More Intrasquad stuff

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That’s Chris Tillman warming up. He pitched the first inning for the orange team, struck out Robert Andino on four pitches and then allowed a double to Nick Markakis. Tillman said afterwards that he felt great, and that his back issue from earlier in camp, is a non issue.

“I’ve been 100 percent for the last two days,” Tillman said. “I was even allowed to lift today. I think that’s all in the rearview mirror, and we’re going forward from here.”

Tillman was opposed by Jake Arrieta, who was pleased to carry over some promising bullpen sessions out onto the mound. Arrieta threw only one breaking ball, to Miguel Tejada, and used the one-inning outing to keep the ball down in the zone.

[I’m] not too worried about being in and out right now, that will come later in Spring Training into the start of the season but really just working down at the knees, just trying to stay away from the letters,” Arrieta said. 

As for his breaking stuff and change-up, Arrieta said his goal this early in camp is just to make those pitches strikes.

“It’s hard to work on a lot of things in one inning of work,” he said. “What I really wanted to get comfortable with was my fastball with and I made some good pitches.”

Orioles Intrasquad 010.jpg

The above picture is Izturis warming up before the game.  Part of the orange team, Izzy started at shortstop with Tejada at third for the game’s first three innings.

The other notable pitcher in Monday’s game was Jim Johnson, who tossed a scoreless second inning. Johnson struck out Garrett Atkins on three pitches, and retired Lou Montanez on a pop-up to second.  Johnson said he used his offspeed more than he would during a regular game, throwing several to Justin Turner, who worked a walk.

Johnson didn’t allow a hit and threw seven of his 13 pitches for strikes.

“I was just trying to get a feel for things and get things progressing,” Johnson said. “It’s usually the last thing that come around in the spring is your feel. Your arm strength is usually the first to come and then you progress through your pitches.”

Given how early it is in Spring Training, Johnson said he “can’t complain” with how he’s throwing, so long as his arm feels good after Monday’s test.

“By throwing bullpens and stuff you really can’t gage because it’s not the same intensity of pitching in a game,” he said.  “So, [I’ll] see how the body reacts, I’m sure I’ll be fine. Everything feels good.”

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