2/22/2021 : First Full Squad Day
The full contingent of players were expected in camp today albeit a few may still be yet to arrive due to visa issues. In times past the full team would be out on the Complex fields mid morning working on various drills. Things are different though in pandemic conditions.
I was at the Complex pretty early this morning, noticed a new arrival walking into the players lot ... young infielder Luis Garcia arrived yesterday in Clearwater and was at the Complex today. He gave me the thumbs up as he entered the lot.
From the Carpenter parking lot I noticed some pitchers up by the Bowa Half Field and walked up there, turned out it was lefties Matt Moore and Tony Watson getting bullpens in. As I was walking Todd Zolecki and Matt Gelb passed by on their way to the Complex from the stadium ... good to see the real writers in town again. I said hello but not sure they recognized me with my mask and shield on 🤷♂️. ( Clarification - Mr Gelb said hello, I just didn’t hear him 🤪)
BP for the catchers was seemingly the first drill of the day at the Complex. Went back there to see them ( Mathis, Duran, Knapp, Marchan ) hit on Ashburn Field. Rafael Marchan placed at least three over the right field fence, when we’ve seen him in BP before it’s a regular occurrence even though he’s hit just one in a game. The young man has skills, we’ve been telling ya for awhile 😎.
Jim Peyton and I ventured back to Roberts Field where we watched from beyond the left field fences as Aaron Nola, Ivan Nova, David Hale and Bryan Mitchell each threw live BP sessions. The catchers were the hitters. Hale looked to me ( from 400 feet away with my binoculars) to have a very crisp fastball and produced quite a few swing and misses albeit Andrew Knapp took one pitch yard far over the left field fence ( an opposite field shot 💪). Nola looked like Nola, he worked up a sweat as conditions were really nice here in Clearwater today after a couple recent cooler mornings.
We walked back to the parking lot thereafter and noticed fellas taking fly balls on Ashburn Field off the pitching machine as it was slanted upwards to vault balls into the air. Looked like Adam Haseley was in the group but to be honest I didn’t stay long as the sun was wearing on me at that point 🥵... needed Agua 💦
Finished the day back up at the half field where Ace photographer Mark Wylie had been stationed for a couple hours ( expect some Ace photos later 👍). Infield practice was just finishing up, we saw a group with Bohm at third, Maton at short, Kingery at second and Miller at first as Larry Bowa and Shawn Williams hit them grounders.
Called it a day after that although I’m sure that another group would be taking the fields in the afternoon ... again due to Covid they are split into multiple workout teams.
At least I got my steps in today ... and there was Baseball to watch ... those are good things 🤓
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️