Bullpens, PFPs, drills, etc…

Late morning workouts commenced following the Reds team meeting. On the first day, it stays rather simple with pitchers and catchers going through stretching, running and of course, numerous drills while rotating in groups to different fields.

ST1 021611.JPGMost of the drills are called PFPs — pitchers fielding practice. They practice fielding and throwing to first base, second base, third base, retrieving bunts, etc.

On another field, catchers practiced blocking balls.

On another field, pitchers grabbed bats and practiced bunting.

And in the bullpen, there were guys throwing in eight-minute sessions. I saw Mike Leake, Aroldis Chapman, Travis Wood, Sam LeCure, Logan Ondrusek, Jordan Smith, Jerry Gil, Matt Klinker and Daryl Thompson.

ST3 021611.JPGI’m not a scout so I’m not qualified to say who looked good or not. But Gil could be an interesting pitcher to keep on your radar. He is a converted shortstop/outfielder that had a rifle right arm. I remember scout Gene Bennett once telling me a few years ago about seeing Gil in Double-A throw a ball to home plate from the center field warning track — without a hop. Gil had Tommy John surgery a couple of years ago and has worked his way through the Minors as a pitcher.

Of course, Chapman was bringing some velocity as he is wont to do. Below are a couple of pictures I took during his bullpen session.

ST5 021611.JPG
ST4 021611.JPGOverall, the first day of activity lasted about 2 1/2 hours. Things are just wrapping up now at around 1:30 p.m. AZ time. I later learned that Dontrelle Willis missed the workout because his wife was having a baby. 

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2 Comments

Mark – Tim Kirkjian (that’s not spelled right) wrote a book in which he said that spring training is the only time pitchers get fielding practice. Is this true? And if so, in view of the importance of defense, why don’t they take infield during the season? I remember noticing at the beginning of last year a remarkable number of pitchers (not Reds) who had trouble with the throw to first on come-backers.

It is mostly true. Teams may do PFP work once in a while in season but not often. Spring training is the time to go over this stuff, fielding strategy, etc. The regular season is enough of a grind that it’s hard to work in all the extra drills.

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