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Notes From Twin Lakes 4/2


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I did get back to Twin Lakes. It was awesome again.

When I walked in today Rick Peterson seemed to recognize me and welcome me over. Recognizing a gift horse when I see one, I jumped on the chance to talk with him for a while. He said the one thing that we do in the Orioles' organization from top to bottom is to get guys to have a 'major league delivery'. By that I assume that he means healthy and repeatable. I of course slipped the 'Ubaldo' word out of my mouth and Rick handled it well. He simply said the obvious - that Ubaldo's mechanics make it very difficult for him to repeat his delivery and be consistent from pitch to pitch. He said Ubaldo is an example of a guy coming up in a system that didn't emphasize 'major league delivery' consistently and from the start.

Rick went on to talk about the Motus sleeve. It's a compression sleeve that is worn over the pitching elbow and has an electronic sensor built in right about where the funny bone is. It is a bluetooth device or something like that that can broadcast, so coaches can get real time data from the pitcher's pitching arm. He said we have 4 or 5 of them now and will probably have 6 or 7 by later in the year. He said Major League Baseball has just approved the wearing of these devices during games all the way up and down the minors. We should start hearing about them a lot soon.

Anyway, Rick was a very nice guy to talk to.

I also cornered Christian Walker near one of the back fields and asked him about coming up through our system. He said the first thing that they do is to evaluate a hitter and determine what he needs to work on. Then the message is consistent through the levels. Everyone knows what each player is working on and they stay on point. What changes is that they give the players a little more leeway to take responsibility for themselves as they move up. He said, for instance, that the batting or bunting practice like I've seen the last 2 days is partly by coaches' selection, and partly by players' initiative if they think they need work on something in particular.

Again, I didn't pay too much attention to the actual games except to see Oliver Drake get roughed up late in the AAA game. I hope this guy can pick up where he left off last season and be a player, but it seems like he's had a rough spring so far. Does anyone else see a lot of Darren O'Day in Drake's stretch look? He's got the straight front leg, the extenuated hip, the deep low bend at the waist. Obviously he doesn't throw like DOD, but I thought his stretch move was an impersonation.

I got to see a great group at batting practice today: Esposito, Walker, Halton, Urrutia, Alvarez working with Jeff Manto. Esposito did not have a lot going on. Halton and Walker looked OK. Alvarez lit into a couple. It seemed like he was having a lot of fun. He and Manto were watching his hits and joking. When Alvarez and again later when Urrutia smacked one of the wall, Mickey quipped 'no pop!' Everybody seemed to be in on it. When Alvarez crushed one foul down the line Walker was on him "Foul! Strike one!" Everyone was laughing and loose. My man Henry stole the show. He was crushing balls to right and right center. He had Mickey turning and watching. He clanged one off a tree well beyond the fence that you could hear back on the other fields. If you know Twin Lakes, this was the diamond kitty-corner to the one the AA team has been playing on - the one in the NE quadrant.

It was nice to see Rick Peterson talking with Ramon Martinez behind home plate late in the AA game. Afterwards I noticed them both huddled up with the closing pitcher, Ronan Pacheco. Whatever they're working on, it looks like they're working on it together.

By the way, Henry's camaro is now black, with an orange scoop and orange highlights on the rims/spokes. I yelled to him through his open window on the way out of the park.

Awesome time here. I highly recommend it.

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