Notes & Images from camp: Day 9
*In case you missed it, I wrote about Matt Wieters evolving into a leader and taking a more vocal approach in camp here.
*Zach Britton (left shoulder inflammation) did some light throwing on flat ground, after going 60, 90 and 120 feet yesterday. Right now, he hasn’t had any setbacks and continues to progress along on schedule.
*Today was the second day of live batting practice, although it’s more “tracking” for the hitters, who aren’t allowed to swing in the batter’s box. After today’s second group of pitchers throw, the hitters will get to swing in the next go-around and then the team will have intrasquad games on March 2 and 3rd. Among the pitchers who threw today: Wei-Yin Chen, Pat Neshek, Armando Gallarraga, Chris Tillman, Dylan Bundy, Oliver Drake, Steve Johnson and Miguel Socolovich.
Chen looks like he has a firm grip on a rotation spot –assuming he stays healthy — and manager Buck Showalter said the 26-year-old has been impressive.
“He has a good look in his eyes,” Showalter said of Chen. You can see why he’s had success. It was fun watching him throw with a hitter in there. He looks pretty comfortable.”
Bundy continues to draw a crowd and the most impressive part –to me, at least — in watch him throw is it looks effortless. He doesn’t look like he’s trying to throw hard, but there’s an unmistakable pop in the catcher’s mitt pretty much every time.
*A few people have asked if the Orioles’ intrasquad games are open to the public, and I’m going with no since they weren’t last year. Obviously, if that changes, I’ll be sure to note it. The plan right now is for each pitcher to on an inning, no one will go more than that, and the Orioles will have between 18-20 arms including some from Minor League camp. Last I checked, there were nine pitchers already at the Twin Lakes Park Complex that the Orioles could use over here if needed. Keep in mind the team has a split-squad game the first day, which is Monday, against the Rays and Pirates.
*I wrote about reliever Pedtro Strop yesterday, and asked today if there was a scenario where both Strop and Alfredo Simon –who have adjoining lockers and are inseparable in camp — could make the Opening Day bullpen. (Both are out of options and are right-handed power arms.) Showalter said there was.
“You never can have enough of those guys,” Showalter said. “We’ve got a chance to have some guys who can make you swing and miss.”
*Jake Arrieta discusses returning from elbow surgery and getting ready for the 2012 season in a video interview here.
Arrieta has been a full participant in camp and given his work ethic in the weight room and conditioning he admitted the first days have actually been easier than he thought. Now with the bone spur on his right elbow removed, his body has essentially relearned his delivery and he said yesterday that he feels better than he has in a long time, not having to be in the training room for several hours a day just to get ready.
“There’s no tightness, no soreness, no pain or discomfort,” said Arrieta, who went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA last season before being shut down in early August. “I was telling some guys this is the first time since I can remember that I haven’t needed to go to the training room for an hour, two hours before the workout, just to be able to get through the day. So, that’s a good feeling.”
I’ll have more from Arrieta on his progression and possibly being the Opening Day starter, up shortly on Orioles.com
Robert Andino, J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds taking some batting practice.
Chris Davis and hitting coach Jim Presley.
Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy throwing to hitters.
Catcher Brian Ward, who did a nice job with Bundy on Monday.
Wei-Yin Chen throwing to hitters.
“There’s no tightness, no soreness, no pain or discomfort,” said Arrieta, who went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA last season before
being shut down in early August. “I was telling some guys this is the first time since I can remember that I haven’t needed
to go to the training room for an hour, two hours before the workout, just to be able to get through the day. So, that’s a