Day three of Pitchers and Catchers and still fewer fans made their way to the Complex. We had bigger crowds at some GCL games last summer than we’ve had for the last two spring training days.
I remained at the Complex after the players completed their stretching and calisthenics. In previous years , PFPs were held on two fields and pitchers waited in long lines for their turn at some mundane fielding drill. This year, pitchers break into four groups, one on each field. Groups are smaller and pitchers get more reps with less standing idle waiting for their next turn.
Coaches wait on each field where a different set of drills is run. Today –
- ground balls to the first baseman with the pitcher running over to cover
- ground balls back to the pitcher, throw to second
- ground balls toward first with the pitcher fielding or covering, depending on whether the ball gets past the pitcher
- pick off moves to second and first, just the mechanics, no throws
- bunt back to the pitcher, charge and flip to the catcher
No pitchers threw from the mounds today. Arano was participating in the PFPs.
Position players went into the stadium for batting practice. I saw Cesar Hernandez in the group but I didn’t go over to watch BP. I was told later by Eddie,a Toronto Sun photographer and fixture down here, that Michael Saunders did NOT take BP.
After PFPs, the catchers took BP. Cameron Rupp is a monster in BP. He hit one off the wall of Spectrum Field. Bob Stumpo pitched to the second group. Alfaro put a couple on the practice field by the ticket offices in front of Spectrum Field. Moore and Knapp hit some hard too. Moore was handicapped by a strong wind that knocked down balls to RF. The guys hit Stumpo pretty good. One of them thanked him as they collected the balls in front of the pitcher’s protective screen. I think it was Alfaro.
I heard there was some some sort of golf outing in the afternoon, practice was over by noon.
Tomorrow is the first full squad work out.
During the minor leaguers afternoon session, the corner infielders took ground balls, all position players took BP, the pitchers did their running in the outfield, and then did some sort of “ghost” pitching on the seven mounds. I’ve never seen anything like this – a group of pitchers pretending to throw balls to a pretend catcher.
A fellow spectator said that the Orioles run a similar drill where a pitcher goes through his throwing motion with a towel. A coach stands with his open hand in the the arc of the pitcher’s throwing motion. The pitcher has to slap the towel into the hand of the coach. he idea is to help the pitcher repeat the same motion. Another coach is stationed to watch the pitcher’s arm and shoulder from the side.
Maybe our guys are going through their motion with a pretend towel in to the pretend hand of a pretend coach while another pretend coach watches from the side. I noticed that none of the pitchers catches the pretend ball when the pretend catcher throws it back.
Sorry. I just never saw this before. Maybe they can hire Professor Henry Hill to teach them the “think method” of throwing and they can just think about repeating the same motion. (Now, there’s a movie reference for you.)
Cord Sandberg, Mitch Walding, Austin Bossart, Caleb Eldridge, and Luke Maglich took batting practice. Luis Encarnacion took some ground balls but looked shaky. Zach Green is here but didn’t participate.
The following pitchers took part in drills – Mark Leiter, Jeff Singer, Nick Fanti, Tom Eshelman, Tyler Viza, Mario Hollands, Trevor Bettencourt, Scott Hoffman, Miguel Nunez, Wil Morris, Kyle Young, and Jesse Beal. I saw John Richy arrive at the Complex.