Friday, February 18, 2011

2nd workout done, Meredith injured

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Yunesky Maya throws during his morning bullpen session.
VIERA, Fla. -- Workout No. 2 of the spring is in the books, and there were a few things worth noting about it, from the early arrival of several top position players to several intriguing guys throwing in the bullpen.

It appears, though, today's most notable development was a negative one. Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post was watching Cla Meredith's bullpen session and noticed the reliever cutting it short and then pointing toward his elbow as he departed alongside a trainer. Later, Meredith told Kilgore he's "four months out of surgery," which if true would be news to just about everyone, I believe. There were no previous reports about Meredith having any kind of arm issues last season while he was with the Orioles. Whether the Nationals were aware of this upon signing the veteran side-armer to a minor-league contract earlier this month is unclear. I've got some inquiries to team officials out there and will let you know once I hear anything.

[UPDATE AT 3:30 P.M. -- A team official said there will be an update on Meredith's condition in the morning. The Nats were aware he underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery before signing him.]

One guy I did watch pitch in the bullpen was Yunesky Maya, who was less-than-spectacular last September in his first big-league stint but by all accounts was fantastic in the Dominican this winter. I didn't notice anything particularly different about Maya during his session today, but that doesn't mean anything because it was his first bullpen of the spring and he probably wasn't throwing 100 percent yet. Team officials are pretty excited about his potential, though, based on what he did over the winter against some very good competition. Mike Rizzo probably prefers that Maya open the season at Class AAA Syracuse to gain some more professional experience, but my guess is that it won't be long before we see him back in the majors.

I also spent some considerable time watching the catchers take batting practice, paying particular attention to Jesus Flores. The guy looks like he's in top form once again, hitting the ball with authority and throwing and catching with no shoulder issues whatsoever. A group of us talked to Flores after the workout, and it's clear he doesn't view himself as being limited at all in what he can do on the field. I'll share some of his thoughts later today as I delve deeper into the Nats' catching situation.

Finally, a bunch of position players have reported early and emerged from the clubhouse at the end of the pitchers and catchers workout to take their own informal round of BP. Among those here were Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Nyjer Morgan, Roger Bernadina, Michael Morse, Rick Ankiel and Laynce Nix (who can put up a good challenge to Bernadina for most-ripped upper body on the roster).

More to come later today. Here are some more photos from today's workout...

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jason Marquis throws to first during a fielding drill.

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Derek Norris gets some resistance from Ivan Rodriguez as he works on conditioning.

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg works on his bunting skills.


Todd Boss said...

Cla Meredith == alumni from the DC-area wood bat Clark Griffith league (along with some other big names in the majors right now, see this link

Tough break if he's reinjured. Hate to see that happen.

joemktg said...

Todd Boss: the defunct and lamented Clark Griffith league.

Doc said...

RE: Cla Meredith. Don't we always see in print '...will sign a contract, pending a physical...' attached to all prospective signees?? Jason Marquis had a 'physical' too.

So much for 'physicals'!

NatsJack in Florida said...

I can vouch for the Lance Nix comment. That guy is HUGE!

I now have no problem with the loss of A.J. Morris after a quick chat with Mike Rizzo. I came away with an even greater appreciation about the way he's assembling this franchise. Two years from now, we'll be in an entirely different discussion on the direction of this ball club.

No update on Nyjer Morgan as he was able to avoid most contact with the general public. I'll try again Sunday.

Despite the lovely picture of Gorzelanny bunting yesterday, it does appear that there is a more concerted effort to get the pitchers to be better bunters. They even practiced suicide squeeze bunts with the guys having to bunt bad pitches. That's the first time I've seen them do that. And Jason Marquis executed several perfect drag bunts. He needs to show Morgan how to do that.

Anonymous said...

Those gray pants look hideous with the red jerseys...

joemktg said...

Thanks for posting the radio schedule on the right side menu.

Anonymous said...

Those gray pants look fine with the red jerseys... Now if the ball players can wear high socks like J Zimm does, they would look even better..... GO NATS!!!

distin said...

I think the gray pants look fabulous with the red shirts.
Reminds me of armidillo cake.

Theophilus said...

The picture of Strasburg bunting shows much better form that (A) he displayed last year; (B) were demonstrated in yesterday's picture of Coffey. Fingers on right hand are below or behind the bat. And he has enuf bat control to bunt down on the ball and deaden it.

Kevin Rusch, Section406 said...

i thought the idea with a bunt was that you were supposed to "catch" the ball with the bat. Is that not how they do it anymore?

Mark'd said...

NatsJack, loved how you didn't see Nyjer. I guess he is becoming even more elusive with the fans.

BinM said...

The team needs to get Ramirez & Rodriguez out of their visa problems & into camp, pronto. If they can report by Monday, they won't have lost too much time, but if it extends much beyond that, they'll both fall behind the curve on everyone else in terms of 'looks' from the ML staff.

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