Tsuyoshi Wada impresses Buck Showalter in Saturday side session

Orioles still considering placing Japanese lefty on 60-day disabled list

March 09, 2013|By Dan Connolly | The Baltimore Sun

Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, a former Japanese All Star who signed a two-year deal with the Orioles last offseason but didn’t pitch because of an elbow injury, threw off a full mound again Saturday.

And manager Buck Showalter was there to watch the side session.

“Pretty impressive. He’s throwing the ball, fastball and changeup, and that’s pretty fun to watch him throw because it just reminds me of what he can be for us,” Showalter said of Wada, who had Tommy John surgery in May. “He’s got a chance to be pretty good. If we get him back in May it bodes well. I’m excited about where he is.”

There is still a possibility that the Orioles will place the 32-year-old Wada on the 60-day disabled list to start the season. That would give the club another spot on its 40-man roster and would guarantee that Wada would not be eligible to pitch in the big leagues until the end of May. It would also assure he wouldn’t attempt to rush back.

“Hopefully we don’t need the [roster] spot,” Showalter said. “It wouldn’t be the worst thing to have him kind of get [pitching before May] out of his head. All you have got to do is walk past him and see his face and you can tell how he feels.”

Strop perfect in WBC

Reliever Pedro Strop made his second World Baseball Classic appearance for the Dominican Republic on Saturday, and this time it was only one inning. He was dominant again, though.

Strop faced three batters and struck out two in the Dominican’s 6-3 victory against Spain. He now has faced eight batters in the tournament and retired them all.

Around the horn

The Orioles will have an intrasquad game during their off day Tuesday at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Among those pitching will be Jason Hammel, Steve Johnson, Jair Jurrjens, Troy Patton and Daniel Schlereth. Mike Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez, who have already been reassigned to minor league camp, will also pitch. … The Pirates are starting their top prospect, Gerrit Cole, against the Orioles on Sunday in Sarasota. Cole was the top pick in the 2011 draft, three spots ahead of Dylan Bundy. … Miguel Gonzalez will start that game for the Orioles. Chris Tillman was initially scheduled to, but he is dealing with a muscle issue in his abdomen. Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta are among Monday's scheduled pitchers. … Manny Machado was originally expected to play Saturday, but Showalter decided to give his 20-year-old third baseman another day off, partially so he could watch Russ Canzler play the hot corner.

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