By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
4:50 PM EDT, March 22, 2012
Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada came out of this second live game spring start confident that the elbow problems that have hindered his bid for a starting rotation spot have subsided.
Wada threw 47 pitches in three extended innings (10 outs) in a minor-league game against the Red Sox's Double-A team at Twin Lakes Park on Thursday afternoon.
Asked after his outing if he was confident the left elbow discomfort that crept up in the second week of camp is a thing of the past, the Japanese-born Wada, who speaks to the media through an interpreter, didn’t need any help to give his message.
“No problem,” he said directly to reporters in English.
Wada’s outing Thursday came with exactly two weeks until Opening Day on April 6, and Wada believes he still has a chance to make the Orioles starting rotation.
“I still think there’s a chance, but it’s up to the manager and I’ll do what the manager says,” Wada said through interpreter Danny McLeith. “They’re having me throw multiple innings and letting me sit down and go back out there and keeping an eye on my pitch count, so I think they’re looking at me as a starter. I really don’t know though.”
Wada said he believes he will need no more than two more outings to be ready for the regular season. He said three to four spring outings were adequate in Japan.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do from here yet, but hopefully they let me throw longer next time. If they do that, I might be ready then,” Wada said. “I’ve only had three days off between each one. And the amount of innings I threw were pretty short, so I don’t know yet. Next time, hopefully I will get four days off. I’ll get that extra day. I don’t know about the full year yet, but I feel very good about it.”
Wada’s fastball topped off at 87 Thursday, lower than the 88-90 being regularly shown on the stadium scoreboard on the road in his first outing Sunday. But Wada said his control was better this time out, as were his off-speed pitches.
“The last time I went out, some of the offspeed pitches got away from me,” Wada said. “The curve got up, the change up sneaked away from where I was aiming at the end there. We saw the same thing in the first inning today, but I fixed it in the second and third inning and I feel like I had a good offspeed repertoire today.”
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