Better late than never. It was a pretty standard first full squad workout.
Of the 61 invited, 60 participated. Only catcher Ronny Paulino is missing. He should be in sometime in the next day or two.
A few things … I watched the position players mostly today. It was all spread out because group two of pitchers needed to throw their bullpen sessions. It will be more condensed in the next few days so I will be able to watch everything a little more.
A few things from BP ….
Michael Morse (video above) hit a massive homer over the batter’s eye in center field. The batters eye is about 30 feet tall and it’s 410 feet from home plate. And the ball cleared it pretty easily. I’m not certain if that happened in the video above. But you can see my chubby torso in the background and I quickly scribble something down after the swing. Pretty certain, I only wrote about that.
Morse put on a pretty good display during BP. Of course, it’s BP. Another person who hit the ball very hard is Alex Liddi. He’s come into camp with a reworked body. He dropped body fat and added some muscle. As the muscle-heads say, he’s ripped. Even Eric Wedge mentioned it.
Liddi hit some absolute rockets, including hitting a car parked some 75 feet beyond the 385 foot mark on the fence on two bounces. Of course, it’s batting practice and pitches don’t break in batting practice.
There’s plenty of different looking swings.
Justin Smoak continues to start with his hand placement lower – something he worked on with Jeff Pentland last season. He also continues to have little pre-swing movement when he initiates the swing.
Dustin Ackley was doing something very different in comparison. He was starting with his chest almost facing the pitcher and then sliding his shoulders back to parallel to the plate as the pitcher delivers.
On Saturday …
Now, we don’t know if this is how he plans to do it in the game. It seems more likely it’s an exercise for his timing and possible teaching him to keep his front shoulder in and not pull off the ball. So this may just be a drill. I didn’t get a chance to ask about it after BP, but I plan on it on Sunday.
Brendan Ryan’s swing looked a little different as well. Again it could be just a few things he’s working on. Ryan had his hands higher and cut down on his pre-swing bat movement as well
Will this help Ryan hit above .190? I think if you told Ryan to hold the bat cross handed and it would make him hit .240, he would do it. With the exception of Smoak, these things we are seeing could be part of Dave Hansen’s teaching process. It’s all about developing that proper muscle memory. It’s why Michael Saunders had a chunk water noodle strapped under his armpit during some of the early BP sessions.
* all video provided courtesy of the Seattle Mariners …