So you can seen in the video that rain is coming down pretty steady here in Peoria today. As expected, the intrasquad game was cancelled and pitchers scheduled to throw live batting practice did their work under the covered “six pack” mound set up. There were minor leaguers that stood in there and watched pitches, but obviously didn’t swing.
Hisashi Iwakuma, J.A. Happ and Danny Farquhar were in the first group.
“I felt great today,” Iwakuma said through translator Antony Suzuki. “It felt a little different with the hitter in there. But I kind of got the feel for pitching a hitter in there and it’s coming back.”
Gabby Guerrero got the feel of a baseball to his back during Iwakuma’s session. A wayward pitch from the normally precise Iwakuma drilled the Mariners’ prospect between the shoulder blades, sending him hopping out of the batter’s box. It drew a few oohs and then chuckles from the assembled crowd. Guerrero was smiling about it a few minutes later.
Asked about it, Iwakuma couldn’t help but chuckle.
“It just kind of slipped out of my fingers,” he said. “I felt kind of bad.”
Happ felt good about his session, despite the different set-up.
“It’s a little disappointing because you’d like to see those swings, if they do want to swing and see how your stuff is playing,” he said. “And that’s still not the same as a game. So I’m excited to get games started.”
Iwakuma will start Saturday and Happ on Sunday in the first Cactus League action.
*** James Paxton isn’t quite ready to start a game yet. But he did play catch today. Initially, he was going to play catch out to 120 feet. But the weather forced him into the indoor batting facility.
“I feel great,” he said. “No pain at all. I played a little catch, got loose so tomorrow I will go out to about 90-110 feet and just build it up and keep going.”
Paxton said he will take Wednesday off, throw again on Thursday and then throw a bullpen session on Friday.
*** Besides the adjusted live batting practice sessions, there were several bullpen sessions. The pitchers who were scheduled to throw those sessions and all of the players that were scheduled to pitch in the intrasquad game threw off the mound today.