SARASOTA, Fla. - Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada threw in the indoor batting cage today as the Orioles’ first workout for pitchers and catchers concluded at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. The area is off-limits to media, so I can’t tell you how the ball came out of his hand.
Wada is drawing a lot of attention from the Japanese media. They filmed him tying his shoes this morning at his locker. I guess that’s breaking news back home.
Wada, speaking through interpreter Danny MacLeith, said he’s “a little nervous” in his first major league camp.
“But I’m enjoying myself,” he said.
Wada is adjusting to a new routine in the U.S.
“From drill to drill there’s not really any time to catch my breath, but I think it’s pretty efficient to do it that way,” he said.
Though he’s competing for a rotation spot, it’s possible that Wada will be used in relief. His role hasn’t been defined.
“I haven’t heard anything officially about that yet, but I want to be a starter, so I’m going to do what I have to do to fill that role,” he said.
If he’s starting, Wada will have to adjust to pitching on shorter rest.
“I thought about that while I was pitching on five days’ rest, on six days’ rest in Japan,” he said. “I knew that it would be on four days’ rest here, so I planned on coming here and having done something. But no matter what I do, I’m going to have to get used to it in the end, so I have that mindset, that I’m going to do what I have to do to get used to it.”
Reminded that Koji Uehara wore down from the heat and humidity, Wada replied, “I eat a lot in January and February and for the past two or three years I really haven’t dropped any weight in the summertime when I do pitch outside, so I’m pretty confident that I can handle this even though it’s my first summer in the United States. I think I’ll be OK.”
Meanwhile, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy are the latest position players to report to camp. Reynolds looks like he’s dropped a considerable amount of weight.