VIERA, Fla. - Some observations, notes and quotes about today’s full-squad workout, the final one before intrasquad games start up Sunday ...
* The session opened with a lengthy baserunning clinic run by Davey Lopes. I’ll have a full post on this later, but just know the session lasted about 45 minutes and literally covered every base. Lopes started with everyone at the plate, then moved to first base, second base and third base. It was as comprehensive a clinic as I can remember seeing on the subject, and players were soaking it all up.
* Infield drills had a new twist today: Tyler Moore took grounders at third base. It wasn’t the first time he’s done it; it happened a few times last season, and Moore did play a bit of third base as an amateur. But he’s never appeared in a professional game there (only first base, left field and right field).
“They just told me to go over there and take some. So I took some,” Moore said. “I felt good over there. I took some there last year, just for emergencies. Anywhere you can get on the field, it’s great.”
The Nationals face a tough decision with Moore this spring. He’s out of options, and with Clint Robinson, Michael Taylor and Matt den Dekker also in the mix to back up first base and the outfield, there’s not an obvious place for him.
If he can add another position to his repertoire, Moore’s chances could increase.
“Well, that helps,” manager Dusty Baker said. “If you can do it, that gives you the best chance to try to make this club. We’re trying to give him a good opportunity. Plus, you want as many interchangeable parts as you can on your team. I haven’t really seen him play, so I’m going to have to go on what he’s done in the past, the opinion of others here and what I see here in spring training.”
How comfortable is Moore at third base at this point?
“It’s not like you’re switching a whole lot,” he said. “It’s still the infield. The biggest difference is the throw. But I feel confident in my arm, and I know I can go out there and catch the ball.”
Harper wasn’t even scheduled to face Giolito. He had already gone up against Bronson Arroyo and Oliver Perez, in a group of hitters that also included Ryan Zimmerman and Robinson. But when he saw Giolito was next up on the mound at Field 3, Harper decided to stick around and stand in the box against him.
Alas, Harper did not take any actual swings against the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball.
“Bryce got in there and hit against him - well, just looked at some pitches - because he had never seen him,” Baker said. “He could be his teammate for a long time, and he just wanted to see what he had.”
Werth did take some cuts against Giolito and lined one ball down the first base line. He emerged more than impressed with the 21-year-old right-hander.
“I mean, for right now, he’s throwing pretty hard,” Werth said. “But the big thing was just the arm slot. I know he throws that curveball out of there, so it’s not a comfortable arm slot to begin with. He’s a guy that throws hard. If he throws that hook out of the same spot, it’s not what you want to face. It’s early. We’ll catch up eventually. But for a young kid, it’s impressive.”
Now for the real kicker: Giolito didn’t think he threw particularly well in this session.
“I wasn’t very pleased with how I pitched today,” he said. “I want to be more around the strike zone. That comes with time. Second one.”