SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Two days after Justin Duchscherer reported a sore left hip, he was able to throw for a second straight day and told manager Buck Showalter he was much improved.

Duchscherer, who was scheduled to start for the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday against Philadelphia in Clearwater, Fla., won’t pitch then, but he’s a lot more optimistic about pitching again than he was on Saturday when he reported the hip soreness.

Duchscherer, who signed with the Orioles as a free agent earlier this month, threw on flat ground both Sunday and Monday.

Showalter watched the 33-year-old right-hander, who made just five starts due to a hip injury last season for Oakland after missing all of 2009 because of an elbow injury and clinical depression, and said he threw well.

“He’s pretty upbeat about the way he feels compared with two days ago,” Showalter said after the Orioles game against Pittsburgh in Bradenton, Fla. “It will be interesting to see how he feels” Tuesday.

Duchscherer was unavailable to comment when the Orioles’ clubhouse was open on Monday morning, but did speak to reporters after his workout on Sunday.

“Any time my hip doesn’t feel 100 percent, I’m concerned because I’ve been through this three times before,” Duchscherer said. “We’re going to be cautious and make sure we don’t push it too far too quick because I know the result of that.”

Duchscherer is 33-25 with a 3.13 ERA over eight seasons with Texas and Oakland, and as spring training began was considered a favorite to make the rotation to join holdovers Jeremy Guthrie, Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Jake Arrieta.

Showalter didn’t arrive until shortly before Monday’s game because he wanted to watch Duchscherer throw.

“I wouldn’t say (he) turned it loose, but he was pretty firm with his mechanics and action on the mound,” Showalter said.

If Duchscherer reports no pain, he’ll throw again Wednesday or Thursday, Showalter said.

Last season, Chris Tillman, who will start in Duchscherer’s place on Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla. against Philadelphia, was last season’s fifth starter, but was inconsistent.

Duchscherer threw in the bullpen last Thursday, but felt sore when he reported on Saturday. On Sunday, he said he was extremely frustrated after declining to comment on Saturday.

“I know what it’s supposed to feel like, and I know the last couple days it hasn’t felt as good as it was feeling, so when something like that happens, obviously my first move is to go in there and say: ‘Hey, something’s not right. Let’s see what we can do to keep it from getting worse,” Duchscherer said.

“I’ve had two surgeries on the right hip. This one’s different. It’s the landing leg, so I don’t know where the line is where I keep pushing through it — whether it’s going to get better and go away — so I’m learning as I go with this.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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