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Alfredo Simon continues to throw the ball very well, even though he's less than a year removed from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. He pitched the final half inning of the intrasquad game and showed good velocity and movement, though he allowed a single to Brandon Snyder and walked Lou Montanez before getting the save.

"I just feel like new,'' he said. "I feel 100 percent. I know that's quick, but I've been working hard."

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Obviously, the Orioles had no expectation that he might be ready so soon, so he was not even seriously mentioned as a candidate to break camp with the major league pitching staff. And he probably won't. Most pitchers who undergo that procedure need nearly two years go get back to full performance.

"He's worked hard, boy,'' said manager Dave Trembley. "He's really done a nice job. He's throwing the ball really well and he's done an incredible job to come back this soon. I don't know what his velocity was. It just looks like he's free-and-easy. He hasn't missed any throwing sessions. He's strong. He's a real strong guy."

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Does that mean he's in the secondary group of starters -- along with David Hernandez, Jason Berken and Jake Arrieta -- who might step up if one of the projected starters isn't ready to start the regular season?

"I just try to do my job,'' Simon said. "I'll just do a good job and they can decide whay happens to me."

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