Uehara still sore, will take it slow

Notebook

Orioles reliever has strained left hamstring

March 19, 2010|By Dan Connolly | dan.connolly@baltsun.com

CLEARWATER, Fla. — A day after walking off the field in the middle of pitching to a batter, Koji Uehara said his strained left hamstring is still sore and will keep him from pitching for several days.

He expects to play catch Saturday, but said he hasn't been cleared to run.

"We haven't talked about that yet," Uehara said through interpreter Jiwon Bang. "Probably not within a couple days."

Uehara suffered a similar injury last May and was sidelined nearly three weeks. He said he wasn't sure when he'd pitch again, but doesn't want to attempt it until the discomfort subsides.

"I tend to rush myself, so I try not to set that date [to pitch again]," Uehara said.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said at this point he is not concerned that the injury will keep Uehara off the Opening Day roster.

"I am not led to believe that it is anything that is going to be ongoing," MacPhail said. "But we don't know. But right now it is going to be day-to-day."

The 34-year-old former starter is being switched to the bullpen this year. He has allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings this spring.

"Let's hope he's OK," manager Dave Trembley said. "He was pitching very well. We need to get him back out there. He's a value to us in the 'pen."

Perez sent out

Left-hander Wilfrido Perez, who was the talk of camp last spring but underwent season-ending elbow surgery in July, was optioned to Double-A Bowie on Friday and will join minor-league camp.

Perez, 25, threw 3 1/3 scoreless and hitless innings this spring. He struck out four batters, but had little chance of making the club because he is still recovering from surgery that removed bone chips from his elbow.

"The situation with him is the minor league games have started. Let's get him pitching in the games. He's right on track to start pitching," Trembley said. "A guy coming off arm surgery, he's done very well."

Roberts comes back

Second baseman Brian Roberts (herniated disk) has resumed baseball activities, including hitting from a tee and fielding grounders, but he doesn't have a set timetable on when he'll return to a game.

He had an epidural shot in his back Monday and consulted with his doctor, Lee Riley, via phone again Thursday.

"We just agreed on the program I'd start and try it for a couple days," he said. "I'll do a little bit of everything. Nothing too crazy yet. A little bit of moving around and running, field a ground ball or two, try to hit off a tee. Progress from there for a few days. ... I should know something in three or four days."

Gonzalez back on mound

Mike Gonzalez was pleased with his inning of work in a Triple-A game Friday at the Ed Smith Complex. He only needed eight pitches (five strikes) to get through a scoreless inning in his first appearance since leaving last Saturday's "B" game with a sore lower back. His fastball topped out at 89 miles per hour.

"It was more a test of my back than anything else," he said. "That was the big thing for me. It was a good test and I passed it. I can feel where my body is at."

He is tentatively scheduled to pitch for the Orioles on Sunday in Clearwater, but he hinted that he might stay back and throw in camp instead.

Around the horn

Catcher Craig Tatum, who bruised his right index finger in Thursday's game, said he could have played Friday. ... Because of Saturday's split squad, the Orioles have called up 17 players from minor-league camp. The following eight will join the Orioles in Sarasota against the Pittsburgh Pirates: Infielders Andy Gonzalez and Paco Figueroa, outfielders Danny Figueroa and Tyler Henson, catcher Brian Ward and pitchers Eddie Gamboa, Jim Miller and Brett Jacobsen. Making the trip to Fort Myers to face the Boston Red Sox will be infielders Ryan Adams and Jason White, outfielders Xavier Avery and Kyle Hudson, catcher Phil Britton and pitchers Pat Egan, Ryohei Tanaka, Pedro Beato and Tim Bascom. They will all go back to minor-league camp after Saturday.

Baltimore Sun reporter Peter Schmuck contributed to this article.

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