Catching up with Koji

Koji Uehara was pleased with his performance in today’s live batting practice session, saying through interpretor Jiwon Bang that he was able to command the ball better than his last outing.

Although manager Dave Trembley has previously raved about Uehara’s conditioning, Koji said it was “tough to tell” whether he was in better shape this spring than at the same time last year.

“One thing I can tell you is that the way I’m approaching it from last season, as a starter and as a bullpen guy, is different,” he said. “The number of pitches, stuff like that.”

A former closer in Japan, the Orioles will use Koji in a relief role this season, as their projected starting rotation includes Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Guthrie, Brad Bergesen, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman.

“Koji loooked good again,” Trembley said. “[His ball was] down, threw some good splits.”

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