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Notes: Tsuyoshi Wada visits Orioles clubhouse for the first time since surgery

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, visited the Orioles clubhouse for the first times since his surgery on May 11.

"I'm happy, being able to come here and see the coaches, the manager and my teammates," Wada said through an interpreter. "I wanted to talk to the manager after the surgery about my feelings, and I wanted to talk to my teammates about it, too. I feel refreshed. I feel good about it.

Manager Buck Showalter said he was pleased to see Wada, who signed a two-year, $8.15 million contract with the Orioles in the offseason after pitching in Japan.

"It was very respectful,"Showalter said. "I appreciate him coming over. He didn't have to do that. He was kind of in his own way apologizing, I think, which he didn't have to do, that he knew we were counting on him and [he was] sorry that he got hurt."

Wada said he doesn't have a timetable for his return, but that he's already begun doing lower-body exercises and will start shoulder exercises next week.

"This is tough for me," Wada said. "This is my first year. I was determined to do well and help out the team this year. But I got this injury and was not able to do it. I also feel sorry for my teammates and coaches, because I ended up like this."

Showalter said Wada has spoken with fellow Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had Tommy John surgery last June.

"He's starting to pitch now," Showalter said of Matsuzaka. "I told [Wada], 'Well, we have the best rehab people in baseball. We think you might be back earlier than that.' He said, 'I think so, too.' So he's positive about it.

"I think the future looks good for him to be healthy. He's talked about, if everything goes well, being on a mound in February. I don't see him breaking camp with us, but at least if everything goes well, he can start that progression."

Around the horn

The Orioles will start right-hander Jake Arrieta in Sunday's series finale. Monday's off-day allows the Orioles to start right-hander Jason Hammel on Tuesday in Boston and Wei-Yin Chen on Wednesday. The Orioles don't need a fifth starter until Saturday … After trying shortstop J.J. Hardy in Nick Markakis' usual No. 3 hole Friday, Showalter placed Chris Davis there for the second time in three games. … Mark Reynolds made his fourth consecutive start at first base. ... Matt Wieters has three hits in his past two games after totalling just three his in his previous 12 games. … The Orioles look the lead in the all-time series with the Rays, 123-122.

eencina@baltsun.com

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