Here are some highlights from Buck Showalter’s pre-game media session:
Shortstop J.J. Hardy is out of today’s lineup, his second consecutive day off, because he is dealing with right arm and shoulder soreness. Showalter said it is a typical spring occurrence and that he is just being cautious, but Hardy will play tomorrow. Hardy, Showalter said, wanted to play today, but the manager said no.
“I want to get it resolved, it’s taking a tad longer than usual, usually (the soreness) is gone by now, but it’s nothing he couldn’t play with,” Showalter said.
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Pitcher Alfredo Simon did not throw a bullpen session today as previously scheduled. Dealing with a sore groin, Simon won’t pitch for another “day or two.”
Tsuyoshi Wada (elbow) felt good after his minor-league outing and “that was encouraging.”
Outfielder Endy Chavez tweaked his groin and has sat out the last two days. Again, it is not considered serious.
Outfielder Jai Miller is dealing with kneecap irritation and will get a couple days off. He has had it before, and needs to “get it to calmed down.”
Chris Tillman struck out the side in an inning of relief on Thursday, and Showalter raved about what he saw. However, he’s not ready to eliminate Tillman from the rotation competition and consider a change to the bullpen. But he’s not ruling out that possibility.
Showalter said Jason Berken (hamstring) pitched “real well” in a minor league game Thursday, throwing his fastball at 92 to 94 mph and throwing “probably as good as anyone over there” at Twin Lakes). He’ll be moved into an A game.
Dontrelle Willis has thrown one bullpen with the Orioles and hopes to get back into the game soon – whether it is in the minors or majors. The 30-year-old was signed earlier this week to a minor-league deal and is hoping to reinvent himself as a lefty specialist.
Showalter on news that former first-round pick Matt Hobgood will need surgery: “I know he has been having some physical problems. It’s not something that we can’t overcome. Just because something is delayed, doesn’t mean it is denied. We’ll try to get it right and get him back to the form that made him someone we coveted.”