SARASOTA, Fla. - It's a scorcher here today at Ed Smith Stadium. I'm looking for the sunscreen vendor.
The Orioles don't need a fifth starter until April 10, which has become a target date for Justin Duchscherer.
Duchscherer has pitched in only one game this spring, totaling two innings in Clearwater, because of stiffness in his left hip. He threw from 120 feet again today and is scheduled for a bullpen session tomorrow.
"Everything's good," he said. "It's more flexibility than anything. I think what was happening was as I throw, my left hip was really tightening up on me, so my range of motion had gotten really bad and I didn't know. I went to throw and I was trying to get full range with my pitches and it was irritating my hip. So we've been really focusing on stretching, and then we're going to start doing some strengthening, so that when I start throwing again, it doesn't start tightening back up. Everything's really good so far, to where I think I'll throw a bullpen tomorrow.
"I threw today. I threw 120 feet. I don't do the big long toss like I used to when I was young. I only need 120 feet to get where I'm going."
He seems to be headed for an April 10 debut at the earliest, which means a stint on the disabled list and a four-man rotation, though nothing has been finalized. Duchscherer met recently with manager Buck Showalter to review their options.
"We discussed it," Duchscherer said. "He had me come in the other day and we went over how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking. They probably won't need a fifth starter until the 10th, so I told them I'll do everything I can to get well by then, and hopefully I can. That's the goal."
Meanwhile, Brendan Harris hopes to play tomorrow night or Thursday at the latest after having a mole removed from his back. The first procedure took place before spring training.
"It came back a little bit abnormal, so they needed to cut out just a little bit more of it in the area," Harris said. "It wasn't melanoma. It was just a little abnormal, so they just wanted to take a little bit more of that out. I had it done before spring training, the original taking it out, and they said it would take 24 to 48 hours, and just to lay low. So I think they told me the worse I can do is just kind of stretch it and make it scar worse. It's a little tight right now, but I'd like to be able to get back in, especially considering that tomorrow is a night game. I want to get back in there. And along with that, we're getting close to the end, so I don't want to be sitting watching too many games."
Harris, competing for a second utility job, is batting .244 with five doubles, six RBIs, three walks and nine strikeouts in 20 games.
"Buck had said to get it done now," Harris said. "I asked whether to get it done the 27th or the 21st, and he said to do it now. I thought I had gotten it taken care of in the off-season, but apparently it came back a little abnormal.
"I'd like to hit tomorrow, with a night game. Tomorrow afternoon would be 48 hours from it, so hopefully I might be able to get in there tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, definitely the next day."
Also, Chris Tillman, Koji Uehara, Kevin Gregg and Josh Rupe are pitching at Twin Lakes Park today. That's two straight outings for Gregg at the minor league camp.
Rupe could be stretched to four innings today.
Update: Curtis Granderson has been scratched from the Yankees' lineup with a sore oblique. Melky Mesa replaces him in center field and atop the order.