2/17/23 : Today at the Complex
Today’s Minor League Camp activities :
Twelve pitchers threw afternoon bullpen sessions on the seven mounds area in front of the David Montgomery Training Center while the other pitchers in camp went thru PFP’s ( Pitcher’s Fielding Practices ) on Schmidt Field including separate drills on holding runners and getting acclimated to the pitch clock.
Position players were divided into five groups and each group went thru run prevention defensive drills, base running practice and batting practice - BP was against pitching machines to simulate game conditions - two machines were used and deliveries varied from sliders to fastballs at the control of the coach - hitters reacted like they would in games to a pitcher’s mix.
Just a note - practices also include tissue preparation time, strength and conditioning work and instructional meetings on different topics - today the initial minor league meeting focus was on cuts and relays. While players aren’t always on the fields practicing in sight of the fans I can assure you that each day is packed with multiple activities to get them conditioned mentally, physically and with baseball acumen to go thru a long season - it’s all part of it.
Minor League Pitchers who threw bullpens :
Sam Aldegheri, Jean Cabrera, Eiberson Castellano, Mavis Graves, Jordi Martinez, Wesley Moore, Jose Pena, Nicoly Pina, Jaydenn Estanista, Enrique Segura, Danny Wilkinson & Cam Wynne.
RH Eiberson Castellano ( 21 years old ) has always impressed me each time I’ve seen him throw - in today’s session he hit his spots, had good velocity and movement along with a repeatable easy delivery. RH Jean Cabrera ( 21 years old ) is smaller in build but he can light up the radar - first time I’ve seen him up close, threw a very nice breaking ball as well in his mix. RH Nicoly Pina ( 23 years old ) has top notch stuff ( FB velo & slider ) - in my opinion he threw very well today.
One of the best things about watching player development practice is the observance of the interaction between players and coaches. It’s telling about the baseball mental skills of a player as to how they take instruction and then adapt. In today’s session one pitcher got underneath his fastball pitch and it sailed on him, the next delivery was flat and went low as he overcompensated the other way - the pitching coach stopped him, explained what he saw and how to correct it - the next delivery was on point to the catcher’s targeted spot and delivered with a smooth non-rushed motion - in fact the balance of the session was on point with location and stuff - as an observer I think it’s cool to see that kind of interactive work - in this case kudos to Pitching Coach Matt Hockenberry and RHP Enrique Segura ( 18 years old ) - good stuff - btw Segura’s pitches continue to impress - legit.
Minor League Batting Practice :
Game simulated hitting ( higher velocity and breaking pitches ) taken against a pitching machine today - two machines were set up on the mound to simulate deliveries from both right and left handers. Each machine threw sliders and fastballs at the coaches discretion. We’ve seen players struggle in times past against pitching machines - it’s just different in picking up the delivery however today the guys were pretty much all on it. I stationed myself on Roberts Field - hitting also took place on Ashburn Field simultaneously however there’s shade by Roberts so that was my chosen perch today 😎.
Kendall Simmons was on just about every pitch today in his session - line drives and a couple dingers over the left center field fence. Jordan Viars also locked in and made consistent solid contact. Carlos De La Cruz hit perhaps the longest drive of day putting one into orbit. I continue to be impressed with Ryan Leitch’s swing - it’s quick and powerful - he too was all over the machine’s deliveries.
Hao Yu Lee had a good round - the young man can just flat out hit - drove the baseball consistently with a couple taters in the mix. Justin Crawford displayed opposite field power with three over the left/left center field fence.
Major League Camp Activity :
My primary writing focus is on the minor leagues as it is during the season as well however here are some big league camp notes. Players reported at 9 AM. The first on-field activities started at 10:20 with the main action starting at 10:45. Things wound down at noon.
Major League Pitchers who threw bullpens :
There were multiple bullpen sessions however I don’t have access to see who threw as they pitched on the seven mounds.
Major League Batting Practice :
I watched parts of sessions including Darick Hall, Vilmael Machin, Will Toffey, Simon Muzziotti, Jhailyn Ortiz, Kody Clemens, Jim Haley & Weston Wilson. Kyle Schwarber, Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, Bryson Stott, Edmundo Sosa, Jake Cave & Scott Kingery also hit today.
Darick Hall crushed one deep into the parking lot beyond the right field fence on Ashburn Field - it bounced into the street beyond the complex lot. He sent quite a few into orbit during his session.
Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg was in camp today - the former Phillies skipper took time to sign autographs for fans alongside Ashburn Field.
Back at em tomorrow - Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
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