How Will the Baltimore Orioles Use Tsuyoshi Wada?

By Alexander Hangland
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It may be time to add another name to the potential pitching staff for the 2013 Baltimore Orioles. Who else could possibly end up on the list after the Orioles finally made Jair Jurrjens official? A highly touted south paw named Tsuyoshi Wada, that’s who.

Wada was signed to a rather modest two-year deal on Dec. 14, 2011, with absolutely zero pitching experience in Major League Baseball. We have reached the end of February 2013 and Wada still has yet to throw a pitch in the big leagues.

So why should he be considered a potential hurler for the Baltimore pitching staff in 2013? Two reasons should answer this question: he’s a lefty with great stuff, and more importantly, the Orioles paid him to be a part of their team. Wada had a very successful run in Japan and the fact that he is a lefty with late movement on his pitches due to his late release point makes him intriguing, to say the least.

Why should he be considered a potential hurler for the Norfolk Tides pitching staff in 2013? Two reasons will take care of this as well: he was shelled in his only appearance last season with the Tides and he is recovering from Tommy John surgery. His age (32) doesn’t necessarily give him an advantage either.

Wada threw his first bullpen yesterday since the surgery and it was deemed a success. The crafty lefty has been reportedly having a successful recovery and could be ready to pitch in late May or early June. If all goes to plan, how will Baltimore use him?

He has spent most of his career as a starter, but the Orioles may not want to stretch out 5-7 innings an appearance right away. Another thing to consider is the plethora of pitchers already competing for spots in the rotation. One of the most important factors that bodes well for Wada is the fact that Major League hitters and coaches have very little scouting information on him.

It should be interesting to see how this situation turns out for Wada and the Orioles.

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