Notes on Berry, Casilla, Bundy, Hardy and Cruz

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will play their intrasquad game at 11 a.m. today at Ed Smith Stadium. It’s closed to the public.

Here are a few injury updates:

* Outfielder Quintin Berry swung a bat today and said his back is “pain-free.”

“I’m ready to go whenever,” he said. “I think it’s just precautionary now.”

* Alexi Casilla continues to receive treatment on his right hamstring and doesn’t know when he’ll be cleared for workouts and games.

“It’s healing,” he said.

* Dylan Bundy will throw from 150 feet again today, moving up to 90 for about 15 extra throws and then making five from the stretch and five from the windup at 60.

Bundy will do it again on Saturday and most likely extend to 180 feet in his next session.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy is getting used to reporters checking for updates on his agent’s negotiations with the Orioles on a contract extension. It’s becoming a running joke.

Hardy didn’t have an update for me this morning. He expects to talk to his agent again in three days, and said there would probably be no update. We agreed to call it a “non-update update.”

It’s worked for me in the past on this blog.

Nelson Cruz will take his first swings as an Oriole in a “game,” though it’s only intrasquad. And he’s batting ninth in manager Buck Showalter’s reverse alphabetical order.

“I think it’s the only time in my life that I’ve batted ninth,” he said. “I was like, ‘This is a pitcher Cruz? Oh, a seven. It’s me. I’m in left field.”

Cruz met with Showalter in the dugout yesterday and expressed his desire to play today.

“Yeah,” Cruz said, laughing. “There’s no doubt I want to be in the fire right away. Make sure I get a few at-bats before Saturday. That’s what we’re here for.”

Cruz said he’s been doing “everything” despite signing at such a late date.

“It’s not the same to be playing,” he said. “Take a few at-bats, see live pitches. I got ready for the fastball, but I need to see some breaking pitches.”

Cruz has gotten acclimated to his new surroundings.

“I’m feeling better,” he said. “Every day I feel more normal. I feel like home. I think the adjustment so far has been good.”

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