We started the day watching pitchers on Bowa Field going thru fielding practice drills on balls hit back to the mound. They would alternate making throws to first and second base. There were twenty-two pitchers participating in the drills.
Live BP sessions followed on both Ashburn Field and inside BayCare Ballpark. Ala the Phandemic Krew in Philadelphia we observed from behind the stadium entrance gates at the Ballpark.
Pitchers who threw live BP sessions on the stadium field of about twenty to twenty five pitches were Ethan Lindow ( LH), Julian Garcia ( RH ), Austin Ross ( RH ), Robinson Martinez ( RH ) and Joel Cesar ( RH ).
Ethan Lindow was first on the bump. The 2019 Paul Owens Award winner looked fine, from our account he had at least two strikeouts in his session. The secondary offerings seemed sharp ... noted for pinpoint control and command, from what we saw today he looks to be on pace for another strong season.
Today was the second time I’ve seen Joel Cesar throw, the twenty five year old was acquired from the Pirates in September as completion of the Austin Davis transaction. He’s got a short compact delivery, the ball seemingly comes out of his ear like a catcher’s release. Looked quick and we didn’t notice any reduction in arm speed on the secondary deliveries, one which spun a batter in a circle as he swung and missed. The previous reports we’ve read on Cesar were that he had a big arm and sat mid 90’s ... without velo readouts today that seemed to be true from our viewing angle. 🔥
Lefty Ranger Suarez did an up and down session of two innings. Ranger stayed in Clearwater after big league camp broke for a couple of reasons ... he got a very late start due to visa problems and then incurred some injury issues. Today he looked to be throwing free and easy which is encouraging, he could be a contributor at the big league level before the season ends. Looked today to be more focused on fastballs however we did see a few secondary offerings.
Hitters we saw today included Nick Matera, Logan O’Hoppe, Luke Miller, Arquimedes Gamboa, Cornelius Randolph, Keaton Greenwalt, Jake Holmes, Luis Garcia and Jack Conley. Randolph has impressed during his BP sessions this past week, we’ve seen him drive the ball consistently to left center field and take a couple yard that way as well. He hit the ball well again today in live BP.
Luke Miller also had good AB’s in the live sessions stinging quite a few. Luis Garcia, Jake Holmes and Keaton Greenwalt delivered base hits, both line drives and hard grounders up the middle. The only downfall of delivering hits in live BP is having to retrieve the baseballs after practice is over ... there were no fielders today ... we watched Keaton make the long trek to center field to pick up some of the baseballs he put there ... it’s all good 👍⚾️.
It’s out understanding that the younger group of players were in the live BP sessions on Ashburn Field ... hopefully we will catch them on Tuesday when this group of pitchers will likely have their second sessions.
That’s a wrap for today ...
Mark Wylie photos from our observations to follow in the coming days.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️