Friday, March 12, 2010

Observations from the morning practice

I stopped by the AM practice fields again today and watched the Reds take BP before their game against the Dodgers later in the afternoon. Some new, but very familiar, faces could be seen. Former Reds captain, Barry Larkin, was in uniform hitting ground balls between BP pitches (more on that later).

Also Sean Casey and sons visited the park. As you may have read, both Larkin and Casey were hired by the Reds on short-term coaching contracts. Here, Casey is greeted by Dusty Baker. The man to the left is Dr. Tim Kremchek, who is the Medical Director for the Reds and is one of the four doctors who do most of the Tommy John surgeries for major league pitchers.

When Joey Votto saw Sean Casey for the first time, Votto shouted that he wanted Casey's advice on how to make a video for YouTube so he could follow in Casey's footsteps as "The Mayor." That's a nickname Casey earned during his playing days in Cincinnati because of his great popularity.

Votto also worked hard on his fielding again today. Here is he taking a ground ball.

And here he practices flipping the ball to the pitcher covering first base.

At one point during BP, Votto had to interrupt the reunion of Larkin and Casey to get Larkin to continue hitting practice ground balls. "We're still working out here," said Joey, only half-jokingly.

Chris Dickerson continued to pound the ball in BP.

It was great to see Edinson Volquez long-tossing today. To my amateur eyes, his arm looked strong and healthy.

Here is manager Dusty Baker behind the backstop during batting practice as his son Darren watches with him. J.T. Snow was nowhere in sight. (Darren famously had to be rescued in the 2002 World Series from being run over by J.T. Snow at home plate)

And here, Baker leaves the playing field, interestingly juxtaposed next to this warning sign. He was headed over to the other field where additional Reds players were taking batting practice.

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