Seitzer Flourishes in Victory | The Process Report

Seitzer Flourishes in Victory

The first televised spring game is in the books.

Drawing conclusions after one-looking a player is never a good idea—particularly when that viewing comes during the exhibition season—but here are some generational observations from Friday:

  • Brandon Gomes is likely to start the season in Durham, but his reworked mechanics deserve mention. The most noticeable change is a truncated leg kick. In the past, Gomes would bring his front leg to his chest to begin his delivery; now, his knee stays below waist-level.
  • Two other members of Durham’s Opening Day bullpen pitched: lefty C.J. Riefenhauser and righty Steven Geltz. Both faced one batter apiece.
  • Curt Casali took over behind the plate after Ryan Hanigan’s removal. The 25-year-old has a wide body that he uses to create angles and change looks for his pitchers and umpires alike. Casali showed strong wrists, but he bounced his lone throw—which came on a stolen-base attempt borne from defensive indifference. Should all go well, he could become a backup.
  • Alex Cobb looked like Alex Cobb.
  • No Ray had a more memorable day than Cameron Seitzer. The former Sooner got to play in front of his father (Kevin, Toronto’s hitting coach) and wear his minor-league number (23) instead of some confidence-destroying monstrosity. Naturally, Seitzer connected on a 2-0 pitch late in the game from Todd Redmond and pulled it over the right-field wall. Seitzer is a tall individual, at 6-foot-5, but he’s not thick and lacks the power potential associated with the position. Still, he may reach the majors some day on the strength of his glove and on-base skills.
  • Contrariwise, former first-round pick Richie Shaffer had a rough day, including a three-whiff at-bat versus Ricky Romero. Shaffer is less than two years removed from Clemson, so his struggles against a big-league pitcher—even one as embattled as Romero is—are understandable. Consider it noteworthy that he altered his mechanics again. On Friday he employed a toe tap, whereas in the past he employed a leg lift and, during his AFL stint, a standard step forward.
  • Kevin Kiermaier is projected to feature well-below-average in-game power once he reaches the majors, but he homered thanks to some strong wind and an elevated Marcus Stroman fastball. Stroman is a wee lad—likely shorter than his listed height, of 5-foot-9—and he must pitch low in the zone to maintain any semblance of a downward plane. He didn’t against Kiermaier, and he paid for it.
  • Wil Myers got a haircut and wore shoes with yellow accents.
  • Brad Boxberger introduced himself to Rays fans with a wild appearance. His issues with glove-side command weren’t on display, as Hanigan stuck to the arm side. Unfortunately, Boxberger didn’t show an appreciable talent for throwing strikes to that side, either. The highlight of his appearance was fanning Melky Cabrera on three consecutive changeups.
  • Two other pieces of the Alex Torres trade also appeared in the game: Logan Forsythe and Matt Andriese. The former continues to look like a disciplined hitter who should outperform expectations if health, while the latter showed a few different pitches before running into geography issues later on.

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