WINTER HAVEN, Fla.â€”It was a camp day across the majority of Florida, and at Chain Oâ€™Lakes Park, the intrasquad games and side sessions were a literal whoâ€™s who of arms in the Indians organization.
At one point or another, on one mound or another, righthanders Edward Mujica, Carlton Smith, Sung-Wei Tseng, Joe Ness, Neil Wagner, Scott Sumner and lefthanders Jeremy Sowers, David Huff and Rafael Perez were on display.
And for the record, only Sowers got a ride back to the clubhouse after he finished.
Anyway, we caught up with Tribe pitching coordinator Dave Miller to get some insights on a few of the clubâ€™s more intriguing arms:
On righthander Adam Miller: â€œWell, today was his first day here from major league camp, and just from talking to (major league pitching coach) Carl (Willis), heâ€™s done basically everything weâ€™ve asked him to do. Heâ€™s commanded his fastball to both sides of the plate which is huge for the major league level so thatâ€™s one thing. His changeup has really progressed, which is kind of the final piece. His two-seam fastball that he incorporated during the second half of last seasonâ€™s been very good. Really, he just needs to work on controlling the running game and fielding his position better. Right now, heâ€™s doing all those things and we just have to keep him there.â€
On lefthander Chuck Lofgren: â€œChuckâ€™s another guy who just came down from big league camp. He didnâ€™t pitch a whole lot, but he threw the ball well the other day. Heâ€™s kind of right where we need him to be. His fastball command still has to get better, but heâ€™s making strides that way. You know he added in a slider last year, and itâ€™s coming. Itâ€™s still not where it needs to be, but itâ€™s coming . . . itâ€™s something we added in just to help him just to finish some hitters with something other than just his fastball and his changeup, but heâ€™s throwing it well right now and heâ€™ll be ready to go out and compete at the Double-A level.â€
On righthander Sung-Wei Tseng: â€œHeâ€™s been very good. His English is getting better. He understands a lotâ€”a very bright kid. He understands, heâ€™s got an idea as far as his routine goes. Very good ability with his fastballâ€”heâ€™s not the biggest guy, but he does throw his fastball downhill and commands it. Heâ€™s got as slider and then heâ€™s got that split that he finishes guys with. Hereâ€™s a guy thatâ€™ll probably start in Kinston, he should do well just because heâ€™s got fastball command, he repeats his delivery and then that splitter can overmatch hitters.â€
On righthander J.D. Martin: â€œJ.D.â€™s fine. His velocityâ€™s back for the most part to where it was in 2005. The crispness of his cutter, his breaking balls . . . weâ€™re stressing the changeup with him and thatâ€™s been good. From a health standpoint thereâ€™s no restrictions on him, although we will hold him to 80-85 pitches from the get-go just to try to monitor his innings a little bit early on. From there, weâ€™ll progress him by 15 pitches each month and he should be full-go after the third month of the season.â€
On another heavily monitored arm, lefthander Scott Lewis: â€˜Scottyâ€™s going to start out the first month where he left offâ€”at 65 pitches. Then weâ€™ll progress him up to 85 the second month, then weâ€™ll jump to 100 pitches from there.â€
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