SARASOTA, Fla. - A day without injury updates is like a day without sunshine.
Justin Duchscherer threw off flat ground from 100 feet yesterday, and he'll do the exact same thing today. That's as much as we know about his schedule.
Duchscherer is still confident that he will be ready by the April 1 opener. He isn't worried about logging enough innings. Manager Buck Showalter may feel differently, but we'll see how it all plays out.
Duchscherer is being treated for some tightness in his surgically repaired left hip.
"I need to be stretched and (it's) just something I've got to do," he said.
Duchscherer knows that his spot in the rotation isn't secured, since he's totaled only two innings this spring and still hasn't been cleared to pitch.
"I can only do what I can do," he said. "Obviously, that's not my goal. I don't want to be in this position right now. But all I can do is go in, get my treatment, get my stretching and do whatever I can to get myself where I feel good enough to go pitch. Once I'm out there, I feel like that stuff will take care of itself. I know what I can do as long as I take the field. I've just got to get out there."
Duchscherer's goal remains the same: "Yeah, I want to be ready by Opening Day," he said.
"Last year, I only threw 13 innings in spring training and I started the season (with Oakland) just fine, so as long as I'm healthy, I feel like I'll be out there and I'll compete."
Second baseman Brian Roberts will take live batting practice today. He hit soft toss and off a tee yesterday. He continues to take ground balls.
Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver is in the house. He pulled into the parking lot as I was walking back to the clubhouse after posting the lineup.
Brad Bergesen borrowed my pen so he could get Weaver's autograph. Then he needed it again for Jason Berken. I never got it back. Would have made a sweet profit on eBay.
When I told Bergesen that I could get a lot of money for that pen, he held up a baseball with Weaver's signature and said, "Not as much as this." That's when I knew why he borrowed it.
Bergesen has no plans to sell the ball, by the way. He, too, was kidding.