O's: Close encounter
Orioles closer George Sherrill already is throwing regularly and apparently experiencing no significant discomfort in the sore left shoulder that hampered him at the end of the 2008 season. He told Jeff Zrebiec yesterday that he's itching to get to Fort Lauderdale and get started.
"It’s been pretty positive," Sherrill said. "[This Monday] was my fifth day of playing catch [from about 120 feet], and it’s feeling pretty good. It doesn’t feel like I’m pressing or trying to force it to get it there. It feels pretty good, pretty strong. I’m looking forward to getting to spring training and getting some bullpens going. I’m a reliever. I don’t need too much time to get ready."
If both Sherrill and Chris Ray (reconstructive elbow surgery) are ready to go on Opening Day, manager Dave Trembley would have a decision to make, but Sherrill doesn't seem too worried about it either way.
"It’s going to depend on how I look, how he looks, that type of stuff," said Sherrill, who saved 31 games last year before being slowed by the shoulder soreness. "He’s coming off a whole year off, but before that, he was a hell of a closer. Whether I’m closing or whether I’m setting up Chris, it doesn’t matter to me. I’d obviously love to close, but I just want to win. I know he can do it. They have two pretty good options whatever way they go. I just think they need to name one. If it is me, and I’m not doing the job, then go with him."
The Orioles and Ray, by the way, avoided arbitration yesterday when Ray agreed to a one-year contract.