Today is the opening of spring training. Over 60 players and a seemingly equal number of coaches were at the Carpenter Complex for a pre-spring training mini-camp for some young and some veteran minor leaguers.
Since this is happening at a time when we would normally expect to have major league spring training, I’m declaring this the start of our spring training reporting. If that’s not reason enough, then Dave Dombrowski was here, too. Nuff Said.
My buddy Steve and I arrived before 9:00 AM and greeted the players as they either arrived or came out to their cars for forgotten items. Most of today’s early morning stuff was meetings inside the Complex.
Around 10:30 AM, players came out in groups and separated among the four fields for stretching, calisthenics, and some running (sprints).
Infielders were on Ashburn.
Outfielders and catchers were on Schmidt and then split between Schmidt (catchers) and Roberts (outfielders).
Rehabbers were long-tossing on Roberts before the outfielders came over.
Pitchers did their stretching stuff in left and right field on Schmidt before going to Carlton for long-toss.
The infielders and outfielders tossed on their fields for a while. Then went through defensive drills with ground balls for the infielders and fly balls for the outfielders.
The start times for each positional group were staggered so that position players could go to the indoor batting cages before taking live batting practice on Ashburn and Roberts.
The catchers on Schmidt were Logan O’Hoppe, Vito Friscia, Herbert Iser, Nick Matera, Micah Yonamine, and Jackie Pertuz (DSL last season).
The infielders on Ashburn were Darick Hall, Bryson Stott, Jonathan Guzman, Nicolas Torres, Jamari Baylor, Casey Martin, Kendall Simmons, Alexeis Azuaje, Erick Brito, and Randy Vasquez. While I was watching, Simmons and Torres fielded third base; Stott, Martin, and Guzman shortstop; Baylor, Azuaje, and Brito at second; and Hall and Vasquez at first.
The outfielders on Roberts were Matt Kroon, Johan Rojas, Yhoswar Garcia, Ethan Wilson, Jordan Viars, and Yemal Flores.
The staggered times allowed me to see almost everyone hit. I know it’s just BP and off coaches to boot. But, a few guys stood out. Hall was launching on Ashburn, putting a few in the first row of cars in the parking lot beyond the right-field fence. I noticed as we left that he was parked behind the safety of the scoreboard. O’Hoppe, Friscia, and Iser hit a couple bombs each on Roberts. Kroon made a lot of solid contact, Stott’s bat looked quick thru the zone, Rojas and Viars looked good. Wilson had the misfortune of hitting against left-handed Coach Abad and was jammed several times.
Ethan Lindow and several pitchers threw bullpens on the Seven Mounds. Couldn’t get a clear enough look to see who or how they looked.
When we left, batters were coming over to Roberts in pairs to work on bunting.
There were a lot of coaches here. I swear I saw ten coaches working with the ten infielders group. I can’t say for sure, but I think every coach from every affiliated level is here, most if not all of the Complex coaching staff, even some of the major league staff like Meachum and Wathan. DD is here. Bowa is here.
I’ve seen over 50 players and have heard that maybe a dozen more are here. There is definitely a distinct separation in the level of experience among the guys here. I detect three groups – young payers who are here for the mini-camp, rehabbers, and older Triple-A types who we would expect to see in major league spring training (including the NRIs already invited).
So, here goes.
Catchers (7): Logan O’Hoppe, Vito Friscia, Herbert Iser, Nick Matera, Micah Yonamine, Jackie Pertuz, and Rickardo Perez who I’ve heard is here but who I did not see.
I think O’Hoppe, Yonamine, Pertuz, Perez are campers; and Friscia, Iser, Matera are ST depth.
Infielders (15): Darick Hall, Bryson Stott, Jonathan Guzman, Nicolas Torres, Jamari Baylor, Casey Martin, Kendall Simmons, Alexeis Azuaje, Erick Brito, Randy Vasquez all of whom I’ve seen. Wilfredo Florers, Dalton Guthrie, and Madison Stokes who I’ve heard are here. And, Lee Hao Yu and Wendell Rios who I’ve seen and suspect are rehabbing.
I think the campers are Stott, Torres, Baylor, Martin, Simmons, Azuaje, Brito, Vasquez all of whom I’ve seen. I think Flores, if really here, is a camper. That would make Guthrie, Guzman, Hall, and Stokes ST depth. Same for Rios if he gets a clean bill of health. Lee Hao Yu was with the rehabbers and took ground balls with Rios before turning the field over to the campers.
Outfielders (6): Matt Kroon, Johan Rojas, Yhoswar Garcia, Ethan Wilson, Jordan Viars, and Yemal Flores. I think these are all campers except Kroon who I think is ST depth.
Pitchers (38): I have seen Mick Abel, Andrew Baker, Ben Brown, Jean Cabrera, Gunner Mayer, Christian McGowan, Erik Miller, Micah Ottenbreit, Andrew Painter, Jose Pena, Erubiel Armenta, Blake Brown, Billy Sullivan, Andrew Schultz, Zach Warren, Cam Wynne, Braden Zabrinsky, Kyle Dohy, Nick Duron, Ethan Evanko, Mike Kelly, Adam Leverett, Brian Marconi, Braeden Ogle, Jeff Singer, Trevor Bettencourt, Jonas De La Cruz, Starlyn Castillo, Brett Schulze. I’ve heard that Cristian Hernandez, Jordi Martinez, Griff McGarry, and Joe Gatto are here. Based on some of the invites above, I expect that Cam Bedrosian (testifying in the Eric King trial), Andrew Bellatti, Tyler Cyr, Jake Newberry, and Matt Seelinger are here or coming.
I think I can draw a line between age and/or experience and identify the campers. Abel, Baker, Ben Brown, Cabrera, Mayer, McGowan, Miller, Ottenbreit, Painter, Pena, Armenta, Blake Brown, Sullivan, Schultz, Warren, Wynne, Zabrinsky, Hernandez, Martinez, McGarry are campers. Bettencourt, Jonas De La Cruz, Castillo, Schulze are rehabbers. The rest are ST depth.
We’ll be back at the fields tomorrow.