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Koji's first bullpen session

Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara had quite an audience for his first bullpen session of the spring. There were about 30 media members in attendance, as well as almost the entire Orioles front office staff, as he threw about 50 pitches to catcher Gregg Zaun.

It was probably the most-watched bullpen session in Orioles history, but there is at least one I can remember that was probably as intriguing. That, of course, was when Jim Palmer attempted a comeback in the spring of 1991, but I'm pretty sure there weren't two dozen Japanese reporters and cameramen there for that one.

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Uehara displayed good velocity and great command of his fastball. He threw his first 35 pitches next to Hayden Penn and non-roster pitcher Ross Wolf on the practice mounds, then asked to work a little longer on his breaking pitches. As he has said several times already, he's used to much longer workouts because players work from morning to night during training camp in Japan.

The session ended with a slight bump. Uehara walked down off the mound and tossed the ball to Zaun, but Zaun wasn't paying attention and it hit him on the shoulder and seemed to glance off his face. He was fine and still gave Koji a high five to wrap up the session.


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