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Orioles lefty Tsuyoshi Wada's simulated game session successful

By Eduardo A. Encina

The Baltimore Sun

12:37 PM EDT, March 14, 2012

SARASOTA, Fla. --

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Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who has yet to throw a Grapefruit League pitch this spring because of left elbow discomfort, threw a two-inning simulated game on the back fields of the Ed Smith Stadium complex Wednesday morning.

Wada threw 33 pitches to hitters Jai Miller and Scott Beerer, as well as special assistant Brady Anderson, during the session, which Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair said went well.

“He was real good,” Adair said. “I don’t know what the velocity was, but the ball was jumping out of his hand. The action on his two-seamer was great. It located down much better than anticipated. His changeup was above average. His curveball still has a ways to go. His slider is getting close. He’s healthy.”

Wada will throw two innings Sunday or Monday in his first live game environment. If he pitches Monday -- which is the Orioles’ sole off-day of the spring -- it would be in a Single-A minor league game at Twin Lakes Park. Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton are also slated to pitch in that game.

Beerer said Wada’s ability to locate on both sides of the plate was impressive, as well as his changeup.

“At the beginning, I found I was able to throw the ball where I wanted to. I was able to locate,” Wada said through interpreter Danny McLeith. “I know I can do better. I can ramp my precision up, and that's what I’m going to try to do going on.”

Adair said it’s still “a possibility” that Wada can earn one of the team’s five rotation spots. How well he recovers from his next few throwing sessions will dictate that, Adair said.

As for Wada, he said making the rotation is still his focus. He could also be placed in the bullpen.   

“That’s what I’m shooting for,” Wada said of making the rotation. “I’m going to do everything I can to get one of those spots.

“Of course, I want to be a starter, and I think I will still get that chance from the manager,” he added. “If I am put in a relief role, it will be because I fell a little bit behind and stuff happened with my arm, and that’s on me. It’s for the team, so if that happened, I would still accept the role and still shoot for the starting spot.”

Wada signed a two-year, $8.14 million contract this offseason with a 2014 option.