Roch Around The Clock

February 25, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO | ROCH KUBATKO,Sun Reporter

It's optional whether a pitcher uses a protective screen when throwing batting practice.

Jamie Walker might want to reconsider his choice.

Walker apparently will be OK after taking a liner from Nick Markakis off the back of his head Friday. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital for further evaluation, but a club spokesman said the left-hander was alert and fine.

Markakis went into the clubhouse looking for Walker, but the reliever already had left the complex.

"It definitely made my heart skip a little bit," Markakis said.

Meanwhile, catcher Paul Bako has glowing praise for Chris Ray:

"He's really good," Bako said. "Velocity, obviously, he really lights up the radar gun, but what impressed me the first time catching him was how well he works in and out and down. It looks like he's got a really good idea where to locate the ball."

Danys Baez looked like he'd pose a danger Friday. He was pretty wild, at separate times causing Markakis, Corey Patterson and Jay Gibbons to spin out of the way.

Meanwhile, I just learned that Aaron Rakers received a spring invitation from the San Diego Padres.

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