Today was SOS-Same Old Situation, more of the same PFPs (pitcher fielding practice), catcher drills, bunting practice for the pitchers and batting practice for the catchers.
There was a fairly sizable crowd today. They still haven’t opened up Spectrum Field to the public to watch batting practice for the position players. Baseball Ross is such a dedicated blogger, he had his camera up against the gates to get a few shots.
So I stayed at the Carpenter Complex to get a few shots of my own:
The clouds started rolling in this morning but we were able to get a full day of spring training in before the rain came.
It was an eventful day. We saw the pitchers warming up then went to the stadium to watch batting practice. Then we returned to the Carpenter Complex in time to catch the catchers take BP then do pop-up drills.
Baseball Ross and I put together a rather extensive video of today’s activities, you can watch it HERE.
The best picture of the day is when Logan Moore ran into the fence right in front of me during pop-up practice. You can see it in the video above and of course, I keep shooting when he did. This is what I got:
Below you will find some more stills from the day:
As minor league training camp is winding down, the mood and tempo is also winding down. The mood is more quiet, more like waiting for it all to be over. I took most of yesterday to try to catch the few players I haven’t seen yet as well as chat with a few of my friends before they leave.
I found something new to be fascinated with. I have long had a fascination with the knuckle ball. But now it’s with Hoby Milner’s side arm pitch. I’ve long been a fan of and friend of Hoby. He’s a great kid who had some struggles and changed his pitch from the usual overhand to a full-fledged side arm.
I was trying to cover both games so I missed his first inning but according to the BlueClaws Blog, he threw two scoreless innings. I didn’t get any video, but wish I had. Once I started watching, I could not turn away.
While I didn’t have video, I have placed the photos in sequence so you can get a feel of the motion:
The sound and movement of the ball was unique. It had a different kind of “whoosh” to it and it seemed to almost swerve from Hoby’s hand, out to the right of the batter and at the last second, swerve back over the plate. The batters just didn’t know what to make of it. In the inning I saw, there were times that the batters would just stand there as the ball went by, not knowing how to time their swing. It was really cool to watch. I almost forgot to take pictures.
Something else that I saw that was different is Ben Lively’s fastball. I’ve hung around bullpens enough, right behind the catcher, that it really doesn’t phase me. I am usually immune to the snap that the ball makes as it crashes into Logan Moore’s glove. I’ll admit, the first time I heard Lively’s fastball, it actually startled me. I jumped and almost dropped my phone.
HERE’S VIDEO of Lively pitching. The first and third pitches are “normal” and the second is one of the fastballs.
Those were the two things that I enjoyed watching. Today is the last full day of camp. Tomorrow there will be some drills/intra-squad early before the guys shower and load their equipment onto the trucks to go north. I hope to be there to say good-bye to my friends.
It’s another beautiful day here in Baseball Land. The sun is shining, the grass is green, the orange and palm trees sway…oh wait, Irving Berlin wrote that for White Christmas, but it is fitting here today.The cold weather is gone and it’s a picture perfect day.
Pitchers had throwing from the mound and catchers are taking BP from the coaches.
The only out of the ordinary thing that happened was that David Buchanan took a line drive “come-backer” off of his shoulder.
Catchers and some position players took batting practice:
The highlight of batting practice was watching Carlos Alonso. He returned to the field showing no ill-affects of last year’s season-ending injury. In fact, he hit two out of the park and missed a third by only a few inches.
That’s all from here in Clearwater, back at it again tomorrow!