Day 2: Daily Squeeze
By Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com
With physicals out of the way, players had an earlier start to workouts on Friday. Everyone was on the field by 10 am and off by 12:30 pm. That included position players, who continue to work out in advance of the first full squad gathering.
Sorry, but there won’t be a new video today. But here are your highlights from Pirate City:
- Right-hander Jean Machi, who has held out of workouts on Thursday for a follow-up to his physical, participated in full on Friday. He also threw his first side session.
- In addition to Machi, another 15 pitchers took the mound for the first time in Spring Training. That group included: Zach Duke, Daniel McCutchen, Brendan Donnelly, Octavio Dotel, Evan Meek, Vinnie Chulk, Ronald Uviedo, Jeff Sues, Charlie Morton, Brian Burres, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Powell, Wil Ledezma, Brian Bass and Ramon Aguero.
- Another two pitchers — Jimmy Barthmaier and Neal Cotts — took the mound after the scheduled side sessions ended. Both are rehabbing from elbow surgery. Barthmaier, who is expected back in mid-May, threw 30 pitches. Cotts, who is just seven months removed from his procedure, threw 60.
- Two other rehabbing pitchers — Craig Hansen and Tyler Yates — each did long toss for about 15 minutes.
- First baseman Jeff Clement continued to get extra on-field attention from infield coach Carlos Garcia. Garcia really seems to be emphasizing the positioning of the glove when Clement fields ground balls. Clement will be the focus of my spring feature on Saturday, so look for more on him then.
- Spotted Ryan Church this morning as he arrived at Pirate City for the first time. He met a number of his new teammates but did not participate in on-field activities with other position players.
- With Church here, only seven position players — Andrew McCutchen, Lastings Milledge, Ronny Cedeno, Delwyn Young, Jonathan Van Every, Gorkys Hernandez and Argenis Diaz — are unaccounted for.
- After donning his catching gear briefly a few days ago, Neil Walker fielded ground balls at second base on Friday. He’s going to continue to improve his versatility with the hope that it can eventually land him a role on the big-league club.
- Andy LaRoche might want to consider having his first name stiched onto the back of his jersey for the time being. As LaRoche came off the field, he was hounded by fans yelling: “Adam, can I have your autograph?” “Who?” LaRoche responded, smiling. Some fans caught their mistakes. Others didn’t. Regardless, Andy happily signed his name to everyone for asked.
- All pitchers spent 40 minutes taking part in fielding drills again. The group that then did not throw off the mound spent time practicing bunts in the cages.
- One of the pitchers to throw his first side session on Friday was Dotel (pitcured above). When asked about his early impression of the team’s new closer, manager John Russell said: “He was very professional about his side today. He did everything right. That’s the veteran he is.”
- Saturday’s workouts are expected to again begin around 10 am.
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