SARASOTA, Fla. - Tommy Hunter went three innings and recorded 13 outs in today’s B game against the Red Sox on the Camden Yards field. The Orioles want to increase his pitch count, so they kept him on the mound for the extra batters.
Hunter threw 42 pitches. He gave up two hits, though the second one came after he had retired the first three batters.
Kevin Gregg threw 15 pitches in the fourth and gave up a solo homer to Juan Carlos Linares. He struck out one batter.
Linares glanced back at the catcher before connecting on the next pitch. He might have known what was coming.
Jim Johnson hit the first batter he faced in the fifth and struck out two batters.
Zach Britton followed Johnson and threw 18 pitches in the sixth, allowing two two-out singles before retiring the final batter on a liner to first base.
“It felt good. Definitely excited to be back on the mound,” Britton said. “I was overthrowing a little bit, but I worked on the things I wanted to work on, throwing some off-speed pitches for strikes. The ball was running on me everywhere, which means I was a little amped up to get on a mound, but I think next time I’ll be a lot sharper and put guys away.
“I think today was a good step. I felt like the life on my pitches was really good, the movement. It’s just a matter of honing it in.”
Britton said he hasn’t received treatment on his left shoulder in a week or two. He’s at the point now where he’s just getting ready for the season.
I headed to the clubhouse after the sixth and missed Dylan Bundy, who was scheduled to throw the last two innings after Willie Eyre.
Nolan Reimold took batting practice today and still believes he’ll be in the lineup on Tuesday. He has a dental appointment Monday.
Tsuyoshi Wada threw a 45-pitch bullpen session today. Next up is live batting practice or a simulated game.
Matt Wieters told reporters that he isn’t upset about the Orioles renewing his contract a few days ago after the two sides failed to reach an agreement.
“They have the right to offer whatever contract they want and I just take what I feel is fair and move on,” he said. “I’m not worried about a contract this year, just playing and going out there and getting ready for the year.
“I wasn’t disappointed. That’s the way baseball’s set up. You get your first three years and the team can pay you whatever they want and then you go to arbitration and move on from there. It’s everything in their right to say whatever they want to say I should make.
“The first three years, there are no negotiations. It’s completely their right. Like I said, I’m just ready to play baseball.”
(Corrected graph)It’s suspected that the Orioles will pay Wieters slightly less than the offer he turned down from them this spring, though he refused to confirm it. He made $452,500 in 2011.
(CBSsports.com is reporting that Wieters will earn $500,000 this season.)
“It’s not a huge different number,” he said.
Could he have accepted more?
“I’m not going to answer that one,” he replied.
(Corrected graph) The Orioles actually cut Jeremy Guthrie’s pay one year when the sides couldn’t reach agreement, so in that regard, Wieters did OK this weekend. But it’s an aggressive move by the club either way, and one that can lead to hard feelings.
“There are no grudges,” Wieters said. “We’d like to have the system work a little differently, but that’s how the system works. The first three years, the team can pay you whatever they feel they need to pay you.”
Wieters, who is represented by agent Scott Boras, will have a lot more leverage next winter when he’s arbitration-eligible for the first time.
The Orioles might want to start thinking about a long-term deal.
“I’m not worried about that now,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of years of playing left and I’m just getting ready for this year. Free agency is a long way away. I’m just worried about getting ready for this year.”