. He has not pitched since Aug. 26, when his
career-record nine-game winning streak was snapped in a loss to the
Minnesota Twins.

"The earliest he was going to be able to pitch would've been
like the 27th of this month," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
"It would've been probably a three-inning start at best. And that
would've been if everything fell according to plan. He hasn't
picked up a ball since the 26th of August."

The Orioles replaced Bedard on the 40-man roster with
right-hander Victor Zambrano, whose minor league contract was
purchased from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash.

Bedard was on course to become the first Oriole to win the AL
strikeout crown since Bob Turley in 1954, and had an outside shot
at winning the Cy Young Award. Now it appears he's out of the
running for both.

"It would've been great for him. It would've been great for our
team, for him to get something like that," Trembley said. "But
there will be another time for him, I'm sure. I think he's still
going to get better."

Zambrano, 45-43 with a 4.55 ERA in 182 major league games, spent
3½ years with Tampa Bay and 2½ seasons with the New York Mets
before signing a minor league contract this season with the Toronto
Blue Jays.

"I think he may pitch out of the bullpen one time and then
start," Trembley said. "I want to see where he's at as far as how
many innings he's pitched and the last time he pitched."

Zambrano made Toronto's Opening Day roster and went 0-2 with a
10.97 ERA in 10 games, including two starts, before being placed on
the 15-day disabled list on May 10 with a strained right forearm.
He pitched in 10 games on a minor league rehab assignment before
being released on July 9.

He signed a minor league contract with Pittsburgh on Aug. 10 and
was assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he went 2-0 with a
2.70 ERA in five starts.