His fastball was clocked by the Charlotte Sports Complex radar gun as high as 97 mph, and it averaged 96 mph over the course of a 24-pitch outing during which he threw 17 strikes and allowed just one walk.
Though Arrieta still has to prove that his surgically repaired elbow is strong enough to pitch late into ballgames, he had to be very encouraged with how strong he felt the first time out. He is just seven months removed from the procedure that extracted a large spur from his pitching elbow.
"I've really never felt this good since I've been a pro," Arrieta said. "There's still room for improvement. I've still got some strength to gain back. But I think it's going to be a really fun year."
Arrieta couldn't help but view his performance through the prism of what he went through last year, pitching through elbow pain for four months before finally deciding to have the surgery in August.
"It made it all worthwhile," he said. "Pitching with the
"Jake threw the ball well," he said. "You could see it in his face. It was a pretty big moment for him to finally get back out there. Anytime you go inside anybody's elbow or shoulder, you never know exactly what you're going to get, but that was pretty good."
Of course, it was only two innings, and Showalter — who was clearly shaken after outfielder
"It's a good step for him today," Showalter said. "Let's see where it takes us. He got close to 40 pitches under his belt, and we'll keep stepping forward on it. It's a good start. If he had told me last year when he made the decision to do what we did, that we'd be sitting here today, I'd feel real good about it. He worked his butt off on his rehab, and today was a good return for it."
Showalter revealed Friday that three more Orioles are suffering from lower-back soreness. Third baseman
The Orioles have been bringing reliever
"We're just modifying them a little bit," Showalter said before the game. "If we were in season, we might handle things a little differently."
"We're kind of getting to the point where setbacks for starting pitchers — or any pitchers — [are] not good," Showalter said.
The No-Hair Club
"This is about being there for the kids and their families," Maddon said in a statement. "We want them to know they are not alone. It's a small gesture, but it is our way of showing support for them while gaining empathy for what they are going through."
The Rays support a number of institutions and foundations that aid in that cause, including the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the Moffitt Cancer Center.
Around the horn
Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada threw a bullpen session and will throw another Sunday before moving on to live batting practice. ...