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KRS1
02-24-2006, 04:05 PM
2-24-06
I decided to reserve my observations for a post every few days so I can put more observations from camp into a thread. I only watched the pitches thus far, but I did watch Crede hitting and he looks to have somewhat fixed that loopy hitch in his stride(no joke, it has been said before, but I honestly didn't see him dropping nearly as much as in the past).

Final Righty Bullpen Spot..
A few things that stood out to me, Tim Redding looks solid, he has his velocity running from low to mid 90's, and is working on his breaking stuff's consistency. He should challenge anyone in terms of stuff going after this spot by the end of ST.

Montero has a real lively arm, and as someone said he tested positive fro a banned substance previously, but I wont throw him under the steroid bus just yet. He looks likely to get a lot of work this spring in order for Coop to work with his control, but he could be a very deep sleeper candidate for this spot as his arm is as big as anyone else in the competition.

Sean Tracey looks as good as one could expect, and his sinker is looking wicked already. I hope we give him a good hard look in some games to see if he can maintain his poise and stuff out of the pen. His slider looks as good a pitch as any breaking ball he will be contending with for the last spot.

Baj might be doing exactly what he needs to get earn his spot on the roster. He has shown his control can be an asset, and is really working on how to retire batters without nibbling. He also is showing good downward movement on his FB, something that I have never seen from him before(maybe learning a sinker?).


LOOGY..
I'm not going to expell Reynoso or Malone from this competition just yet, but I do think that the vets(or semi-vets) they brought in are going to be tough to displace. Odds are they both start the season in Charlotte, and both could use work on hitting their spots.

Almanza is showing his grizzled vet backround and his ability to change looks. His FB is running and his curve is slow and crooked. I really like what he brings to our camp, but he still isn't my favorite.

Randolph came as advertised, great stuff, but no control. Even when warming up and at 90% he misses targets BIG, and I would be shocked if he gets much better.

Javier Lopez is another favorite to win the spot, but I don't like what he brings to the table. While he has that funky underhand that can be deceptive, I don't like his stuff nearly as much as the other seven. His breaking stuff looks shifty but none are hard breakers with good movement. His fastball can be turned on big time by lefties as I witnessed down here last year, and he doesn't spot it very well either. Despite my clear dislike for him, his pitches all look like groundball inducers, and that keeps his stock up.

Munoz doesn't look impressive, and his curve looks a little weaker than I remember it being. He does locate his pitches better than the other candidates however, and that could be his ticket to Chicago.

Chad Bentz is right up there in terms of talent, and he has what looks like a big hard cutter. I like his pitch movement more than any of the others, and his slider and curve are getting tighter. He really looks like one of the three to beat, and when it comes to stuff it comes down to him Almanza, Tucker, and Randolph as the clear leaders. However, his control isn't improving that much, but I do have to say he is working hard on his motion and release. He is my favorite to win this spot, not just because of his story, but his pitches(4-seam,cutter,curve,slider) all look like plus pitches.

Rusty Tucker, the enigma of the group. What he shows in the next month would very well land him in our pen. He already has his fastball back, and it is expected to get better as ST goes on. He looks strong, but his accuracy is not all their yet. I attribute that to the fact that this is the first time he is working with his full arsenal in 2 years. His FB can run in on lefties nicely, and his low 80's slider should be enough to buckle more than a few knees. When he pitches to the outside (vs. lefites) his fastball doesn't seem to turn over as much, but I think he is working more on spots than movement. If he can mix his 4-seam and 2-seamer on the inside of the plate with that hard-hooking slider he could run away with this competition. IMO, we take it slow with him, work on location and see if he can bring it with full confidence of spotting his fastballs by the end of spring and take it from there.



Overall, there is a lot of talent going for these last 2-3 spots in the pen, and it will come down to performance against live hitting in ST. My favorites going on what I have seen thus far are Redding for our mop-up and Bentz/Tucker for the LOOGY. However, don't be surprised when Montero and Tracey challenge Redding, and Almanza will be there to contend with the young guys the whole way, and his experience and craft could put him over the top.


Hitter...Next week

salty99
02-24-2006, 04:12 PM
Thanks for the recap. I can't wait to get down there from the 5-9th

havelj
02-24-2006, 04:45 PM
I will be there next Tuesday until Sunday (2/28 to 3/5.) Are there workouts after 3pm on Tuesday? Are there workouts in the morning of games at 1pm?

MarySwiss
02-24-2006, 05:00 PM
KRS1:
I plan on driving down tomorrow; should get there around 8:30. I imagine there'll be more fans there on Saturday, but that can't be helped. How have the crowds been so far?

Also, I'm bringing my "Dedicated TO..." book and PK jersey along to try to get some autographs. Any hints?

BTW, are you one of the guys who was at some of the World Series gatherings at Skip and Jan's? I vaguely remember (beer will do that!) a couple of guys from Scottsdale.

KRS1
02-24-2006, 05:20 PM
KRS1:
I plan on driving down tomorrow; should get there around 8:30. I imagine there'll be more fans there on Saturday, but that can't be helped. How have the crowds been so far?

Also, I'm bringing my "Dedicated TO..." book and PK jersey along to try to get some autographs. Any hints?

BTW, are you one of the guys who was at some of the World Series gatherings at Skip and Jan's? I vaguely remember (beer will do that!) a couple of guys from Scottsdale.


Workouts start at about 9AM, and I'm out by 1-2 everyday b/c I'm easily scorched. Crowds are decent, they were huge the first day, but after that really cooled down. For auto's go down to the right side of third base dugout where the hitters are, and just keep bothering them til they acknowledge you. The closest I have been to the pitchers is when the are hanging around the dugouts, and jogging. Also, no I wasnt at Jan's, as I have some friends down here from Chicago to watch games with at my APT. Have fun and bring water-based beverages.