Bergesen throws, Francona vents

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brad Bergesen threw from 60 and 120 feet on flat ground today. He's scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow if the discomfort doesn't return, and he could start Tuesday's exhibition finale against the Blue Jays in Sarasota.

"Everything felt OK," he said. "A little tight, a little tender, but it's nothing I can't throw through. I think right now the plan is hopefully a bullpen tomorrow. That's just where we are right now."

Bergesen could be instructed to throw about 10 pitches off a mound tomorrow to further test the arm before getting Tuesday's assignment. Another possibility is Bergesen throwing in a simulated game during Wednesday's workout or heading over to Twin Lakes Park.

Manager Buck Showalter said he's got "two or three scenarios set up with him, depending on how he feels today. Hopefully he'll be back in the mix shortly."

When I asked Bergesen to explain the difference between the two flat-ground sessions today, he replied, "Sixty feet."

Again, he hasn't lost his sense of humor.

"I call it 'light toss,' but I warm up like I do any other day," Bergesen said. "Like I said, it's nothing I can't throw through. It's a little tender, a little sore, but we deal with that type of stuff all the time. I don't think it's going to be a big problem. Very encouraging."

Meanwhile, Justin Duchscherer will pitch for a couple of the Orioles' minor league affiliates before debuting April 21, assuming his hip doesn't tighten up. He could start for Triple-A Norfolk on April 11 at Gwinnett - Showalter figures the weather will be warmer there - and for Single-A Frederick on April 16.

Koji Uehara will throw an inning today in his first action against major league hitters since Feb. 28.

"His velocity is where it was last year," Showalter said. "There's not a pitch he can't throw. He's thrown a lot of splits. We had to keep him out there yesterday so he could get his pitches. He's in a good spot if we continue to take this every other day. We're not going to be able to give him the back-to-back down here. That's the exception. It may be in the season. If he stays where he is now, we'll take him on the plane."

And finally, Red Sox manager Terry Francona fired back at Showalter again concerning the Oriole manager's comments about general manager Theo Epstein that appear in the April edition of Men's Journal.

While meeting with Boston reporters in the visiting dugout here, Francona said, "Just thought that was a little bit out of line. I don't think he'd be appreciating if I said something about Andy (MacPhail), which I wouldn't. None of my business. And for the record, I think Andy's really good.

"Actually I was kind of aggravated a little bit. I don't think that's anybody's place. That's my boss, so I was kind of aggravated a little bit. It's not the end of the world. I just thought it shouldn't have been done.''

Francona also had a reaction to the Orioles going 3-3 during Showalter's two months in charge.

"Way to go," Francona said. "I don't remember them beating us that much. Maybe there was some different schedule, I don't know.''

Boston reporters stood in for Showalter's pre-game session, but the topic wasn't raised. Showalter commented on the article a few days ago.

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