Results tagged ‘ Koji Uehara ’

Koji's outing

BALTIMORE– Koji Uehara will pitch an inning for Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday and could throw again Monday if the Orioles decide to err on the side of caution.

Uehara tossed a scoreless inning for Double-A Bowie earlier on Thursday with pitching coach Rick Kranitz on hand for the 13 pitch-outing.  Manager Dave Trembley said the team wanted Koji to throw against some better competition before being activated.

“He’s ready to go, he’d like to here now,” Trembley said.  “ut Kranny talked to him after his outing today and we’re going to get him to pitch at least one more time in Triple-A.”

It was Uehara’s second rehab outing; he also threw a scoreless inning –allowing a hit and a strikeout–for Bowie on Tuesday night.  Although both of Uehara’s innings have been quick, Trembley said he won’t need the right-hander to reach a certain pitch count to be ready.

“I don’t think it’s pitches at all,” Trembley said. “Because I don’t think he’d be a multiple inning guy when he comes here. He’s going to be a one-inning guy.”

Koji/Gonzo updates & Perez DFA'ed

Koji Uehara appeared in his first rehab outing for Double-A Bowie tonight, tossing 11 of his 15 pitches for strikes. He appeared in one inning against Erie, allowing a hit and picking up a strikeout. He will also throw on Thursday with no specific plans beyond that.

Closer Mike Gonzalez continues to rehab in Sarasota and has been working on strengthening the area around his left shoulder. He said if he stays on track, he will pick up a ball and begin a throwing program on Monday.

Also, a few people asked about the decision to remove Wilfrido Perez from the 40-man roster, a move that cleared a spot for Alfredo Simon to join the Orioles bullpen. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the organization was hopeful Perez would clear waivers, since another team would have to put Perez on their 40-man roster if they claimed him. However, they felt Pedro Viola -who they claimed off waivers from Cincinnati – had slightly more upside.
The 25-year-old Perez was 0-1 with three saves and a 10.80 ERA, including five walks and five strikeouts, in five games with Double-A Bowie.

Yankees/Os lineups and pregame tidbits

The Yankees are in town and Orioles right-hander Kevin Millwood will look for his first win tonight against the defending World Champions.

*In case you missed it, the Orioles made a roster move earlier today, purchasing the contract of Alfredo Simon.
*Brian Roberts saw Dr. Lee Riley yesterday and there is no news. He’s not ready to start doing any baseball stuff, and although he was at Camden Yards on Tuesday, did not make himself available to the media.
*Garrett Atkins was not in the Orioles lineup for the third consecutive game, and to his credit he is saying all the right things. He will get the start against lefty CC Sabathia tomorrow (since Rhyne Hughes is a left-handed hitter, Atkins is a better matchup), but this is an interesting situation to watch. Trembley said whether the team platoons or whether one guys gets the bulk of first base duties has to do with how they perform at the plate.
*Koji Uehara is scheduled to throw an inning for Double-A Bowie tonight as the first outing of his rehab assignment.
*It’s looking increasingly likely that Brad Bergesen will make Saturday’s start against the Red Sox. He’s the leadoff candidate for the spot and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail confirmed nothing has changed. The club could decide to designate a reliever to make room for Bergesen. For more on Bergesen’s Triple-A start, I talked to him Sunday night and that story is up here

ORIOLES LINEUP
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Miguel Tejada 3B
Luke Scott DH
Ty Wigginton 2B
Rhyne Hughes 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Cesar Izturis SS
Kevin Millwood RHP

YANKEES LINEUP

Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posad Ca
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher DH
Randy Winn RF
Phil Hughes RHP

Gonzo 3 weeks at least

Mike Gonzalez’s MRI didn’t show any new injuries, but it will be at least three weeks before he is back with the team. He will go to Sarasota to begin a rehab regimen for a strained left shoulder that manager Dave Trembely said he first heard of Tuesday night when Gonzo couldn’t get warm out of the bullpen.

While Gonzalez has attested all spring that he would be ready come the Major League season, Trembley did say on Thursday that there were times pitching coach Rick Kranitz sensed Gonzalez wasn’t really letting the ball go.

Only Gonzalez knows when the shoulder injury started, but right now it’s not looking good on a timetable for the O’s closer. Without Gonzalez, the team will go with matchups to fill the 9th inning void, but will rely heavily on setup man Jim Johnson.

In other injury news, Koji Uehara threw a side session today and according to Trembley the next step  will be to get up on the hill to face some live batters.

Second baseman Brian Roberts was scheduled to see the doctor again Thursday, and the team hopes to have some more details about his progression following that. 

Jones Scratch, Roberts makes it 3 & Koji's MRI

Some pregame tidbits…

*Adam Jones was a late scratch from Wednesday’s lineup, with a stomach bug. Felix Pie moved from left field to center with Nolan Reimold inserted
into left. Will give you word when we get any..

*Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts played in his third straight
game on Wednesday, no small feat considering this is only his fourth game this
spring. Roberts debuted on Friday and with Sunday’s rainout throwing off
original plans, he lobbied manager Dave Trembley to play Tuesday afternoon
following Monday’s night game.

He’s trying to get
in baseball shape now,” Trembley said of Roberts. “He says he’s fine. Let’s
cross our fingers and hope he keeps it going.”

Roberts has just one hit -a
double Monday against the Yankees – but his at-bats are improving as he gets up
to speed this spring. The hope is he will be ready for April’s 6 Opening Day.

The Orioles dynamic leadoff
hitter, Roberts has been slowed this spring by a herniated disc in his lower
back.  He’s been on the back fields doing
extra work every day and Trembley raved about how he looked running.

*Koji Uehara will have an MRI either today or tomorrow to rule out anything other than the left hamstring strain he’s currently been diagnosed with.  Like I’ve blogged earlier, the DL is imminent for him. Could it be too late for Kam Mickolio as well?

“Could be,” Trembley said.

Koji says DL, new 'pen plans

SARASOTA, Fla. — With no real timetable of when he will get
back on the mound, Orioles reliever Koji Uehara said Monday that he expects to
start the season on the disabled list.

 “If it happens,
there’s nothing I can do about it,” Koji said through interpreter Jiwon Bang. “Obviously
we don’t have many days before [April 6's] Opening Day, so you kind of expect
it.”

Uehara exit March 18′s game 
against the Toronto Blue Jays with a left hamstring strain and hasn’t
thrown on the mound since suffering the injury. 
Prior to Monday’s game, manager Dave Trembley said Koji would have to be
able to show he can throw by mid-week to avoid the DL.

Koji ‘s progression has been slow and deliberate -mostly
just light catch and running – but he said starting the season on the DL
wouldn’t be too disappointing.

“The more important thing is to be ready physically,” he
said.

If Uehara starts the season on the disabled list, it would
open up an extra bullpen slot, perhaps for a guy like Jason Berken, who has
pitched predominantly out of the ‘pen. Berken tossed four scoreless innings in
relief of Chris Tillman in his most recent outing Friday, and could give the
Orioles a second long-inning man to go along with Mark Hendrickson.

Right now, I’d say Berken is on the team’s Opening Day roster, with Cla Meredith, Matt Albers and Will Ohman to round it out. Kam Mickolio is another option, but the big right-hander has been sidelined the last few days with a sore groin and Trembley acknowledged he hasn’t pitched up to expectations. 

Albers is out of options –and pitching better — so the logical thing to do is keep him and have Mickolio get some more work in Triple-A. 

“I think he’s had a very good opportunity to show what he can do,” Trembley said of Mickolio. “Whether it’s been the best he can do, I’m not so sure. I think it’s been
kind of an up-and-down for him. I don’t mean to be very critical, but I
think he’s capable of doing better more consistently. I think he’s
shown glimpses of it. Other times he’s pitched in too many three-ball
counts. I don’t know if his leg has been bothering him for a while and
this has been a reason. There’s an awful lot in there. We just need to
get it out on a more consistent basis.”

In 9 1/3 spring innings, Mickolio has allowed two earned runs on seven hits. He’s struggled with his command, issuing seven walks (against 10 strikeouts) and told me today he will try to get back on the mound Tuesday to test his groin.

B-Rob Checks In, Clarifying those who checked out

Brob.jpg

Brian Roberts walked into the clubhouse this morning,
breakfast in tow, and assured reporters his back felt fine.

While manager Dave Trembley had mentioned the possibility of
Roberts getting some extra at-bats in either of the team’s Minor League games
going on this afternoon, Roberts said he wasn’t planning on any game action
Saturday.

Instead he took batting practice with the team pregame Saturday morning, and will play on Sunday in Dunedin.

Also to clarify on yesterday’s cuts, none of those 9 guys that
were reassigned were out of options.  Matt Albers, Robert Andino, Jeremy Guthrie and
Felix Pie are the only players in camp who are out of options. Out of that
quartet, Albers is the only guy who is really fighting for a spot on the
Opening Day roster.

But he’s had a good spring and keep in mind the pending
status
of Koji Uehara could open up a third right-handed spot in the O’s
bullpen. If that happens, I’d guess Albers, Kam Mickolio and Cla Meredith all
make the team.

Koji cuts workout short, based on allergies

Koji Uehara did a
flat ground session today, but he had his scheduled running cut short mainly
due to allergies.

Koji said he took it easy and didn’t think Friday was the
day to push it, so he stopped.  And for
those wondering if that was an excuse, I should mention that his eyes were
watery and he looked like a guy suffering from allergies.

Manager Dave Trembley said that the team physicians were
going to examine Koji -who has been sidelined with a left hamstring strain -
later in the day.  There’s still no
timetable for when he will get back to throwing on the mound and he is listed
as day-to-day.

Koji says he could throw now

If Koji Uehara had to pitch right now, he could. At least, that’s what
he told pitching coach Rick Kranitz on Sunday.

Kranitz checked in with the
Japanese right-hander, who is nursing a strained left hamstring, prior to the
Orioles game in Clearwater. Koji also told Kranitz he doesn’t need much time to
be ready for April 6′s opener.

“He feels like his command is there, his arm strength is
there,” manager Dave Trembley said of Koji.  “It is still a day-to-day thing with him.”

Koji played catch on Sunday and
again on Tuesday at the team’s workout complex in Sarasota, and said through interpreter
Jiwon Bang, that there is still not detailed schedule for his progression. He
has no idea when he will throw from the mound but, in the meantime, he will
continue to work out and play light catch.

Koji did acknowledge that the
pain is “getting better” in his left hamstring and, right now, his status for
Opening Day doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy.

I’m confident he’s going
to be ready [for the start of the season],” Trembley told reporters in Jupiter
on Tuesday morning.

Still, given Koji’s long history of hamstring issues, his
latest strain deserves a closer look. I wrote on Saturday about how Uehara’s
injury could change the Orioles bullpen
outlook to open the season.  And given that the season is getting closer
and closer, it’s something that all Orioles fans should keep a watch on. 

In my opinion a Koji injury means the bullpen will have Matt Albers, Kam Mickolio and Cla Meredith, to start the season, instead
of two of the three. Will Ohman’s looking like a lock as the lefty specialist
and the other three ‘pen spots – Jim Johnson, Mike Gonzalez and Mark
Hendrickson – are already set.

Whether Koji’s injury will put him on the disabled list to start the year or not is hard to say. Only Koji knows how minor (or major) the issue is and if he could really throw right now.

Koji Update

Koji Uehara did not play catch today. He said, through interpreter Jiwon Bang, that he could have done some light catch, but opted to do some upper body lifting instead. Koji said the plan is to play some light catch tomorrow, with no definitive timetable of when he will be back on the mound.

Although Koji’s left hamstring strain is believed to be minor, it still warrants some concern given Koji’s history of injury to that area. On Saturday, manager Dave Trembley showed no signed of panicking yet.

“I feel very confident that he’ll be ready for the season,” Trembley said. “I’ve been led
to believe that it’s a day-to-day thing. If it gets to a point two or
three days before camp ends, then I’d have some reason to be alarmed,
but I’m not now.”

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