PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Travis Adair, the son of Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair, has been hit in the head three times this spring. Fortunately, he seems to be fine, but he must be questioning his luck.
The latest incident took place last night on a pickoff throw at first base. Adair dived back into the bag and ... bam.
Adair was hit by a line drive in batting practice before Monday’s exhibition-opener against the Rays. He also was nailed by a throw at second base on a stolen base during an intrasquad game.
Somebody ship a four-leaf clover to Twin Lakes Park.
Tsuyoshi Wada will throw a bullpen session on Sunday while the Orioles are playing a B game, and then he’ll be ready for live batting practice.
Manager Buck Showalter talked about reliever Jason Berken’s “little setback.”
“He felt it again from about 100 feet,” Showalter said of Berken’s left hamstring. “He’s not making the progress we hoped he would.”
Berken, who had been throwing from 120 feet before today’s incident, might have to begin the season at extended spring training.
“I talked to him before I left,” Showalter said. “He’s obviously a little frustrated with it. But we’ll see.
“We’re kind of getting to that point now where setbacks aren’t good when you’re in competition - especially starting pitchers.”
Second-round pick Jason Esposito (Vanderbilt) might play in Sunday’s B game.
Showalter loves the upgrade in utility infield candidates this spring. He’s been impressed with Matt Antonelli, Steve Tolleson and Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty.
The 2011 spring roster included Cesar Izturis, Nick Green and Brendan Harris. None of them remain in the organization.
Asked when Brian Roberts needs to get into a game and still be considered an option for opening day, Showalter replied, “I’d say somewhere around where Nick (Markakis) is, but we’re not looking at it like that. We’re just looking at the finish line being when he’s available to play in the big leagues. We’re not putting some deadline on him or anything. Every day see where we are and keep moving forward with what we’re going to do in the meantime.”
As a reminder, Markakis is scheduled to make his spring debut on March 14 against the Pirates in Sarasota.