Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ST Notes

* Durrett scripts a piece about Borbon's improved defense, but only spends time talking about his throwing mechanics, which is still pretty interesting. though I've always wondered why the team didn't correct the issue while he was in the minors:

Borbon arrived at spring training in 2010 needing to get used to the mechanics of throwing the ball correctly and learning how to get proper backspin on it. He worked with Pettis and had several throwing sessions with David Murphy. He continued that work into the season. "The way that he takes the ball out of his glove and the way he can get the arm action going is like a true outfielder," Pettis said. "He can get on top of the baseall now. He can throw with four seams, like you tell a pitcher to do. His accuracy has improved. It’s all confidence. "When you’re not confident about doing something, you really don’t want to do it unless you have to. Now he wants to throw. There was time he’d back off because he knew he had a problem. Now he’s confident."

* I love Pedro Strop's stuff and people have completely overlooked him as a bullpen arm for 2011 based on his SSS struggles when called up last year (after dominating in AAA). I got a chance to watch quite a few of his outings on MiLBTV, and during one dominating stretch he was not scored upon for about a month. He has a swing-and-miss repertoire and touches 98. Yorvit also loves him some Strop:

Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba continues to learn the tendencies of his pitching staff and work with guys on a daily basis. He said the two pitchers that stuck out to him on Monday were Tommy Hunter and Pedro Strop. He liked Strop's command and felt like he has the stuff to be very good.

* More injury updates per Durrett:
Castillo walking around without a boot; Gentry swinging the fungo today; Hurley with a hamstring strain (ugh); and this gem from Webb after throwing a consecutive day of long toss, this time for 17 minutes: "That's crazy for me."

*Kudos to Evan Grant for hitting on a a nice theme in his spring training coverage that caters to his strength (reportage) and not to his weakness (talent eval) : Getting hitters to answer questions about pitchers. Though most people who closely follow the Texas system already know quite a bit about their prospects, this tact is sure to yield some interesting nuggets (and it's a common sense approach really - not sure why the beat writers haven't done more of this): He talks to Gentry and Blanco about Scheppers (though there were some who had already implied that he was a mechanical mess, but, as we all know, while ST in-game evaluation is not indicative of much, ST evaluation of non-game action matters even less):

Scheppers' fastball rode in hard on the left-handed hitters. His sharp slider left Blanco breathless.

"He made me look ridiculous," Blanco said. "I looked so bad. I was looking for a fastball and the breaking pitch comes out of his hand looking just like a fastball. He's got a good motion and good action."
Said Gentry: "He was just effortlessly throwing and it's like 93-94. When he gets that arm in shape, it's going to be scary."


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