03/05/12 5:01 PM ET
Injured O's hurlers make progress
By Evan Drellich and Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Wada had a cortisone shot in his throwing elbow eight days ago, making Monday's outing "a real positive step for him," manager Buck Showalter said.
"He was pain-free today, but getting up even on the rubber, on the half-mound was a big step for him," Showalter said. "Going to wait and see how he feels tomorrow before we really map out anything in the future."
Three other O's pitchers dealing with health-related concerns are scheduled to throw in a simulated game Tuesday morning: right-hander Tommy Hunter is slated for two innings, while Zach Britton and Jim Johnson are going one apiece. Both of the righties, Hunter and Johnson, have dealt with lower back soreness, while the southpaw Britton is recovering from inflammation in his left shoulder.
Britton and Johnson both most recently threw bullpens on Sunday. Hunter at one time was scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., but it was decided last week that it would be best to push back game action.
O's pitchers impress in spring debut
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Orioles' 3-1 win over the Rays on Monday gave them a win in their Grapefruit League opener and plenty of optimism for the team's arms race as five pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.
Alfredo Simon missed inside with a pair of fastballs to BJ Upton, who was brushed back in the first inning, but the O's right-hander was otherwise on target during the 33-pitch start, striking out two and allowing one hit in two innings. Righties Brad Bergesen and Miguel Socolovich and lefty Zach Phillips followed with two hitless innings each.
Simon, pitching without the off-the-field worries he had a year ago, focused on his slider Monday and said his goal this spring is definitely to start, not relieve.
"For me, I think it's way better for me to be a starter," Simon said. "I can go deep in the game, I can throw seven, eight innings, and all my career I was a starter."
Bergesen struck out a pair with a Kevin Brown-esque delivery that has him turn his back to hitters on the mound. He made the decision this offseason to return to those mechanics, which he used until about three years ago.
"But I slowly started to get away from it just with different pitching coaches, they wanted me to do different things or saw something in it they didn't like, so I just started getting back to it on my own this offseason," Bergesen said. "It's more of a turn, creates a little more deception, and so that's just what I'm going with and working on right now. It's in my motion, right at the leg lift. One of the things I try to think about is almost showing a number to the catcher."
Righty reliever Pedro Strop struck out the side in the ninth, including the game's final two batters on pitches in the dirt after letting up Tampa's only run.
Ryan Flaherty had a two-run triple in the eighth.
Adair's son released from hospital
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Minor League infielder Travis Adair, pitching coach Rick Adair's son, had a CT scan and was discharged from the hospital Monday after a ball hit him on the back left side of the head during batting practice in the morning.
After receiving initial treatment at Charlotte Sports Park, the 24-year-old Adair was taken to a hospital where the CT scan was normal and he accompanied the team back to Sarasota. Rick Adair, who didn't see the actual incident occur, said his son had a major concussion when he was 19 and that he will stay with Adair and his wife -- who is a nurse -- overnight on Monday so they can wake him every hour.
"He wanted to play tonight," Adair said of his son, who spent last season in the Rangers organization, ending with Double-A Frisco.
The Orioles, who won their spring opener 3-1 against the Rays, are slated to play a 7 p.m. ET home game against Pittsburgh.
O's manager Buck Showalter said Monday before an exhibition with the Rays -- Luke Scott's -- new team, that the Orioles knew of Tampa Bay's interest in the outfielder prior to this offseason. He also said Scott's "got a heart of gold" and deflected the notion that Scott, who's politically conservative, was racist.
"I think the answer to that question is in the people that have been in the clubhouse with him and how they feel," Showalter said. "You can ask Adam Jones, you can ask some of our guys, I know they love being around Luke. I think they saw the purity of heart. Racist is definitely, I've never heard of him make one statement in front of me, in private, that would dictate that at all. ... Luke's never done that and I've never heard him do that. He's got some political views and this is America and as long as he doesn't -- I've never seen him try to sell it to somebody unless they want to engage him. They initiate it, it's not like he walks in."
Scott's already made news this spring with comments about the Red Sox.
Nick Johnson was the designated hitter in Monday's early game, but he's not going to be used there exclusively, Showalter said. Time at first base should be coming.
First baseman Joe Mahoney started in left field in Monday's early game. "If Joe stays healthy this year, I think we'll be looking for a way to get his bat in the lineup, regardless of what level."
Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.