February 15th, 2007

Reporting day

A little cool spell settled in here in Lakeland on Thursday, but of course it’s all relative. As I’d meant to post on Thursday, if ever Detroit needed a reminder that spring is around the corner, it’s now. Same with a lot of cities on the East Coast.

I know there’s a lot of excitement around pitchers and catchers reporting to camp, but like the weather, reporting day is kind of relative. It was a very laid-back atmosphere in the clubhouse today, in part because many guys have been in town working out for a while. The first team workouts are different, because you’re getting everybody on the same field.

What stuck out to me today was a comment Mike Maroth made, that he pitched well when he wasn’t feeling his best because of the elbow. He wasn’t trying to do too much with the stuff he had, and he wasn’t overthrowing. That’s how he explained why he could pitch so well for a month and a half while bone chips were floating in his elbow and leaving him no idea how he’d feel from one start to the next.

That’s basically Maroth in a nutshell. He’s not cocky, but he’s not really a guy who gets into stretches with no confidence. He plugs along with the stuff he has, and there’s a value for that on a pitching staff. As Kyle Sleeth explained earlier in what he learned from the last two years, there’s a lesson to be learned by pitching well without your best stuff.


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