WINTER HAVEN, Fla.’"It was a camp day across the majority of Florida, and at Chain O’™Lakes Park, the intrasquad games and side sessions were a literal who’™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 club’™s more intriguing arms:
On righthander Adam Miller: “Well, today was his first day here from major league camp, and just from talking to (major league pitching coach) Carl (Willis), he’™s done basically everything we’™ve asked him to do. He’™s commanded his fastball to both sides of the plate which is huge for the major league level so that’™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 season’™s been very good. Really, he just needs to work on controlling the running game and fielding his position better. Right now, he’™s doing all those things and we just have to keep him there.”
On lefthander Chuck Lofgren: “Chuck’™s another guy who just came down from big league camp. He didn’™t pitch a whole lot, but he threw the ball well the other day. He’™s kind of right where we need him to be. His fastball command still has to get better, but he’™s making strides that way. You know he added in a slider last year, and it’™s coming. It’™s still not where it needs to be, but it’™s coming . . . it’™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 he’™s throwing it well right now and he’™ll be ready to go out and compete at the Double-A level.”
On righthander Sung-Wei Tseng: “He’™s been very good. His English is getting better. He understands a lot’"a very bright kid. He understands, he’™s got an idea as far as his routine goes. Very good ability with his fastball’"he’™s not the biggest guy, but he does throw his fastball downhill and commands it. He’™s got as slider and then he’™s got that split that he finishes guys with. Here’™s a guy that’™ll probably start in Kinston, he should do well just because he’™s got fastball command, he repeats his delivery and then that splitter can overmatch hitters.”
On righthander J.D. Martin: “J.D.’™s fine. His velocity’™s back for the most part to where it was in 2005. The crispness of his cutter, his breaking balls . . . we’™re stressing the changeup with him and that’™s been good. From a health standpoint there’™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, we’™ll progress him by 15 pitches each month and he should be full-go after the third month of the season.”
On another heavily monitored arm, lefthander Scott Lewis: ‘˜Scotty’™s going to start out the first month where he left off’"at 65 pitches. Then we’™ll progress him up to 85 the second month, then we’™ll jump to 100 pitches from there.”