Saturday At The Park

Posted on February 23rd, 2008 – 4:00 PM
By La Velle

I’ve tried to keep weather reports off this blog but it has been one of the warmer Februarys down here in my 11 spring trainings in Fort Myers. We sometimes have to keep the garage door-like pressbox doors closed because it’s in the 50′s some mornings, but it’s been in the 80′s by midday all week.

Watched the good morning drill to get a peek at some of the newcomers. Brendan Harris, Mike Lamb and Adam Everett all looked solid, but I’m not going to make snap judgements based on the first drill of spring unless they look like me fielding grounders.

I will say this: Nick Punto and Alexi Casilla stand out even in drills. Mike Redmond kept screaming at Punto throughout drills. “Come on, Nicky…..Yes! Nice!” Redmond always is trying to get Punto fired up. I know Punto is not a strong offensive player but man can pick it.

Matt Macri looks like an intriguing player. Good size. Seems to field well. I want to see him hit.

Harris liked the Good Morning America drill. “I liked that Tom Kelly is still involved,” he said. “I liked the old school approach to things.”

Kelly still talks it up during drills, but spent a lot of time helping Randy Ruiz through drills.

While Mike Redmond slipped on his catcher’s gear following the drill, a fan yelled out, “try not to get injured this year, Mike.” Too ambitious. The ball finds this man. About 30 minutes later, Redmond hits a Julio DePaula pitch and stings his hand.

Finished the morning behind the batting cage on the main field, where Tony Oliva told stories and Rod Carew locked in on hitting approaches.

Delmon Young certainly has the power, as he dropped several balls over the left field fence. Carew chatted occasionally with Young and spent some time helping Denard Span smooth out his approach. Span used to spread his hands apart on the bat but has stopped that in recent years and connected on a few line drives Saturday.

Joe C. and I were headed off the field before we discovered that Deolis Guerra was scheduled to pitch. Guerra. listed at 6-5 and 200 pounds, comes over the top and has excellent angle on his pitches. Goodness, does he throw hard and he does have a nice change up. Several people thought some of his curveballs were very good. Kid hasn’t turned 19 yet. I can’t imagine what he’ll look like at age 23 when he fills out some more.

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