ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Tsuyoshi Wada made his first appearance today in an Orioles clubhouse since undergoing ligament-reconstructive surgery on his left elbow.
Wada made the drive from the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota.
“Since the surgery, my elbow is getting better and better,” Wada said through his interpreter. “I started doing some lower-body exercises this week, and starting next week, I’ll start some shoulder exercises. About when I can come back, that’s kind of too far right now. We don’t have a date. We aren’t really sure yet.”
Wada, who will stay in Sarasota unless Dr. Lewis Yocum wants to examine his elbow in Los Angeles, said it’s been tough going through the surgery and not being able to pitch in his first year in the majors.
“I was determined to do well and help out the team this year, but I got this injury and wasn’t able to do it,” he said. “I also feel sorry for my teammates and coaches, because I ended up like this.”
Today provided Wada, who underwent the surgery on May 11, with a chance to reconnect with teammates who greeted him warmly.
“I’m happy, being able to come here and see the coaches, the manager and my teammates,” he said. “I wanted to talk to the manager after the surgery about my feelings, and I wanted to talk to my teammates about it, too. I feel refreshed, I feel good about it.”
Wada said his elbow felt “awkward” in spring training, “but that’s pretty common for me when I’m in Japan, too.”
“Usually, it disappears and feels fine during the season, so I thought it was just a normal thing, but at the end of spring training, the fatigue feeling didn’t go away, so I felt kind of weird about that,” he said. “And then the last game I threw (at Triple-A Norfolk), that’s when I really felt it.”
Manager Buck Showalter appreciated that Wada wanted to meet with him.
“It was very respectful,” Showalter said. “He didn’t have to do that. He was kind of, in his own way, apologizing, I think, which he didn’t have to do. That he knew we were counting on him and sorry that he got hurt.
“He’s been talking to Matsuzaka about his surgery. I think his was in June, and he’s starting to pitch now. I told him, ‘Well, we have the best rehab people in baseball. We think you might be back earlier than that.’ He said, ‘I think so, too,’ so he’s positive about it.
“I told him how much I miss the Japanese media and for him to hurry up and come back. I really appreciate him coming over. He didn’t have to do that, and everybody’s happy to see him.
“I think the future looks good for him to be healthy. He’s talked about, if everything goes well, being on a mound in February. I don’t see him breaking camp with us, but at least if everything goes well he can start that progression.”
Also, Jake Arrieta will start tomorrow’s series finale against the Rays. Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen are scheduled to start the first two games of the Red Sox series that begins Tuesday. Showalter hasn’t made a decision on Thursday’s starter.
Bill Hall sent the following tweet (@BillHall_III): Not real sure how I feel right now!!! I just know I’m not happy!!