VIERA, Fla. - The Nationals just finished their first pitchers and catchers workout of the spring, with a handful of pitchers throwing bullpen sessions, working on fielding drills and playing catch. But in the midst of that, Stephen Strasburg threw a baseball in public. And the public was happy to observe and chronicle all of it.
Strasburg played catch with trainer Lee Kuntz for about 15 minutes, starting with throws of 20 feet or so and stretching out to about 45 feet. Pitching coach Steve McCatty was watching closely, but Strasburg looked fine. He’ll be addressing the media at 12:45 p.m., and we’ve got some video of his first throws of the spring here.
Other observations from the workout:
* Jordan Zimmermann, Jason Marquis, Drew Storen, Garrett Mock, Chien-Ming Wang, Livan Hernandez and Ross Detwiler were among those who threw bullpen sessions this morning. Zimmermann, I thought, looked good - the ball was coming out of his hand with some life, and he looked comfortable on the mound. Storen has tweaked his leg kick a little bit again, and his pitches had some bite, too. Most of the other pitchers looked fine, but Wang’s arm strength just isn’t there yet. He’s going to start on the DL, and it could be a couple months before he’s ready to pitch in the majors.
* Wilson Ramos and Ivan Rodriguez took BP this morning, and Jesus Flores was working out with the rest of the catchers. It’s been a long road back for Flores, who’s thrilled to finally be healthy this spring. Ramos is coming off a great winter and was stinging the ball this morning, but the competition between the two catchers should be interesting all spring.
Plenty more this afternoon from Strasburg’s and Jim Riggleman’s media sessions.