How I Spell Relief
The AAA and AA clubs played against the Indians today and while there were some nice hits and defensive plays, what stood out were the pitchers. Specifically, the relief pitchers. Three of the players I saw hit 95mph and another was touching 93 from a sidearm slot.
The first guy I noticed was Scott Griggs. The Dodgers' 8th rounder in 2012, Griggs reached Low A Great Lakes, where he racked up 14 strikeouts but also walked 13 in 11.2 innings.
The UCLA alum worked in the mid 90s, touching 96 and showing a good breaking ball in the low 80s. He worked out of the windup, which is unique for a reliever and throws across his body, likely the catalyst for his erratic command.
Control will dictate how quickly Scott moves because his stuff is already ready for the bigs. I wouldn't be surprised to see him begin the season in Chattanooga.
Gregory Infante was the first guy I noticed in the Triple A game after old friend Aaron Miller exited. Infante was signed by the White Sox 6 years ago and was invited to Dodgers' camp as a non-roster invitee (NRI). While he got hit hard in his two games, the 25 year old showed potential to eventually make a big league pen.
His fastball is one of the better ones I've seen on the backfields. He was repeatedly touching 97 with a fairly easy delivery. He also showed a splitter and slider to keep hitters off balance. With age against him, but the pure stuff to pitch in the majors, Infante will simply have to wait his turn before someone takes a chance on his big time velocity.
Another pitcher in the Triple A game I noticed was Luis Vasquez. Formerly a guy who could flirt with triple digits, Vasquez is now a sidearmer who generates nasty movement on his heater. I saw him reach as high as 93, with lots of movement, though he sat closer to 90. His breaking ball wasn't on today but he was able to rely on his movement to get swings and misses as well as groundballs. He got hit hard last year between Chattanooga and Albuquerque and has struggled to throw strikes, and already at 26, he really needs to hone his command quickly.
The final pitcher of the day was Pedro Baez, the former third baseman. Still stocky, Baez looked surprisingly fluid on the mound and didn't simply appear to be a thrower.
The first two pitches he threw were 95 and 96 and he was working around 95 for his inning. He only threw 1 curveball, at 77mph, which hit the righty he was facing at the time. I'll post video of him later.
That does it for now. Tomorrow the A ball affiliates will be playing at Camelback Ranch. I'm sure there will be plenty more to talk about after those games.
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