Wada completes bullpen session without a hitch

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitching coach Rick Adair confirmed that Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Darren O’Day and Jim Johnson each will throw 20-25 pitches Tuesday morning in a simulated game on one of the back fields at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

Position players won’t be used, since it’s more of a glorified bullpen session, minus the protective screen.

“Just getting those guys acclimated to seeing hitters,” Adair said.

Spring training is longer this year with the World Baseball Classic, and the Orioles are adjusting their pitching schedules accordingly.

“If we had started on schedule, and we started on Day One with the rotation, there was a chance that somebody could have had eight starts down here,” Adair said. “We’re trying to stay away from that.”

Adair joined manager Buck Showalter, rehab coordinator Chris Correnti and director of pitching development Rick Peterson, among others, for Tsuyoshi Wada’s bullpen session. Wada threw off a regular mound for the first time since April 19.

WadaMediaTall.jpg“I saw him 10 days ago, just on flat ground, and the ball was coming out good, and it’s coming out much better,” Adair said. “He’s done a lot of work. Chris Correnti has done a tremendous job physically getting him back in shape and staying on this program. It was the first day and it was real good.

“Obviously, anytime you’ve got an injury, that first day is exciting. He probably had a little bit of adrenaline going and he’s doing good.

“I’m excited for him because, missing last year, especially with what this club went through and not being a part of that, and then seeing how things unfolded and what he was going through and all the work he put in. A lot of time you’re by yourself, just the people who are going through the rehab process with you, so I’m excited for him. Seeing that and knowing what he’s been through, he’s got to be real excited, so I’m excited for him.”

Asked if he would throw off a regular mound again on Wednesday, Wada smiled and said, “maybe,” without needing his interpreter.

“Everything did go well,” Wada said in Japanese. “Buck and the media were here, too, so I was a little bit nervous.

“I haven’t thrown in a long time on the mound, so I was actually very happy and it was very fun. I have been throwing on the half-mound, so it didn’t feel awkward. It wasn’t much of a difference, but it was very fun.”

Wada had to watch from a distance as the Orioles won the wild card game in Texas and advanced to the American League Division Series.

“I was happy for the team that they were able to make the playoffs, but I came here to pitch for the Orioles and I wasn’t able to pitch at all for the team last year,” he said. “It was kind of tough watching the team play in the playoffs, although I was happy for them.”

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