Orioles Getting the Band Back Together
As frustrating as this spring has been for the Orioles, Tuesday provided a spate of good news.
The bombed-out and depleted pitching cornucopia got a boost as projected No. 2 pitcher Koji Uehara returned to the mound after missing about two weeks due to a strained hamstring. Even better, Uehara continued to impress - pounding the zone (throwing 40 of 57 pitches for strikes), employing his curve ball and even working in a recently learned changeup - all without pain.
Said Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz:
"I thought early he was just kind of testing his leg. I don't think he was really getting after it. I think he felt better as he went on. He got more comfortable. And obviously those were some really good match-ups for him. He had some guys there, those left-handers, to really test him. He threw a couple changeups today and some splits."
During one stretch of Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Nationals, Uehara sat down 10 of 11 players as he settled in after allowing a run in the first inning and finished with seven strikeouts.
Also making returns to the Orioles were WBC players Brian Roberts (United States) as well as Melvin Mora and Cesar Izturis (Venezuela) all of whom returned from international play relatively unscathed.
The Orioles look to have their infield back on the field for Thursday's game against the Marlins while Team USA participant Jeremy Guthrie has already hustled back to the Orioles and pitched Monday.
Over at his blog, Roch Kubatko talks about the minor snit that Guthrie and the Orioles already seem to have worked past in regards to the team calling him back from the WBC.
The Orioles, of course, were ready to have the team's de facto ace back in camp after pitching a paltry (and often times poor) four innings of work. Guthrie, on the other hand, was enjoying his experience with the team and seemed slightly perturbed in the way the Orioles handled the recall situation. Mercifully, all seems well.
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