SALT RIVER FIELDS—Two Colorado Rockies pitchers who are recovering from Tommy John surgery, Greg Holland and Jairo Díaz, threw simulated games to minor league hitters on Sunday.
Putting on my amateur scout cap, I thought Holland’s early pitches seemed to be thrown hard and with decent location, but they were also pretty easy for me to see and track. As he threw more, his pitches seemed to retain their velocity, but they became harder to see, suggesting a bit more movement on the pitches. In general, Holland was around the strike zone and gave up only two hit balls during his work.
Holland also performed a sort of twitchy flexing of his front leg during his windup. It’s not clear if this has always been a part of his motion, or if it’s just something I’m noticing now. The movement distracted me as an observer, and I wonder if it would also disrupt a batter’s timing.
Diaz, who had his surgery more recently than Holland, seemed a bit less refined at the outset. His fastball was hard to visually track, and he didn’t seem to have the control of his pitches. He bounced a few in the dirt at the beginning, and Díaz seemed a tad bit frustrated early on in the outing because of it. While I didn’t keep count, it seemed more of his pitches were swung at and missed than Holland’s. By the end of his session, his control settled down and his temperament improved.
Bud Black was there to watch the pitchers work. He got looks from both sides of the diamond. There was also a group of minor leaguers jogging behind the backstop. Some of them stopped to watch the pitchers on their paths back to in-game action. There are a lot of folks, it seems, who ware eager to see both Holland and Díaz return from injury.
I wasn’t able to get velocity readings for either pitcher. Though if I do get them, we’ll update this post.