2/19/22 : Today at the Complex - Day 4 - Minor League Mini Camp
A little chilly by Florida standards today at the complex but it didn’t hinder camp workouts. We saw two pitchers on rehab assignment throw bullpens on the mounds between Carlton and Roberts fields. RHP Brett Schulze threw to catcher Chris Burke off the mound albeit is was a “hard toss” work out as Burke stood up to receive him. Brett was firing pretty good and in his words the workout “wasn’t bad for February”. He’s working his way back from missing the 2021 season due to TJ surgery, today he threw approximately 25 tosses.
LHP Jordi Martinez was next on the side mound as he threw about the same amount but with Burke squatting in the catcher’s position. Jordi has always been an exciting arm for us, big time velo and movement when he’s on. Today he showed a bit more hip and leg rotation in his delivery than we’ve seen before, that’s actually something we were hoping would be incorporated. He’s got great stuff and is one to keep an eye out for as he progresses.
Base running drills were conducted on Carlton Field with new base running coordinator Gary Cathcart at the helm. We appreciate his enthusiasm and direct instructions on both cutting the corner of the bags on turns and pushing thru directly from the box on attempts to beat out a hit. We’ve heard of instructors from other organizations ( the Cubs ) teach hitting the middle of the bag on push thru’s. Coach Catchcart’s instructions aligned with our thoughts that hitting the front is more efficient.
Infield practice commenced on Carlton Field - throws to the bags incorporated today. Managers Shawn Williams ( Reading ) and Marty Malloy ( Clearwater ) bring a lot of energy to infield when they are manning the fungos as they did again today. Today’s session ended with a competition with each infield spot up on the grass, a tall equipment bag was placed on the plate and the objective was to hit it with the throw after fielding a grounder off the bat. Kendall Simmons, working at third base and Alexeis Azuaje working at first base were the two finalists with Azuaje ultimately making the winning throw and receiving congratulations from his teammates and coaches. It was a fun way to end the week’s grounder practice.
One other note - Erick Brito stood out today in infield to my fellow observer Jim Peyton. He said Erick showed good hands, footwork and form as part of the second base group.
BP followed, today’s session off a pitching machine with a quicker pace - we watched a bit on Ashburn Field - Darick Hall’s strength and opposite field power shined thru as he poked at least three over the left center field fence. The big fella can swing the bat and has consistently hit the ball hard all this week.
We believe tomorrow is an off day with mini camp resuming on Monday.
Camp Spotlight : Cam Wynne :
One of the relief pitchers in Mini Camp is 2021 twentieth round draft selection Cam Wynne. He’s a 23 year old right handed hurler who pitched for the University of Nebraska after transferring from Texas A&M. Cam also appeared in seven games with the Clearwater Threshers in 2021. He showed a fastball ( 92-95 mph ), slider, sinker and changeup. The 6-foot-6 Wynne has touched as high as 99 mph with his heater, his best secondary offering is the slider. Relievers can move quickly up the ladder, in particular those with big arms.
Cam Wynne - photo by Casey Burns
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️