Tsuyoshi Wada started his first extended spring training game today, throwing 88 pitches in six innings. The reports say that his left arm felt good.
Wada will pitch again Saturday in another extended spring training game, and he’ll join one of the affiliates for a start on April 19.
Zach Britton is scheduled to pick up a ball and play catch for the first time Thursday since having a Platelet Rich Plasma treatment on his left shoulder.
Britton’s return to the Orioles is further down the road, and there are no guarantees that he avoids an assignment at Triple-A Norfolk. They’ll have a more immediate decision to make on Wada after his minor league rehab start.
Does Wada join the rotation? Does he go to the bullpen?
If Wada is used as a starter, do the Orioles go with a six-man rotation?
“Probably not, but I wouldn’t get painted in a corner,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It could happen. But how you do that with your roster could be a challenge. I wouldn’t preclude that. We talked in the spring about moving some guys around where certain guys are in the bullpen on the day that they’re a long way from a start. (Wei-Yin) Chen has been in the bullpen the last couple days because of that.
“There’s a way to do it, but we’d like to stay with five if we can. We’ll see what happens. Wada’s going to have at least two more starts, so that decision’s not around the corner yet.”
The rotation could be tweaked soon without adding another starter to the mix.
“We’ve got some options with the off-day (Thursday),” Showalter said. “We knew when we set it it fell the best for everybody physically and where they were. We have the ability to adjust after that. We have a couple variables with our guys that we want to get through the rotation one time to see. Obviously, Jake (Arrieta) is going to pitch against New York. We want to keep in mind what his off-season was like physically and not assume anything. Tommy (Hunter) has had a couple things this spring and we’ll see how he feels on his work day yesterday. They may all stay in turn.”
Here’s the Yankees’ lineup:
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones LF
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Ivan Nova RHP