Pitching prospect Luis Lebron, who had Tommy John surgery last May, threw from the mound for the first time today. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that he threw 30 pitches and felt good afterward.
There continues to be discussion among people outside the organization about potentially using Jim Johnson in the rotation. Showalter acknowledged that he thought about that in the offseason, but that's absolutely not in the cards right now. Johnson is expected to occupy a key role in the bullpen. The same goes for Jason Berken.
Michael Gonzalez threw a bullpen session today, and while it was clear that he wasn't going all out, he looked much more crisp than at any point last spring. His velocity also looked much better than it was last year. "I'm not going to dwell on whose fault it was," Showalter said when asked about Gonzalez's situation last spring. "Let's just get him ready. So far, so good. ... He's got a good look in his eye."
Showalter also was pleased that Justin Duchscherer got through his first bullpen unscathed. Duchscherer used all his pitches and threw about 40 total. "It's a health issue," Showalter said. "If he's between the lines and on the field, he'll fit high up in the rotation."
Catcher Matt Wieters, who looks to be in great shape (and it has been noticed by team officials), became the first Oriole to clear the right-field wall on Field 4, which has the exact dimensions of Camden Yards.
There was one light moment during pitching fielding drills. Koji Uehara calmly gloved the ball and, in one motion, flipped it to bench coach Willie Randolph who was covering first base. Randolph wasn't able to come up with the ball, but bullpen coach Rick Adair, who was running the drill, was pleased with Uehara's form. "Hey Derrek Lee makes that play," Adair said. To which Randolph replied, "Yeah, you're probably right."
Brandon Snyder became the latest position player to arrive. The Orioles position players on hand, including Brian Roberts, took batting practice today.
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