Britton, Bundy and catching update

SARASOTA, Fla. - Zach Britton is scheduled to throw off flat ground Thursday and Friday. According to the left-hander, he’ll rest on Saturday and long-toss again Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, though that schedule is subject to change.

Britton is hoping to throw off a mound no later than next weekend.

The Orioles will increase the number of Britton’s throws to 100 and more to raise his “pitch count.” He’ll mix in other pitches on Monday, including his changeup and sinker.

Dylan Bundy had a lot of eyes fixed on him during his bullpen session today. Single-A Frederick catcher Brian Ward was behind the plate, and Mike Griffin, Matt Wieters, John Russell and Taylor Teagarden stood in a line beside him. Alan Mills, Scott McGregor and Kennie Steenstra stood behind Bundy, and manager Buck Showalter paced back and forth.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette also watched Bundy, along with other front office and minor league staff members.

Bundy, in his first structured bullpen session this spring, was popping Ward’s mitt despite not throwing with maximum force.

“I felt great,” he said.”I had a good catcher back there, too. I love when they give a low target, and Brian was sitting on the ground the whole time, so it was pretty easy for me to hit the glove every time.”

Bundy threw his four-seam fastball, a two-seamer, cutter, changeup and curveball.

“He wasn’t even trying to throw hard. He can throw a lot harder than that,” Ward said. “It was a heavy ball, it was firm. He’s real polished.

“I thought his mound presence was pretty impressive for a 19-year-old kid. He had command of all his pitches and knew exactly what he was doing with them, both sides of the plate. You don’t really see that from a 19-year-old. He’s real polished as a pitcher right now. It’s pretty impressive to see.”

Ward has a locker close to Bundy and is impressed with the way the first-round pick is handling the attention.

“Other people see that, too,” Ward said. “He carries himself real well. I’m looking forward to seeing how his year goes.”

Bundy said he was more nervous on Monday when he threw in the indoor batting cage.

“Monday was the worst. I was kind of excited for that one and I was pretty wild, but today was a lot easier,” he said. “I’m kind of used to it. In high school I had a bunch of people watching.”

Bundy is here to learn. “I keep to my own,” he said, “but I also listen to what the other guys have to say.”

He’s blending in easily. You’d never know Bundy was participating in his first spring training at age 19.

“It’s just baseball,” he said. “It’s just a big locker room with bigger names in it, but it’s the same stuff as high school, basically, except it’s a faster-paced game and a lot bigger people.”

Bundy said he can’t wait to throw to Wieters.

“He’s going to be able to teach me a lot about hitters, location of pitches, why throw that pitch and when to throw it,” Bundy said.

Meanwhile, the Orioles will bring Double-A Bowie catcher Caleb Joseph to major league camp. He wasn’t extended an invitation this spring.

The Orioles also are expected to sign catcher Josh Johnson. Chris Hoiles recommended Johnson after managing him with the independent York Revolution.

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