Pitching coach Rick Adair called into the “Hot Stove Baseball” show on WBAL Radio today, and he was asked about Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery on his elbow last May and still hasn’t appeared in a game with the Orioles.
Manager Buck Showalter told reporters during the Winter Meetings that Wada was ahead of schedule in his recovery. This is true, but Wada doesn’t figure to be ready to break camp with the team on opening day.
“He’s probably looking at May or June before he’s actually ready to compete at the major league level, so it’s not going to be as urgent for him (in spring training),” Adair said.
OK, we can put Wada on the back burner and project how he could fit into the rotation later in the season. It’s not like the Orioles suddenly have a shortage of candidates for the fifth spot.
Adair said he’s remained in contact with free-agent pitcher Joe Saunders, but he can’t predict whether the left-hander will re-sign with the Orioles.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Adair said.
“I’ve told Joe this - he reminds me a lot of Jarrod Washburn, who I had in Seattle. He’s one of these guys who really grows on you. He’s one of my favorite guys all-time, simply because he’s a blue-collar kind of guy and he competes his rear end off. I love Joe.”
As long as we’re focusing on the rotation, the Orioles aren’t expected to announce the signing of former Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens before the weekend. It could happen as late as Monday, but it’s going to happen.
Jurrjens is taking his physical, but it’s not going to be a swift process.
Still nothing new on left-hander Mark Hendrickson. The Orioles want him in camp on a minor league contract.
Every person I ask says the same thing. It’s “in process.”