Alright, so it’s only three days into camp, and every team is full of optimism and thinking they’re going to win 98 games this year. (Well, not you, Houston. Yeesh.) Does that mean we can’t still be excited over some early reports on the team’s two new highly-priced pitching imports?
Greinke went on scouting trips with Counsell last spring, checking out amateur games in Arizona. For about a month before the draft, he watched video of some of the top projected picks, Melvin said. On draft day, Greinke was ready.
“He came in with a big piece of paper,” Melvin said. “He was sitting on the floor (in the war room) or a chair against the wall. I said, ‘Who do you like? Who do you think we should get?’ He said, ‘I really like Seager.’”
I’m legitimately not sure where to start here. Not only is a major league player bothering to scout draft picks almost unheard of — I’m reminded of the time Andre Ethier admitted after a game that he had absolutely no idea who one of the pitchers who had been in for the Dodgers that day was — of all the players Greinke liked, he picked Seager, who we’re all of course huge fans of after a fantastic debut in the Dodger organization.
There’s more. Greinke didn’t have to throw a bullpen on Wednesday, but instead of heading home…
“He went, plopped down, sat and watched bullpens from the pitcher’s perspective, back behind the mound,” Hillman said.
“He wanted to watch something specific. What it was, I don’t know. But it wasn’t idle time. He might have been watching a catcher, how a guy receives. He might have been just getting his visual on where he’s going to do his ’pen tomorrow. He may already have picked out his mound.
“He’s going to invest every ounce of his energy preparing to be as good as he can possibly be, mentally and physically. That’s just the way he’s wired.”
I think I’m in love. After all the garbage we had to put up with about Greinke’s long-ago issues, I’m starting to wish every player could be like him.
Then there’s Ryu, who may be having some trouble with the conditioning sprints but seems to have no problem at all entertaining everyone else:
Other players don’t listen to the trainer,” Ryu said. “The trainer says 35 seconds, why do they run in 26 seconds? I run in 35 seconds. Other people say I’m not in shape. There are two different shapes, one for fitness, one for throwing the ball.
Jokes aside, Ryu’s initial bullpen sounds like it went well, with Eric Stephen reporting that Rick Honeycutt referred to Ryu’s change as “a plus-plus pitch,” and A.J. Ellis indicating that his command was excellent.
It’s early. It’s too early. I’m still excited.