Post-game notes and roster musings
*Koji Uehara looked good today, throwing a scoreless innings in his first outing against Major League hitters since Feb. 28. Manager Buck Showalter said prior to the game, if Uehara kept throwing like he had been at Twins Lakes Park, they’d take him.
Koji was clocked at 88 mph consistently on the radar gun this afternoon, and all signs point to him being on the Opening Day roster. He won’t go back-to-back this spring and will pitch again on Tuesday. Assuming he stays healthy these next few days he’s in the Orioles backend of the bullpen on April 1.
Koji said, through interpreter Jiwon Bang, he’s “more than enough to be ready” physically for Opening Day, although he did say he needs to work on his stuff a little more.
*Kevin Gregg also made an appearance for the first time since March 15 and joked with reporters that he’d been hiding out at Twin Lakes Park showing the Minor Leaguers the ropes. He’s actually been working on getting his old mechanics back, after a slight tweak this spring produced disastrous results.
“I’m good,” Gregg said after throwing a scoreless eighth inning Sunday. “It’s a long year. You play 162, you’re not going to feel good all the time. I feel fine right now to start the season. I’m ready for the season to start. I’m kind of sick of being here.”
As for his mechanics, Gregg said: “I was pretty much right there. I thought I threw the ball well. Located good. Apparently, they don’t want to call a strike on Big Papi [David Ortiz]. Whatever.”
*The Orioles will make another round of roster cuts on Monday, trimming the roster further in anticipation of Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline for the Opening Day roster. There’s a lot of guys in camp still, but there are really only four or five who are truly on the bubble.
Keep in mind that the Orioles are in a weird situation where they only need four starters until April 10. A lot could change after that and a lot will change after April 21, which is the first date that Zach Britton could be recalled from the Minors and not be allotted a full year of service time and the tentative date that Justin Duchscherer will be ready to rejoin the big league club.
“Generally what this opening day roster is, is as few irrevocable decisions as possible,” president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. “Then as events unfold, you start to make whatever adjustments you have and that’s why you want to keep the inventory as large as you can. Because you know you are going to go down and pick the guy that’s not necessarily had the best spring here but if you’re making a move in May it’s going to be about who had the best month in [Triple-A] Norfolk.”
*Top pick, and third overall, shortstop Manny Machado batted in the eighth inning and grounded out. The ball was fielded in the shortstop’s hole and it looked for a second like Machado might beat it out.