By Shannon Drayer
PEORIA, Ariz. – Once again Corey Hart is missing from the lineup. Lloyd McClendon revealed that he is still dealing will forearm stiffness and they will give him a few days to let it settle down. He expects to have him back Tuesday, and plans to get him at least 30 additional at-bats in minor league games before the end of camp.
Pitching battle not settled?
You know how McClendon has said a number of times that he sees things differently than most others when it comes to making player evaluations? He wasn’t just talking about the shortstop battle. McClendon became rather colorful, and not in a good way, when describing a few of the recent pitching performances, starting with Scott Baker’s obviously rough start Saturday where he gave up six walks.
“It wasn’t a good outing. The line score will tell you that,” he said.
The surprise however was when he talked about Erasmo Ramirez, who has given up just four runs this spring, two earned.
“He’s throwing the ball well. He’s a strike thrower who probably throws too many strikes,” he said. “I haven’t been very impressed with his 0-2 pitches – hanging sliders in the strikezone is no good. You don’t get those back.”
McClendon and the coaches have talked to Ramirez about these pitches and let him know that although the results have been good in the spring, they won’t necessarily be there in the regular season and he needs to improve on his put-away pitches.
“He’s got to execute better,” said McClendon. “If you can’t execute the pitch then we have got to get someone who can. Because once that light goes on you don’t get those pitches back. Miguel Cabrera is not going to miss that pitch. Prince Fielder is not going to miss that pitch. You have got to make better pitches.”
• I will leave you with a bit of good pitching news: Taijaun Walker and Stephen Pryor both came through their innings pitched in the minor league game Saturday well and Hisashi Iwakuma is progressing nicely throwing the tennis ball. He is expected to pick up a baseball tomorrow.