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Orioles: Koji in the rear view

Orioles: Koji in the rear view

There was so much going on yesterday that we really didn't have time to break down Koji Uehara's strong performance against a very good Dominican WBC lineup. Uehara (right) told the Japanese reporters that he went into the game intent on establishing his fastball inside against the predominantly right-handed lineup.

That would seem like a dangerous mission when your fastball was topping out at 89 miles per hour, but his combination of two-seam fastballs and splitters had the Dominican team off balance for three innings. He was particularly pleased with the number of batters he was able to jam.

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Here are the reasons why Koji figures to have success in the major leagues, particularly during the first half of the regular season. He has terrific command inside the strike zone. He is fearless. And he is going to be a mystery to hitters his first time through the league.

Quick injury update: Rich Hill said he continues to feel better, but he will not throw today, which means that he obviously won't be pitching in an exhibition game this weekend. He was expected to play catch today, but the coaching staff is going to hold him back a little longer. He characterized his sore elbow as "95 percent."

Associated Press photo

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