Spring Training news & notes Day 6 (updated)

Tsuyoshi Wada coming over to chat with reporters after throwing.

Tsuyoshi Wada coming over to chat with reporters after throwing.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette watching some pitchers.

Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette watching some pitchers.

*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.


I see the pundits are pegging the O’s as having 76 wins this season.
!”NO RESPECT”. This works in the O’s favor. They should have a chip on their shoulder and play like a team possessed.
The schedule is a very tough one, especially the Start. So by the end of May, I look for a 4-5 game over 500 record. Season end will put them in the playoffs with 88 wins. Toronto will not be our competetion, Tampa will be again. Tampa with its lesser talent will be in the hunt because they have one of the top 3 managers in mlb. By the way Buck is one of them. Toronto for all its wheeling and dealing (additions) has as many questions as answers with them. Reyes has yet to play a season without injuries. He seems to take days and plays off. Beurele seems to be pegged as a 500 pitcher and not the pitcher of the past. Age is sneaking up on him. But he has his contract and is happy to be out of Miami. The actions of Toronto remind me of a GM trying to keep his job. Moving the dust around.The Yankees will be in 4th with their age and poor pitching showing. ARod is a pecuiar problem. All that money and where do they play him. Even as DH he is a liability. Oh and Tex may not be the starting 1b by season end.
The O’s are an organization moving forward. They are showing a willingness to put faith in the young players in the minors. If these young players push hard enough I could see the Trade Deadline very active with trades of our older players and bringing the young up for the RUN to the Playoffs. The trades would fit with bringing more youth to the teams minors for the future.


2 of my 4 wild card Orioles to cause problems for the Yankees and other competitive clubs in the east this year are Britton and Brian Roberts. A healthy and sharp Britton and Roberts being able to stay on the field are worth watching and if you’re not careful can beat you.
As far as Toronto is concerned if the Marlins couldn’t win with Reyes et al don’t be so sure that the Jays can either but are they better this year than last, sure.
The Yankees placing 4th as the previous writer states? Wishful thinking. Especially the Teixiera part. The beastly east is going to be more so this year.
I’ll be over to see the Orioles workout this week to take a good look.

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