ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in May, was in the clubhouse prior to Friday's game against the Rays and hoped to stick around to watch some of the series.
"He's got a locker," Showalter said of Wada, who had a jersey with No. 18 hanging in the visiting clubhouse at Tropicana Field. "And somehow it got to me that he wanted to sit on the bench tonight. He's never been on the bench for a Major League game. So I'm hoping he comes out. I told him it'd be fine."
The 31-year-old Wada, who visited the Orioles once before when they were in St. Petersburg, is rehabbing at the team's spring complex in nearby Sarasota. The left-hander, who signed a two-year, $8.15 million contract with the Orioles in the offseason after pitching in Japan, never made it out of Spring Training after reporting elbow discomfort following his first rehab outing.
"I'm sure there is some rule we will get our hands slapped about having a guy on the bench, because he's going to have such an impact on the game," Showalter said with a grin. "I hope he can do it. [I'm] going to wait and see who [Rays manger Joe Maddon] sends up. I might let Wada take the lineup out and let him go over the [catwalk] rings."