SARASOTA, Fla. - Tsuyoshi Wada threw 33 pitches in a two-inning simulated game on the Camden Yards field. Jai Miller, Scott Beerer and Brady Anderson took some swings against him.
The next step for Wada is pitching in a real game Sunday or Monday. Most likely, he will be used in Monday’s minor league game at Twin Lakes Park, which also will include Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta.
“He was real good,” said pitching coach Rick Adair, who monitored Wada’s outing along with manager Buck Showalter and Triple-A Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin. “The ball jumped out of his hand, and the action on his two-seamer was real good. His changeup was above average and his slider is getting close.”
Adair noted that Wada’s curveball has room for improvement. However, Wada kept the ball down in the strike zone better than anticipated.
Wada also seemed pleased with today’s simulated game, though he wasn’t completely satisfied.
“First and foremost, nothing hurt and I felt good out there throwing,” he said through his interpreter. “I’m going to need to make my fastball a little bit better, but if I can do that, I’ll be fine.
“At the beginning, I found I was able to throw the ball where I wanted to. I was able to locate. I know I can do better. I can ramp my precision up and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
Wada will probably throw two innings in Monday’s game.
“I’m looking forward to it very much,” he said. “I’d love to get into a game and see what it really feels like. Today was a step, but it’s going to get even more real, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Wada has fallen behind the other starters, but he remains hopeful that he’ll be included in the rotation when the Orioles break camp.
“That’s what I’m shooting for,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to get one of those spots.”
The Orioles would need Wada’s permission to send him to the minors. It’s conceivable that he will remain at extended spring training. It’s also conceivable that he ends up being a reliever, which isn’t his first choice.
“Of course I want to be a starter and I still feel like I would get that chance from the manager,” he said. “If I am put in a relief role, it would be because I fell a little bit behind and stuff happened in my arm. That’s on me. But it’s for the team, so if that happened, it’s acceptable, but I’m still shooting for the starting spot.”
In other notes:
Reliever Willie Eyre will pitch Saturday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, where he lives, and will stay with his family for a few days.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold will play in Sunday’s split-squad game against the Braves in Orlando so he can be with his wife, who will give birth to the couple’s second child two days earlier. He’ll be away from the team for a few days.
Here’s the Pirates’ lineup:
Alex Presley LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barnes SS
Michael McKenry C
James McDonald RHP
Former Oriole Jake Fox is listed on the travel roster.