Results tagged ‘ Howell ’

Sometimes you forget…

I’m writing a story on J.P. Howell today, so I went to Field 5 to watch him throw 35 pitches during a bullpen session. Howell looked impressive, but I was more struck by what was happening on the mound next to him where James Shields was throwing.

Sometimes all of us forget what horses starting pitchers are, and Shields in particular, who has logged over 200 innings the past four seasons. He was throwing before Howell took the mound and after Howell had finished throwing, popping the catchers mitt crisply with no breaks in between. 

Spring Training is all about getting starting pitchers prepared so they can throw 100 pitches during the regular season.  Watching Shields was impressive.

–Bill Chastain

Day Two of Camp

Top prospect Jeremy Hellickson experienced a little soreness in his right hamstring while throwing during Thursday’s workout, but he still managed to get in his session.

Joe Maddon reported being impressed with Robinson Chirinos, who came to the team from the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal.  The Rays manager particularly liked Chirinos’ mechanics.

J.P. Howell threw about 90 pitches and Maddon reported that the left-hander’s mechanics looked good and that he did not favor his surgically repaired left shoulder.

– Bill Chastain

Seen Around Camp

One of the best things to see if you’re a Rays fan — or if you’re someone covering the team — was J.P. Howell back in uniform.

After season-ending left-shoulder May 19, the Rays southpaw is on track to be back on the mound for the team in May. He’s still the same guy, complete with his endearing sense of humor and interesting choices of slang, the only difference is he’s 30 pounds heavier.  The weight is well distributed, and he believes the bulk will relieve some of the stress on his shoulder.

Also impressive was the overall size of some of the pitchers. Kyle Farnsworth is generally regarded as a big dude, but Jeff Niemann and Adam Russell could both look down on the top of his head.

Joe Maddon noted that he enjoyed meeting Chris Archer, who came over from the Cubs, and said he was everything he expected him to be.  And he liked what he saw of Cesar Cabral, who the Rays picked up from the Red Sox in the Rule V Draft.

Maddon also said Juan Cruz is having visa problems, but the right-hander is expected to be in camp by Friday.

– Bill Chastain

Rays Sign Howell to One-Year Deal

The Rays have signed J.P. Howell to a one-year deal for an unspecified amount.

Howell missed the 2010 season after having left-shoulder surgery. It is likely he will miss the first part of the season for the latter stages of his rehab, but his return will give the Rays’ pen a boost.

– Bill Chastain

Aybar Happy to Go to the Classic

Seeing Willy Abar’s name on the Dominican Republic’s roster for the World Baseball Classic came as a surprise Tuesday night since he wasn’t on the provisional roster released last month.

But all of a sudden the Dominican club found itself without Carlos Pena
and Albert Pujols, who could not play due to medical reasons,
so they needed a first baseman. And Aybar fit the bill.

Aybar seemed happy Wednesday.

“I’m happy,” Aybar said. “I’m proud to represent my country.”

While Aybar said he was surprised to be picked, his selection wasn’t totally out of right field as Aybar said he talked to Dominican GM Stan Javier last month and the possibility was mentioned.

Aybar will report to the Dominican camp in Jupiter, Fla. sometime next week. Other Rays players included on WBC rosters are Akinori Iwamura and J.P. Howell.
–Bill Chastain

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