Spring Training news & notes Day 6 (updated)
*Luis Ayala has apparently decided not to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, with manager Buck Showalter telling reporters that Ayala informed pitching coach Rick Adair of the decision earlier in the day. Ayala was on the preliminary roster for Team Mexico.
*Third baseman Manny Machado and pitcher Zach Braddock did not work out today as the pair had to undergo additional procedures as part of their physicals. The team said it was minor and they are both expected back in camp tomorrow.
*Tsuyoshi Wada threw 20 pitches off of the half-mound mound this morning and he will repeat that again on Wednesday and Friday. Assuming all goes well he will thrown his first regular bullpen, off of an actual mound next Monday.
Wada, who generally needs interpreter/athletic trainer Seob Yoon, didn’t need any help when asked if he was excited about today’s progress.
“Yes,” he said. “Yes. Real good.”
Wada has been on the half mound before today, but this was the first time he actually threw with some effort and he estimated it was about 70-80 percent of his normal effort.
“I do feel better day by day,” said Wada, who had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in May. “There was a good tightness after I threw on my elbow. It was a good tightness. This was a real good day for me.”
*Chris Davis was launching the ball during batting practice today. Twice he eclipsed the field and the pitchers throwing by the batting cages had to duck and cover.
*The Orioles officially announced Monday morning that they have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Darren O’Day on a two-year contract with a club option for 2015.
O’Day, 30, went 7-1 with a 2.28 ERA, setting career-highs in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts in 2012. It was his first season with the O’s after being claimed on waivers from Texas on November 2, 2011. The deal avoids arbitration and keeps one of the team’s best bullpen pieces in the organization for at least the next two seasons.
Last season, O’Day stranded 37 of 43 inherited runners (86 percent), the third best mark in the American League, and went 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA in 36 games against AL East opponents, holding hitters to a line of .135/.207/.270. He tossed two scoreless innings in the AL Wild Card Game at Texas and made four scoreless appearances in the ALDS against the Yankees.
I’ll have more from O’Day and manager Buck Showalter after today’s workout.
*Those throwing bullpens today, with hitters tracking (not swinging) include: Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Pedro Strop, Mark Hendrickson, Daniel McCutchen, Daniel Schlereth, Troy Patton, Mike Belfiore, Kevin Gausman and Eduardo Rodriguez.
*The team had a nutrition meeting today. And, yes, there are still 41 bags of donuts in Gausman’s locker from yesterday. He joked he’s going to eat one a day for the rest of camp.
*Have mentioned this before, but Zach Britton looks really good in camp. Catcher Matt Wieters, who isn’t one to heap on praise, approached Britton after his first bullpen this spring to tell him how impressive he looked and it seems he’s finally healthy and back to form.
*Speaking of back to form, Nolan Reimold hasn’t been slowed in outfield drills at all, a good test for his neck and left arm. He’s been able to do everything in the field with the rest of the group, who got their first full workout in on Saturday.
*The Orioles open their Minor League mini-camp today, with Gary Kendall going over to the facility at Twin Lakes to get that going. Those players will be used for early Major League games along with the pair of scheduled intrasquad games.