The Orioles raised some eyebrows when reliever Pedro Strop was seen taking grounders at shortstop and making throwing to first before Wednesday’s game.
Strop, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, was signed out of the Dominican Republic as a shortstop and was converted into a pitcher as a minor leaguer in the Colorado Rockies system.
But the Orioles have no plans to return Strop to his original position. The drill, which Strop said was the idea of pitching coach Rick Adair, was performed in order for Strop to repeat his natural throwing motion.
“This is something you don’t have to think [about] doing,” Strop said. “It’s natural from when you were a kid. So that way you get to clear your mind from thinking about all those mechanics, just a natural arm action.
“I’ve done it before … when I switched from position to pitcher,” he added. “Whenever they thought I needed to get back on track, they’d give me some groundballs at shortstop. I think it is a pretty good drill for me.”
After that, Strop threw from the mound for the first time since going on the DL on Saturday, throwing about 20 pitches in the bullpen.
Reimold’s hamstring progressing
Outfielder Nolan Reimold, who was eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, said his strained right hamstring is improving. While the Orioles were on the road, he continued rehabilitation, going to physical therapy at Johns Hopkins Hospital and increasing his running activities.
“I’m not all out sprinting,” Reimold said. “But that’s a little bit away. I’ll work up to that.”
Reimold said he doesn’t have a timetable for his return.
“It’s not going to be forever,” he said. “Hopefully it won’t be too much longer. I know Buck said he wanted it to be 100 percent. [He said] don’t come back until it is all cleared up, so that’s what I’m working on. Just waiting for that to happen, which hopefully isn’t too much longer.”
Around the horn
First baseman Chris Davis received his American League Player of the Month award for April on the field before Wednesday’s game. There was also a “Crush Davis” T-shirt giveaway at the game. ... Catcher Taylor Teagarden caught seven innings in an extended spring training game Wednesday and will either serve as the designated hitter there Thursday or join either Double-A Bowie or Triple-A Norfolk for a rehab assignment to catch nine innings. … Infielder-DH Wilson Betemit (Grade 2/3 PCL tear) began hitting off a tee Wednesday. … Left fielder Nate McLouth entered the night tied with Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury for the AL lead in stolen bases with 16.