BA correspondent Bill Mitchell checked in on a 35-pitch live batting practice Friday, which normally isn't newsworthy. But the guy throwing the BP was Michael Ynoa, the Dominican righthander who garnered a record $4.25 million signing bonus from the Athletics in 2008, so this was no ordinary side session.
Ynoa didn't pitch in 2009 due to elbow pain and the A's understandably cautious approach. He threw during their Dominican instructional camp in November and ranked No. 11 on the A's Top 30 in BA's Prospect Handbook this offseason. Ynoa threw free and easy and had his fastball in the upper 80s, which makes sense considering it's just BP and how early it is in spring training. He also mixed in a few secondary pitches.
Ynoa is expected to throw again next week. It's likely that he'll start 2010 in extended spring training, then make his much-awaited pro debut either in the Rookie-level Arizona League or perhaps at short-season Vancouver.