Baseball nirvana on a Tuesday in February, 19 pitchers throwing bullpens.
Today’s new faces include Andrew Knapp, Edgar Garcia, Zach Eflin, Adonis Medina, and Austin Davis. Coach Ernie Whitt has also arrived. And, Rafael Chaves has also been here, I neglected to mention him earlier.
That brings the early reports in Clearwater up to 54 players, and includes –
- 39 Pitchers – Brandon Ramey, Tyler McKay, Spencer Van Scoyoc, Jaylen Smith, Jake Kinney, Ethan Lindow, Jose Alvarez, Mauricio Llovera, Connor Seabold, Bailey Falter, Eudiver Avendano, Luke Leftwich, Kyle Young, Tyler Hallead, Ben Brown, Lizardo Herrera, Sandro Rosario, Trevor Bettencourt, Brian Auerbach, Carlos Francisco (WPT), Josh Tols, Robinson Martinez, Victor Arano, J.D. Hammer, Adam Morgan, Cole Irvin, Zach Warren, Jose Jimenez, Aaron Nola, Seranthony Dominguez, Spencer Howard, Enyel De Los Santos, Nick Fanti, Nicoly Pina, Dave Robertson, Edgar Garcia, Zach Eflin, Adonis Medina, Austin Davis
- 8 Catchers – Colby Fitch, Edgar Cabral, Rodolfo Duran, Jack Conley, Nick Matera, Herbert Iser, J.T, Realmuto, Andrew Knapp
- 4 Infielders – Alec Bohm, Jamari Baylor, Didi Gregorius, Luis Garcia
- 3 Outfielders – Carlos De La Cruz, Jose Pujols, Andrew McCutchen
- 11 Coaches – Roly de Armas, Shawn Williams, Carlos Arroyo, Ray Burris, Greg Brodzinski, Chris Heintz, Marty Malloy, Rob Thompson, Larry Bowa, Rafael Chaves, Ernie Whitt
When I arrived at 9:30AM, the non-rehabbers were going through their stretching drills and short/long toss. I noticed activity on Rollins Field and wandered over to the back fence before entering the Complex. They were just completing some catcher drills with Realmuto and Knapp. They had a pitching machine set about 20 feet from the guys and their gloves set low. They had to react to balls above the anticipated glove position. After ward, Nola, Eflin, and Morgan threw ‘pens on the mounds next to the infield.
Over at the Complex, the following transpired –
- Seranthony Dominguez simulated pitching from a mound with a ball wrapped in a towel under the watchful eye of Ray Burris. Where the towel touches/passes the leg on the follow through indicates the correctness of the follow through.
- Conley, Fitch, Iser, and Matera took BP ob Schmidt Field before bullpens.
- JT and Knapp took BP on Ashburn Field
- Davis and Irvin tossed in LF on Schmidt
- Bohm, De La Cruz, and Baylor took BP on Schmidt
- De La Cruz took fly balls on Schmidt
- Bohm and Baylor went through some fielding drills before taking ground balls. De La Cruz joined them and took some grounders at short and third.
- Conley, Fitch, Iser, and Matera caught 16 bullpens
- Kinney, McKay, J. Smith, Hammer, Lindow, Howard, Ramey, Warren, Van Scoyoc, Falter, Seabold, Herrera, Avendano, Jimenez, and R. Martinez threw bullpens. All threw about 25 pitches except Falter (20, FB and CH) and Martinez (10-15).
- Mauricio Llovera threw another long toss then sat. I think he was simulating game day where he would be idle during the anthem and his team batting in the top of the first. Then he warmed up on the mound, threw 10-15 pitches, then sat again. He moved over to the mound on Schmidt, warmed up again and pitched a live BP inning to Fitch and Baylor. This is similar to how Drew Anderson started camp last year when he pitched the opener. This year’s opener is on the road. Looks like Llovera might get the start.
- Garcia, Davis, Hammer, Hallead, and Fanti duplicated the exercise Dominguez completed above.
- Lindow broke the catcher’s glove during his bullpen.
- This was Falter’s first, he has one of the smoothest approaches on the mound. His FB seemed awfully quick for a first pen. Ir was certainly faster than I remember from his season in Clearwater.
- Howard’s first pitch must have been 96 mph. I viewed it from about 20 feet to the left of his catcher. It traveled on a line with a clearly audible whistle as it traveled through the air and explosive pop when it landed in Fitch’s glove. We didn’t have guns on the guys, so I don’t know his velocity for sure. But, it was among the fastest of the day.
- Smith definitely had more velo than I’ve ever seen him throw. That’s a good sign.
- Martinez seemed like he was also teasing the mid-90s on his first offering.
- Almost everyone I saw looked good. Those that especially stood out were McKay, Smith, Lindow, Howard, Ramey, Warren, Seabold, Falter, Jimenez, and Llovera.
I saw Robertson running when I got there, and Arano long tossing.
I was focused on the bullpens, so I wasn’t as attentive to fielding and BP.
More bullpens are likely on Friday.
Here’s a few of Howard’s pitches (looks like his off speed stuff). That’s Lindow on the left mound. (Video by Steve Potter)