Brian Matusz had his second bullpen session today since reporting to Sarasota, and the left-hander made noticeable strides.
And I'm not talking about his delivery.
"I made some good improvements today with my two-seam fastball," he said. "Both times I threw to Caleb Joseph, and we have a good relationship because he caught me at Frederick, so he knows about me and I know about him.
"My first session, I was opening up with my front side with my two-seam fastball and I wasn't following through with it, and that's going to happen, coming back to the bullpen for the first time in spring training. Today, I made an adjustment and I was able to keep my front side closed and stay through it a lot better. Overall, I was a lot more consistent right around the zone."
Matusz didn't stick with his fastball today. He mixed in a few curveballs, "and it felt good," he said.
"Everything really feels good. I feel really balanced and in sync. I've just got to keep getting better every session and I feel like I'm on a good pace right now."
Matusz threw 30 pitches on Thursday and 40 today as part of his progression.
"I feel good, bouncing back and staying healthy and staying strong," he said.
Matusz and the other pitchers will get their first exposure to hitters next week when they throw batting practice.
Chris Tillman approached his locker as I finished up my interview with Matusz. They find it amusing that people view them as being inseparable.
When I pointed out that the perception comes, in part, because MASN tapes their pre-game tours of visiting ballparks, Matusz said that tradition will continue this year. They're already looking forward to interleague games in San Francisco and San Diego.
One reporter spotted Tillman and Brad Bergesen walking together as we exited the clubhouse and asked Tillman whether he broke up with Matusz.
"We're just trying to make him jealous," Bergesen quipped.
Fun group of guys.