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Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring Training Day 1 Recap

Although it was only 3 hours, it was a lot more action than last year; I never felt like I could have enough eyes to see everything I wanted to see. This was a lot different than last year for me, when it was only pitchers and catchers in the AM, and the position players who were in town came in the afternoon. Today, all four of the main fields had some top players and it was difficult to try to grasp everything.

This post will be the general observations, followed up by a pictures post and then finally a couple youtube clips.

1) Terry Collins is very very likable and friendly. He went out of his way to talk/listen to the fans, and probably signed 100+ autographs for people. He was running between all the fields and spent time to talk to every single player it seemed during warm ups and/or during drills. I can see why D Wright was quoted today as saying he's a guy who you would run through a wall for.

2) Fred Wilpon was also present today and was talking to a lot of fans and posing for pictures. I did not see Jeff, and Sandy Alderson was on the fields, but I didn't get to see or talk to him at all.

3) On the field warming up, the players were laughing and having a good time, and they opened up the gates just in time to see Johan and K-Rod hug L Castillo. It is now known that Castillo left part of the practice to hear that his brother survived his surgery, but it is unknown whether Luis will leave camp to be with him. Obviously our prayers go out to Luis and his family. Luis spent some time signing autographs for the fans in between stations. I didn't get to see him take BP, and as expected, the defensive station couldn't tell me much, except that the "starting infield" had Ike and D Wright alone at the corners, Reyes and Hu at SS, and Murphy, Emaus and Castillo at 2nd (no J Turner).

4) I did get very excited about seeing Jason Isrignhausen back in a Mets uniform, and saw him throw live BP alone with Chris Young, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey. RA Dickey, Capuano, and Bonser also threw, but I didn't get to see them enough to make any judgments.  Here is the run-down for the pitchers I did see.

Izzy: Mechanically he didn't look in sync (will show pics later). He still has the nasty knuckle-curve though and also was throwing his change-up often.
Chris Young: Although he's tall, he is a drop and drive pitcher, and throws straight over the top. They didn't have radar guns at the field, but he didn't seem to have much velocity.
Oliver Perez: He is still a mess mechanically, and he started out very wild and not throwing hard. But he finished up strong and looked confident coming off the mound. He faced Bay, Beltran, Duda, so I'm interested to see if they have anything to say about Ollie today.
Big Pelf: Pelfrey looked free and easy and ready to rock and roll. He was consistently within the strike zone, which resulted in him having a lot of balls put in play against him, but don't read into that at all.

5) I watched Beltran take a round of BP, and right-handed he showed no signs of favoring his knee, which was a major plus. I was comparing how much he uses his lower body to Jason Bay's, and Beltran generates a lot more torque than Bay. He wasn't hitting home run after home run like last week, but it was against a BP pitcher and he was routinely hitting the ball off the wall.

I think that's all the major things right now. Feel free to post any comments/questions and I will do my best to answer them.

All in all a successful first day, and a great start to the week!

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