SARASOTA, Fla. - Tommy Hunter is still scheduled to throw a simulated game on Tuesday after being scratched from his exhibition start against the Red Sox in Fort Myers.
Hunter downplayed the discomfort in his lower back, saying, "I'm fine. It's more of a precautionary deal. I'm not concerned at all. I can still pitch."
Hunter played long-toss this morning and seemed to be throwing with maximum effort.
"I threw bullpens with it, but it just wasn't getting any better, so we're just going to give it a few days," he said. "I'm not missing anything other than the intrasquad today. It's spring training. If this was in the season, I'd be playing. That was the word I wanted them to know."
Hunter described the sensation in his lower back as more of an ache, not sharp pains or spasms. He said it wasn't caused by throwing off a mound.
"It was bending over getting ground balls, pretty much, as bad as that sounds," he said.
"I was fine. I threw bullpens, I threw live batting practice. It hasn't stopped me, but they said this is the time to get it right."
Jim Johnson threw another bullpen session today. He's inching closer to throwing live batting practice. It won't be much longer.
Minor leaguers are filing into the Ed Smith Stadium complex for today's intrasquad game. The Orioles are adding pitchers Winston Abreu, Tim Bascom, Casey Fossum, Greg Burke and Robert Hinton, and position players Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Buck Britton, Trent Mummey, Carlos Rojas, Glynn Davis, Travis Adair and Jeff Larish.
Yes, Travis is the son of pitching coach Rick Adair.
Keep in mind that the rules are flexible in these games. Innings will end once a starter or reliever reaches his pitch count. Some innings will be extended, so three outs won't always be the limit.
For the visiting Orioles:
N. Johnson DH
For the home Orioles: