I’ve been in Goodyear Arizona since Saturday and will be here the rest of the week. Here are some early observations from my first couple of days.
Trevor Bauer: Here is a young man who is trying hard but will certainly be ticketed back to the minor leagues. The concern here is, despite changes in his delivery and approach, he has made no real progress with respect to commanding his fastball. It still appears to me that his arm drags behind his body when he is trying to throw at maximum velocity. The result of this is a fastball the consistently tails high to the hitters and it is quite easy for them to avoid swinging. There is still hope for him eventually but his lack of progress is certainly concerning.
Vinnie Pestano: I still have hope for Vinnie. He seems to have made progress with respect to his command especially of his off speed pitches. He is commanding his fastball fairly well but still has work to do there. His overall velocity is approaching where he needs to be but it is not there yet. He topped out at 92 mph and was able to throw consistently between 89 and 90. There is still a chance that he could be ready and look like the Vinnie of old by the start of the season. His off speed pitches were really nasty yesterday.
Danny Salazar: He looked rusty but otherwise was throwing very well. I am still encouraged by his overall potential and I believe he should be a solid starter for the Tribe this year. He has work to do in spring training to catch up, but I think that will be possible by about the fifth to seventh game of the season.
Nick Hagadone: I see no progress whatsoever. I really do not see any logical way that he makes the team out of spring training and will only be depth going forward. The overall outlook for Nick is still not very encouraging.
Josh Tomlin: He looks good and ready to compete for his spot on the team. I saw nothing in his delivery or in his command that would suggest he could not be ready by the start of the season. He is certainly a viable candidate for the fifth starter, but at the very least they will try to find a place for him somewhere. He looks good.
CC Lee: It is very easy to see why the Indians like this kid. He seems to have a good presence on the mound and commands his pitches fairly well. He still needs to work on his fastball command but his overall outlook is promising. I like him and see a future for him down the road. And down the road maybe as soon as this year.
I have many more players to report on, but I wanted to cover some of the pitching today. There’ll be much more down the road as we proceed through spring training.