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Uehara Delivers Early

All of the anticipation over Koji Uehara seems to have been worthwhile if O's fans are to take anything away from his first spring training start.

Uehara, the franchise's first Japanese pitcher, worked two scoreless innings while striking out three Marlins - all on called third strikes - in Baltimore's 3-2 loss to Florida.

Uehara is known for being a command pitcher and showed it while focusing primarily on his fastball and forkball.

Gregg Zaun, who caught Uehara today, said he was impressed:

"[F]astballs to both sides of the plate, split finger was there, ahead or behind on the count. He commanded both sides to both hitters, righty and lefty. It looks like he's pretty quick to the plate so he's going to control the running game as well."

If Uehara's breaking pitches can come along (he's still getting used to the difference in stitching between the American and Japanese balls) he might be a serviceable No. 2 for the Orioles.

Tomorrow the Orioles will throw out assumed No. 1 pitcher Jeremy Guthrie against the Marlins (the back-end of a home-and-home) and on Sunday the team will get its first look at off-season acquisition Rich Hill who will face the Nationals.

By CJ Holley  |  February 27, 2009; 4:03 PM ET
Categories:  Marlins , Orioles  
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Next: The Wrap: Spring Training Games

Comments

Interesting that he seems to have good fastball command in light of the difference in baseballs. That has hampered Dice-K.

Does Uehara have a funky delivery? Several of the relievers have gotten by with unusual deliveries for a year or two n the majors. But it sounds less like deception and more like command if Zaun is right.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 28, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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