It was one of those perfect spring training late mornings. Just cool enough to debate whether or not you needed a hoodie when you left for the ball park but if you sat in the sun at Bright House, no hoodie was needed. It was a hot morning for Hunter Pence in batting practice though. With the wind blowing from the right field pole to left field foul pole, Pence drove 11 long balls out to left and left center in his typical batting practice routine. The berm, the visitors bullpen and the small tiki bar behind the bullpens took a pounding from Hunter’s drives. Of the rest of the position players only Pete Orr hit more than one out Bright House as he drove three batting practice pitches over the fence through the wind to right.
The Front Office has to breathe a sigh of relief that they have only one Hunter Pence in batting practice or they would have to rent a van just bring down enough baseballs to get through spring training. While Thome, Utley and Mayberry were able to square up some line drives , none came close to getting one to leave the yard. Not much power was seen from the rest of the hitters in BP like Frandsen, Wigginton, Podsednik or Nix. Of course Juan Pierre was hitting those chip shots just over the infield that he is known for. Of the young players Harold Garcia batting left handed got a pitch in his wheelhouse and line it downed the line over the right field wall. Tyson Gillies looked good barreling the ball using all the field in his at bats and it took Domonic Brown his final round of BP to get his timing down and start lining the ball hard to all fields including going yard to left.
All the front office types were watching intently during BP. Ruben stationed himself to the left of the batting cage, staring at the swings of the last group of outfield bats trying to make the team or catching on at AAA. Then once BP was over the Front Office types quickly disappeared down the left field line and into the clubhouse. The one exception was Ruben who stayed behind and stood near outfield coach Juan Samuel as he hit grounders and fly balls to outfielders Pierre, Pence, Gillies, Podsednik, Mayberry, Nix and Brown.
On the way out of Bright House, action was still taking place on the half field. Ground balls were being hit to Frandsen, Wiggington and Orr at third base, Mayberry was working out at first and Gracia was hanging out around second.
We should see many different combinations on the field when the spring training Grapefruit League games begin. It’s clear if a player wants to make the 25 man roster he needs to be able to play many positions. The other point from this morning is that Ruben will closely be watching the play of his outfield candidates as the camp goes along this spring.