by Eric Garfield
Good morning from Twin Lakes. Today is a staff report day and a few fans are here too as there’s no O’s game in Sarasota. The parking lots are closer to full.
As I walk out on to the fields, there’s a guy providing the players with candy and seeds so they can grab a snack as they head out to start their warm-up exercises and stretches. The weather is sunny and hot today, it feels like spring training after a chilly snap for a week or so. I’ll watch and tell you what I see as the players start their grind for Tuesday.
JJ Hardy is here at the facility to help with the young infielders! I added a pic for you
Also, pitchers Wells, Lowther, Brian Gonzalez and Jake Zebron have checked in.
Morning drills included base running with exploding at and through the bag at second. They were timed and Janvrin’s was the lowest beating Watson by .4 according to a coach with a stopwatch. Stowers also had a great turn and stride out too while maintaining balance. Another sign of a strong core
Eyes on a glove transfer drill I saw Malquin Canelo operating with speed and little wasted movement. Dalton Hoiles was slow but sped up a hair in their contest.
3:00pm Update- The simulated game featured pitchers DL Hall, Grayson Rodriguez, Mike Baumann, Cody Sedlock, Gray Fenter, Kyle Bradish, Blaine Knight, Zach Peek, David LeBron and Drew Rom.
There were scouts with guns behind me. Both Hall and Grayson were 96-98. That’s warm. Sedlock hit 90 with his heat. Best pitcher overall was probably Rom who had tight spin to both lefties and righties and hit his spots with accuracy for 2k’s looking. He came back after a rest, hopped up on the hill and put hitters in bad counts before finishing them off. He got cornerman JC Encarnacion swinging. Encarnacion had a deep opposite field shot off Grayson Rodriguez in the first inning showing excellent bat speed.
Lebron also looked very good and he was mid-90’s but the change up was 83 and fell off late for a pair of swinging K’s. Most other pitchers looked solid to excellent. Blaine Knight was wild and got hit hard. His breaking ball was moving and breaking a plane but didn’t end up where he wanted to. One pitch did but it was hammered to CF by Rylan Bannon. Next pitch was a wild pitch. I have other highlights to add and will have them up soon but watching the pitchers was great and seeing them dictate counts was a positive sign.
I’m home and going through some videos from this afternoon. Highlights from my notes include:
DL Hall-worked more right to left than up and down and had location working. Struck out outfielder Robbie Thorburn looking. Struck out 1b JC Escarra, a lefty looking. Nasty. Showed 3B Toby Welk a true 12-6 breaking ball. Infielder Darrel Hernaiz hit a grounder into the hole, beat it out and stole second off the battery of DL Hall and catcher Brett Cumberland.
Grayson Rodriguez-first pitch 96, second pitch 98. Starting off lefties outside and low looks like his strategy and not a great one. Rylan Bannon got shown a slider at 0-2 that was close to unhittable. Grayson looks poised to keep the good stuff going.
Michael Baumann-hit 90 mph on his slider and it was funky while in the air. Big movement. Started righty 3rd baseman JC Encarnacion off 0-1 before Encarnacion took him deep opposite field for a home run. Baumann came back and struck out catcher Cody Roberts swinging on a late depth offspeed offering. Baumann’s arsenal=good abs getting better.
Cody Sedlock-showing some consistency in movement and control. First hitter, catcher Brett Cumberland lined a pulled single off pitch no 1. Sedlock in the zone seemed touchable and sat at 90 mph. First baseman Ryan Ripken lines a single off him before of/IF Zach Watson doubled to deep center for the RBI. Next up, outfielder Mason Janvrin. He took a pair of pitches before lacing an RBI double. Infielder Malquin Canelo stepped in and Sedlock took a deep breath then executed his breaking stuff to get a K looking.
Gray Fenter-his control seemed off but his breaking ball had excellent and obvious depth. Cornerman Willy Yahn took an inside change up to short left for a single. Fenter didn’t get into his spots and walked outfielder Robbie Thorburn. Cumberland came out to the mound for a chat and helped Fenter get Hernaiz to ground into a double play. Then Escarra flied out to center. Good rebound for Fenter, great communication by Cumberland.
Kyle Bradish-slurve was looking really strong out of his hand, spinning off his fingertips slowly and consistently. His heat looked and sounded good and he hit his spots with room to spare. He was really bearing in to the righty Bannon and got him to strike out uncomfortably. Cumberland grounded out to second and then Watson swung through high, rising heat for strike 3. Impressive execution.
David Lebron-he really looked good. He hit his spots with every offering and showed depth and speed difference on his change. He successfully buried a pair of change ups in the dirt and the swings from outfielder Kyle Stowers and JC Encarnacion were weak ones. Good sign.
Blaine Knight-pitches looked better in warmups. He purposefully aimed at the high, outside corner with spin after not getting a strike there one pitch previous and Rylan Bannon drove it to left for a single.
Zach Peek-Showed consistency in rhythm and mechanics. The more I see the more I like. He showed a very organized and accurate pickoff move to second and got his guy out, ump called safe. Peek frustrated Escarra and stayed in his lefty kitchen getting a swinging k to finish him off. Nice pitching.
Drew Rom-Rom looked so hot with stuff that 3 batters weren’t enough and he wanted another half inning. He got it and showed righty slugging corner Daschbach only 4 pitches before disposing of him strikeout style. Rom showed ‘off the table’ action after reducing speeds and just frustrates lefties. Cumberland swung through a difficult slider to strike out. I wrote ‘Rom=DAMN’
So that was the simulated game. Janvrin’s RBI and Encarnacion’s tater were the offensive highlights but the pitchers were in control. Also, totally randomly a baseball got stuck in the fence and it was fun to watch people with the best location skills on the planet try to knock it back out throwing gloves, cleats and other balls to hit it.
One pitcher confidently took a look, asked for a baseball and hit it out on his first attempt. It was impressive. Kade Strowd nailed it and smiled as it fell. Accuracy!
Tomorrow there’s another sim game so I’ll be there paying attention and providing info for you. Thanks for the feedback and here’s some clips of today’s action.