SARASOTA, Fla. - What makes a good bullpen session?
As a friend and former colleague pointed out, it’s whenever the catcher walks up to the pitcher afterward and shakes his hand.
No injury, no problem.
Jeremy Guthrie completed his second session here in Sarasota without a hitch or a glitch. He mixed in a fastball, curveball and changeup, and Jake Fox shook his hand in between the mound and the plate.
It’s common for the two participants to meet in the middle.
Guthrie will incorporate his slider into Friday’s session while also throwing more pitches to build up arm strength.
“That’s probably the next step. Just get stronger and more endurance,” he said.
“Duke has always been a guy who’s lived on being able to hit his spots with his fastball, and you saw that yesterday,” Fox said. “Even the first day, he was spotting up pretty good. He was hitting both corners with both his fastball - his two-seamer - and his cutter. And he had a little bit more on it than last year. He had more velocity on it.
“I’m pretty excited about what Duke’s going to do because his curveball seemed to have good bite on it. But more importantly on the first day, I was impressed by the way he was able to hit his spots on both sides of the plate.
“Jake is a little different because he’s obviously more of a power pitcher, and yesterday we basically worked with him on keeping the ball down and being able to pitch off his fastball. I think, for him being a power pitcher, anytime he’s going to be able to keep the ball below the knees, he’s going to be more successful. His first five or eight or 10 were a little high, but once he worked down in the zone, he became a lot more effective.”