Just a few observations from Monday morning at Pirate City, as I’m heading home now:
— Erik Bedard is wearing a knee brace, which I wasn’t aware of until Tom Smith noticed it this morning.
— Most of the pitchers seem a bit wild. I’ve never been to spring training this early, so I’m guessing this is typical. During live BP the hitters generally don’t swing much. One exception was Doug Slaten, a veteran LH reliever who’s trying to make the team on an NRI. He was getting hit hard, much of it by lefty-swinging Jeff Clement.
— Guys who seem to be swinging well early: Jake Fox, Nick Evans, Jordy Mercer and Clement. Pedro Alvarez launched some long bombs today.
— I wasn’t able to locate catcher Jose Morales, nor could anybody else I spoke to. Catchers aren’t hard to spot in camp; they’re easily the hardest-working players. They’re warming up pitchers, catching live BP, working in almost all the fielding drills, and somehow finding time to take BP. Rod Barajas, Mike McKenry, Eric Fryer, Tony Sanchez and Ramon Cabrera were all in view constantly, and Kris Watts and newcomer Charlie Cutler have been warming up pitchers. Anybody who thinks that’s light duty should have seen Cutler after he warmed up about four guys in a row today. Jake Fox has not been doing any catching. But no sign of Morales. I thought he had a fairly good chance of winning the backup catcher spot, so I’m curious what’s up.
— It looks like every single pitcher in major league camp is healthy right now, or in Morton’s case very close. I don’t think that’s typical at all.