If there was any question that Chris Ray’s stuff wouldn’t survive Tommy John surgery, you can consider it officially answered. Ray took the mound for his second bullpen session of Spring Training Tuesday and looked positively electric, pumping high velocity fastball after fastball.
The right-hander was hitting his spot over and over again, and manager Dave Trembley singled him out as the arm that impressed him most on Tuesday. Baltimore also got encouraging signs from George Sherrill and Danys Baez in the morning throw sessions.
Baez, who’s coming back from the same surgery as Ray, appeared to be strong and healthy. And Sherrill, who had a sore shoulder toward the end of last season, also threw without strain and without incident. Baltimore will learn a little more about its pitchers later in the week, when position players report and the team begins to stage live batting practice.
The Orioles spent the morning taking their physical examinations, which meant a late start to the first workout of the spring. Some more position players arrived — Scott Moore, Justin Turner and Justin Christian among them — as did staff ace Jeremy Guthrie, who took the time to greet the local beat writers and offer a personalized critique on their offseason work.
Guthrie, who still has the same spring locker that he did two seasons ago as a waiver claim, will have a new neighbor in first-round draftee Brian Matusz. Matusz expressed a desire to pick Guthrie’s brain over the spring, and he’ll have a willing test subject.
Another interesting development of the morning was to see the players begin to comply with the team’s facial hair policy, which mandates no hair below the upper lip. George Sherrill and Dennis Sarfate came to camp newly shorn, while Mark Hendrickson, who was unaware of the policy, came with a goattee and had to remove it before he hit the field.