SARASOTA, Fla. - Koji Uehara just played catch outdoors. So far, so good.
Third baseman Mark Reynolds has reported with the pitchers and catchers. Looks like he’s eager to get started.
Reynolds is working out today and will take his 2-year-old daughter to Disney the next two days. I told him to enjoy these precious moments while he can, since my little angel turns 18 tomorrow.
I swear she was 2 when I left the house yesterday.
I took another spin through the clubhouse. It’s a little jarring to go down one row of lockers along the back wall and see the names Adam Jones, Randy Winn, Nolan Reimold, Felix Pie, Luke Scott and ... wait for it ... Vladimir Guerrero.
Double-A catcher Caleb Joseph said it won’t seem real until he actually sees Guerrero in the clubhouse. I’m sure he’s not the only one who feels that way.
Joseph also said that he grew up watching Guerrero and Derrek Lee, so he’ll try “not to say anything stupid.”
“What are the odds of that happening?” I replied.
He’s quite a character.
Joseph worked out again this winter at Athletes’ Performance Institute in Pensacola, Fla. He looks like he’s in excellent shape.
Catchers row has been moved to the side where most of the young pitchers resided last spring.
As you would expect, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman have lockers next to each other. Jake Arrieta is on the other side of Tillman, followed by Brad Bergesen. Last spring, Arrieta dressed in a separate row from the other three pitchers. Makes more sense to keep them together.
Arrieta and left-hander Zach Britton arrived here about five days ago. Britton said he was escaping the single-digit temperatures in Texas that prevented him from throwing outside.
It’s chilly this morning, but one of the parking lot security guards told me that temperatures will climb to 75-80 degrees within the next four days. I’m ditching the fleece.
Bullpen catcher Ronnie Deck has been here since the beginning of the month. He wanted to catch the early arrivals, including Bergesen, Tillman, Jim Johnson and Jason Berken. Johnson lives in Sarasota.
Lockers are reserved for roving instructors Mike Bordick, B.J. Surhoff and Brady Anderson.
I met pitcher Mitch Atkins, who had that familiar look of a newcomer circling the clubhouse and looking for his nameplate. He’s more lost than the others, since this is his first spring training in Florida. He’s been in the Chicago Cubs organization, and they train in Arizona.
It may not seem like a significant change to fans, but the bullpens at Ed Smith Stadium no longer will be located beyond the outfield fences. Pitchers prefer the view from along the side.