Wada dealing with left elbow discomfort

Orioles pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada did not practice Sunday and is dealing with left elbow inflammation, although an X-ray on the area showed no new structural damage.

Wada — who first started feeling discomfort after some fielding drills on Saturday — received a cortisone injection and had the fluid removed from his elbow Sunday afternoon to get rid of the swelling. The 31-year-old has had this procedure performed before, and manager Buck Showalter said the team will likely wait a day or two and then re-evaluate the injury.

“It’s some discomfort that I feel about every year [around this time] and I just thought I’d say something about it right off the top,” Wada said through interpreter Danny MacLeith. “It’s not even something to really recover from.”

Wada was clear that he’s in no pain and said that he was told it would be about three days before he’s back throwing, although he felt like it could be sooner. As for whether adjusting to his first Major League Spring Training factored in, Wada admitted it could have expedited some of the soreness.

“In Japan when we do our drills, we always play catch before we start doing anything, then we will do some PFP [pitchers fielding practice], we’ll take a 10-minute break, go to the next drill,” he said. “So I think, in part, this came from getting used to the flow of practice here. That we jump right into it and then go from drill to drill.”

Signed this winter to a two-year, $8.15 million deal with an option for 2014, Wada is one of about a dozen candidates expected to compete for a spot in the Orioles’ rotation. If he doesn’t make the starting five there’s also a strong possibility the club will use Wada, a veteran Japanese pitcher, in the bullpen.

“I thought about trying to push through it and throw and pitch today but that would cause problems for the team,” Wada said. “I thought doing it this way was best.”

Showalter, who has said previously that open communication will be key in managing Wada and Taiwanese lefty Wei-Yin Chen, was glad Wada spoke up Sunday morning.

“We’ve been stressing that all along, and I’m happy that he made us aware of it instead of, in the past I think he’s probably tried to throw it,” Showalter said. “You know this is a 31-year-old guy who knows his elbow, knows his arm. We are going to trust him. It’s not some uncharted territory for him with some of the things he’s feeling, so we will trust the way he’s managed that and help him along the way with that.”

 

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