It's Pop-Up Time at Fitch Park
"Live" BP continued at Fitch Park this morning, as Cubs position players faced Cubs pitchers.
Each pitcher threw 30 pitches, and generally speaking (with a couple of exceptions) it's fairly obvious that most of the pitchers are ahead of most of the hitters at this point. Each hitter gets to look at five pitches before rotating out of the cage, and it's unusual if a hitter swings at more than one or two of the five.
The "live" BP session was preceded by infield & outfield fielding practice on Fields 2 & 3 and Pitchers Fielding Practice (PFP) on Fields 1 & 4. Then the team was divided into two squads, with "pop-up drills" on Fields 2 & 3 where the automatic pitching machines were turned upward to produce "sky-high pop-ups." The pitchers would feign a pitch and the ball would go airborne, as the infielders and outfielders would call for the catch ("I got it! I got it! I ain't got it...). Aramis Ramirez dropped at least two. And two of the pop ups that were supposed to remain around home plate went out of play, almost clunking a couple of the spectators waiting to order a drink at the concesion stand on the noggin.
Darwin Barney was the only position player who did not participate in the pre-BP fielding drills, but he did take "live" BP with his group. And Welington Castillo, Koyie Hill, and Geovany Soto did not take "live" BP today, although the three amigos did hit as a group on Field #1 (with a coach throwing BP) after the "live" BP session had concluded. (The six catchers are the busiest guys on the team during "live" BP, catching two pitchers each in a BP session, then warming up a couple more in the bullpen, and finally--if they're lucky--having a chance to hit some "live" BP.
Among the pitchers who threw today, Esmailin Caridad and Robert Coello had the best outings (Coello has really nasty stuff), Kerry Wood, Marcos Mateo, and Alberto Cabrera had control issues (one of KW's pitches ended-up behind Matt Camp), and Tyler Colvin hammered John Grabow.
Steve Clevenger (Zambrano & Grabow)
Koyie Hill (Coleman & Gaub)
Chris Robinson (Dolis & Cabrera)
GROUP 1 HITTERS (vs Zambrano & Grabow)
GROUP 2 HITTERS (vs Coleman & Gaub)
GROUP 3 HITTERS (vs Dolis & Cabrera)
Max Ramirez (Garza & Wood)
Geovany Soto (Mateo & Caridad)
Welington Castillo (Berg & Coello)
GROUP 1 HITTERS (vs Garza & Wood)
GROUP 2 HITTERS (vs Mateo & Caridad)
Fernando Perez (batting LH vs the two RHP)
GROUP 3 HITTERS (vs Berg & Coello)