Solid send-off for ace

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

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Guthrie has last outing before leaving for Team USA

March 01, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -Not satisfied with his fastball command and still not at his maximum pitch count, Orioles ace Jeremy Guthrie went to the bullpen after his outing yesterday to get in a few more throws.

"I wanted to locate four or five balls on the outside part of the plate, which I didn't do very consistently in the game," said Guthrie, who threw three scoreless innings in the Orioles' 4-2 victory over the Florida Marlins at Fort Lauderdale Stadium. "I threw four of them, and all of them were right where I wanted. It was nice to be able to finish on that note."

It marked one of Guthrie's last acts before leaving his teammates and heading to Clearwater, where he'll join Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.

Though not as sharp as he would have liked, Guthrie was solid yesterday, allowing three hits and a walk, and throwing 25 of his 41 pitches for strikes. Guthrie bemoaned several fastballs that he left over the plate but was pleased with the success of his off-speed pitches.

"We have no worries about him," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "He's getting his work in. He'll throw strikes. He's going to be fine."

Guthrie's next outing will be Thursday for Team USA in an exhibition game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He said he is hoping to go four innings in the game. He is also looking forward to getting to know new teammates for a couple of weeks.

"I'm sure it will be great, but I don't know the personalities that I'll be in touch with for the next couple of weeks. It's just an unknown," Guthrie said. "You have to be grateful for the opportunities that have been given. The last two years have been building blocks, and I'm going to enjoy it."

Parrish ailing, too

Brad Hennessey isn't the only Oriole fighting for a rotation spot and dealing with an arm injury. Veteran left-hander John Parrish has shoulder tendinitis that has prevented him from pitching. Parrish's work this spring has been mostly limited to fielding and pickoff drills, though Trembley said he's close to getting back onto the mound.

Hennessey received a cortisone shot yesterday in his sore right elbow and is temporarily shut down.

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones will probably be held out of the lineup for a couple of more days as he gets treatment on his tight right forearm. Jones said he isn't concerned. "No need to be alarmed," Jones said.

Taking it easy

Four games into the exhibition season, four key components of last year's bullpen - Jim Johnson, Dennis Sarfate, George Sherrill and Jamie Walker - have yet to get into a game. All four dealt with arm injuries during the second half of last year, but pitching coach Rick Kranitz said that is not the reason they haven't been used in Grapefruit League action.

It has to do with the extra week of spring training, giving relievers more time than they need to get ready for the season.

"There's no need for them to pitch the first four or five games because I only need to get them in about 13 games," Kranitz said. "You'll see Walker and Sarfate pitch in [Tuesday's] intrasquad game just to get rolling. You have so much time for the relievers. Starters are a different story."

Around the horn

Melvin Mora and Cesar Izturis left the team after the game to head to Lakeland to join the Venezuelan World Baseball Classic team. ... Trembley said there are no imminent plans to make roster cuts. ... Koji Uehara is scheduled to start again Wednesday against the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team.

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