SARASOTA, Fla. - I wanted to pass along a few more items before I pack up my laptop and head out of here.
Lee continues to hit soft tosses in the indoor cage. He could be ready for live batting practice in a week while recovering from thumb surgery.
Guerrero also has been hitting indoors. I’ve seen him at his locker in the morning and on his cell phone outside the clubhouse as players start to come off the field. And no, he hasn’t shaved off the goatee.
Nobody with the club seems to care about his facial hair. It’s up to manager Buck Showalter to enforce the rule, and his focus is elsewhere. We’ll see if it happens tomorrow.
Showalter ran an interesting rundown drill on the replica Camden Yards field today. He’d bark out a situation - runners on the corners, left-handed hitter at the plate - and evaluate how the pitcher reacted when the runner on first broke too soon. Pitchers manned all of the infield spots because Showalter wants them to understand what their defense is doing.
Minor league pitcher Raul Rivero was struggling with the drill and had to repeat it. Reliever Michael Gonzalez yelled out instructions to him in Spanish while playing second base, and Showalter put an arm around him at the end.
A team meeting will be held at 6 p.m. tonight, rather than tomorrow morning. Showalter is being coy when asked for details.
The infielders will gather in Showalter’s office while bench coach Willie Randolph diagrams defensive alignments. Sounds like the NFL, but it happens in baseball, too.