3/8 Hammel makes spring debut

Jason Hammel has spent five seasons in the AL East. The NL Central won’t be any easier. Or anybody else the new Cubs pitcher faces.

“I’m pretty sure that in the Major Leagues, every team is pretty good,” Hammel said Saturday.

Reminded that three NL Central teams reached the playoffs last year, Hammel nodded.

“I understand that,” Hammel said, “but every team in the big leagues is good. If you think you have any pushovers in the league, you’re in the wrong sport. Three playoffs teams, it’s going to be a tough division. I’ve been around long enough to understand there’s going to be good days and bad days and every team will come out with something different every day. I’m learning new lineups now and I’m getting a good feel for it.”

The right-hander got his first look at the Reds on Saturday in his first Cactus League start. Rain last weekend delayed Hammel’s debut, and he tuned up with a “B” game on Monday. Against the Reds, he admitted to having some “butterflies” when he walked the bases loaded with one out in the first but escaped without giving up a run. He finished with three scoreless innings.

What’s helped Hammel is the addition of a two-seamer, which the Rockies tried to get him to add. It didn’t click until he worked with Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair. That pitch and his sinker should help him in the Central.

“The sinker is something you can get quick outs with if you’re throwing it for a strike,” Hammel said. “The command of that was a little off [on Saturday]. As spring goes further and further, I feel I can translate that.”

Hammel mentioned that even though he struggled in the first, he did throw some pitches that were “swing-attable,” a new addition to baseball lingo.

“My first-ever interview with the media in the Minor Leagues, I used ‘flabbergasted,'” Hammel said. “[The media] looked at me and they were shocked. You won’t ever get that again.”

– Carrie Muskat

6 Comments

Cubs broke out their bats today….and the pitching looked sharp……but don’t look at this one game of what the Cubs will be like in 2014………as Carlos Zambrano will say about this 2014 club… ‘We Stinks”…………..

“ENOUGH” of this instant replay……….Homeruns is one thing if it is fair or foul…….but we have managers challenging all kinds of umpire calls………Yankee & Red Sox games will go from 4 1/2 hours to 8 hours……

Dr Frank Jobe died the other day….he is known as the “Tommy John Doctor”…..helped the career of many MLB pitchers who had bum arms……Dr Jobe might have helped to win more games then any pitcher in MLB history……………..but “Did You Know” that……Dr Jobe enlisted in the Army in WW II, was in a medical unit….landed during the Normandy Invasion in a glider, was captured during Battle of Bulge, escaped and won the Bronze Star Medal……..and people refer baseball players as their “Hero”.

Yes, CubsTalk. Dr. Jobe deserves much praise. Tommy John was not just a patient of Dr. Jobe, but a friend as well. According toJohn, Jobe was a better person, than he wasa doctor. Hey, if someone rescued my career and also made me famous for a procedure that prolonged that career, I would surely be in that person’s debt. All that said, from everything I’ve read and seen of Jobe and John, I’ve concluded both are remarkable individuals whom circumstances brought together to achieve a positive outcome which benefited many and may continue to do so far into the future.

Kris Bryant is the Real Deal. I just hope cubs leave him where he belongs @ 3rd

He belongs wherever the Cubs have the most need for him when he’s ready. Obviously, they won’t move him to catcher since that requires a completely different skill set defensively, but if he’s ready and they have an opening in RF then he’ll probably play RF. If they have an opening at first, they’ll play him at first. If third is his to take, then that’s where he’ll be. You’d be surprised how many superstars change positions before they make the Majors. Just because a player has played there in high school, college, or the minors doesn’t mean they will play there for their entire professional career too.

Where r all the young guns (arms) in Mesa..aka CJ Edwards aka young doc gooden and Black( I see the white plate and I want to paint the black) in Mesa this year????

They’re a little too far away from the Majors to be seeing regular Spring Training time yet. I’m sure they’re probably in minor league camp. Maybe they’ll make an appearance in a split squad game, but generally if you haven’t appeared in AA yet, you probably won’t be invited to big league camp, especially if you are a pitcher.

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