Friday, February 24, 2012
A fairly uneventful second day of camp concluded under beautiful, 80-degree skies.
The second half of the 28 pitchers in camp threw bullpen sessions today, and that list included recently acquired pitchers Simon Castro, Pedro Hernandez and Nestor Molina.
“It was good to see some of our new guys throw from mounds today,” manager Robin Ventura said. “It was nice to see what some of your scouting department saw.”
One pitcher Ventura has mixed emotions seeing was left-hander Chris Sale. The emotions were mixed because Ventura admitted that he still watched some of the pitchers as if he would have to face them in the batter’s box.
“That’s a baaaaad matchup for lefties,” Ventura said of Sale. “He’s throwing nice and easy, free. He just needs to build up arm strength throughout the spring.”
Baseball can be a game of inches … and seconds.
After finishing pitching a round of batting practice to catchers, bullpen coach Juan Nieves headed off the mound toward the third base line. As he reached the baseline, he stopped to pick up a baseball. Kevin Hickey, the next bp pitcher (and since he is left-handed, his back was toward Nieves), went ahead and delivered a pitch to batter Josh Phegley.
Phegley lined the pitch nearly point blank at Nieves, who spun. You could hear the ball hit him and sizzle on into left field.
“I’m OK,” a lucky Nieves said, point to a mark near his left elbow. “But thanks for asking.”
VP of Player Development Buddy Bell sported a bright blue golf shirt in camp today and took some ribbing about his color choice.
“It’s Royal Blue,” he countered, as if that were much better.
Later, Bell watched bp from behind the cage, surrounded by Sox staff in uniform. One of the things didn’t belong there …
Best sarcastic line of camp today may have belonged to pitching coach Richard Dotson to, of course, AJ.
As the two joked around a golf cart in the morning, AJ ran off to his next drill, with Dot firing a line after him: “You’re a great guy, AJ. I don’t care if no one else likes you. I like you.”