Koji to the Pen, Roberts has Back Spasms
Both of these stories will be on the site soon, but here’s the short version. Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara will be working out of the bullpen and second baseman Brian Roberts is dealing with back spasms, but is believed to be on track for the first full-squad practice on Feb. 23.
This is Trembley on the Koji decision:
“I think it’s in his (Uehara’s) best interests and the best way to get him through the entire season,” Trembley said.”There will be more opportunities for him to be successful and for us to win.”
Koji wasn’t available today, but he did say yesterday he was willing to do whatever the Orioles asked. His goal was to stay healthy and make it through the Major League season, and pitching out of the ‘pen should help alleviate some of his injuries. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz also pointed out that Koji struggled after he made it around the batting order. I looked it up and the numbers are striking.
1st plate app. opponents are batting .200
2nd time: .292
3rd time: .339
“I think he can fit a number of roles for us,” said Kranitz who believes Uehara is better suited for the bullpen given his two-pitch arsenal. Kranitz also said Uehara could be a few innings guy or just get a big out or two. He mentioned giving Jim Johnson or Mike Gonzalez a night off if need be.
As for Roberts, there was a report he had kidney stones, which Trembley cleared up by saying the second baseman has back spasms. Trembley texted back with him yesterday and Roberts said he was going to be a go for the first day of Spring Training. He’s still working out in Arizona.
Also, Trembley said the only pitcher who is restricted in camp right now is Brad Bergesen. I spoke with Bergesen a little, and he’s itching to get out on the mound, in what he hopes will be 10-14 days. Right now, he’s just doing some strengthening stuff and is glad to be back around baseball.