It's shaping up to be a beautiful day here at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater. About 70 degrees, partly cloudy, highs expected to reach 76.
Some odds and ends from the morning. . .
- Players and coaches had their annual umpires meeting with Umpire Supervisor Rich Garcia this morning before heading out to practice. . .
- Yesterday featured an abbreviated session as players, coaches and staff hit the links in the afternoon for the organization's annual golf tournament. Word is pitchers Chad Durbin and J.D. Durbin anchored the winning team, which also included ace public relations man Kevin Gregg. . .
- We'll try to catch up with Tom Gordon today to get his mindset on becoming, for now, the team's closer. Gordon has done it before, saving 36 games for the team two years ago. . .
- Mercifully, tomorrow is the first game of the spring season. It'll be a nice change of pace to actually see these guys playing against someone other than themselves. Joe Savery, a 2007 first-round draft pick out of Rice, will get the start on the mound. Expect to see plenty from other young pitchers like Carlos Carrasco and Josh Outman. . .
MORNING READING. . .
Here's a story on new Mets reliever Matt Wise who has had some, uh, unlucky twists of fate in the injury department. Over the past few seasons, Wise has suffered injuries while slipping on a slick railing, cutting himself on a pair of salad tongs, and bumping his head on the roof of the dugout.
Also from the Mets, veteran Orlando Hernandez is in a battle for the fifth spot in the rotation with 2005 No. 1 pick Mike Pelfrey.
In Lake Buena Vista, John Smoltz is following an unusual routine that will see him making only two or three Grapefruit League starts. His goals are to improves his off-speed pitches.
Scott Olsen will start the Marlins' grapefruit league opener Wednesday
In Washington, Nick Johnson will play Wednesday, his first action since a broken femur cost the first baseman all of last season. Also, the Nationals and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman are still far apart on a contract extension that would keep him in Washington beyond 2011.