Tsuyoshi Wada signed a two-year, $8.15 million contract with the Orioles last offseason, but he didn’t throw a pitch for the club in 2012 because he required Tommy John surgery in May. And now his recovery is expected to stretch into the 2013 season.
According to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair said on WBAL radio today that Wada is not expected to be ready to pitch in the majors until May or June. That would put him around one year removed from surgery, which isn’t out of the ordinary.
Wada, who turns 32 next month, had a dominant 1.51 ERA and 168/40 K/BB ratio over 184 2/3 innings in 2011 for the Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League. Checking in at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, the southpaw doesn’t throw particularly hard and relies on deception and command of his three secondary pitches to get outs. It’s not clear whether the Orioles intend to bring him back as a starter or a reliever.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”