Live from Port Charlotte, Day 7
UPDATE, 2:35: Manager Joe Maddon said it was a long day, with the players on the field for nearly four hours, but a good one as they got work done on baserunning, defense and situational hitting. He was impressed with a few things, particularly the play and conditioning of prospect SS Tim Beckham, who was the top pick in the 2008 draft.
Several of the hitters who faced Hellickson and Torres were impressed with what they saw.
UPDATE, 12:05: The Rays major-league staff got their first looks at a couple of promising young arms during today's batting practice, Jeremy Hellickson and Alex Torres. They looked good. ... The popup drills were quite the challenge - and quite entertaining - given the strong wind gusts. Close to a half-dozen dropped in, though new INF Sean Rodriguez was impressive running down a few.
UPDATE, 10:35: Among the pitchers scheduled to throw on the first day of "live" batting practice (which the hitters consider more for the benefit of the pitchers) are: David Price, Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour, Andy Sonnasntine, Joaquin Benoit, and top prospect Jeremy Hellickson.
DEVELOPING: And on the seventh day, there will be some action. Pitchers, who have been in camp for a week now, will get to throw to hitters, some of whom just arrived Wednesday. And it is cold this morning. Should be fun.
And just as a reminder how hard Carl Crawford works, at 7:49 this morning, and with the temperature on the stadium board reading 49 degrees, Crawford was headed by himself to the batting cages to take his extra swings.