|Joe Nathan leaves the mound after his elbow injury|
in a March exhibition game last year.
But there have been players at the facility in Fort Myers for some time now, and pitching coach Rick Anderson was there to watch Joe Nathan throw a 50-pitch bullpen session Wednesday.
Anderson pronounced himself impressed:
"I told Joe, 'That's the most free and easy I have seen your arm.' He looked nice and loose with everything, and that is what you look for.''
My immediate reaction to that quote was skepticism. Anderson hasn't seen Nathan throw in almost a year. Granted, he's seen Nathan throw a lot over the years, but does he really know how today's motion compared to how Nathan threw in 2009, or 2005?
Then I realized: Video. It's likely —probable, even — that Anderson has studied some old video of Nathan to refresh his memory of what Nathan looked like pre-injury. Considering how important Nathan is to the team's plans and ambitions, it would be surprising if Anderson hadn't prepped himself for this.
A mid-February bullpen session proves little, of course. It merely establishes that Nathan's ligament replacement wasn't a disaster. Which is another step forward.