Erick Fedde was on the mound throwing live batting practice to the Washington Nationals’ new DH, Nelson Cruz, last week, when the 41-year-old, 17-year veteran spotted something the righty was doing that he thought he should let his new teammate know about.
Fedde was tipping his pitches, or a pitch, Cruz said, so he told the 29-year-old, 2014 1st Round pick what he saw.
“I was trying to help him out,” Cruz explained when he spoke to reporters from D.C. for the first time after signing a 1-year/$15M free agent deal with the Nationals. “I saw something — before he threw me the last pitch — that I realized right away what was the pitch that was coming, even before he pitched, so I was just telling him make sure you do this the right way, don’t change your — I guess, your pattern, the way you grab the ball and all this stuff.”
“He’s facing Fedde,” Davey Martinez, said of the exchange he saw between Cruz and Fedde on the field in West Palm Beach, FL, “... and he’s standing out there and then Fedde, after his first inning, he goes out there and has a conversation with him about what he’s seeing and what he saw, and that’s what he’s going to bring, especially to our younger guys. But he’s a tremendous guy, I told him, I said, ‘Hey, it’s just a testament to who you are, and having such a long career, the way that you go about your business, your routine.’ I mean, he’s — I’m telling all the young guys, ‘Hey, watch him.’ Because he’s got an impeccable routine, he does it every day, and he’s going to be good for our young kids.”
“It’s going to be really good to have him around,” Martinez added, “... because he does pay attention to details like that and he’s been doing it for many, many years.”
So has Fedde been tipping pitches for a while and Cruz finally spotted it? Was it early spring or live BP “laziness” or lack of attention to detail? Who knows. But it’s a fun anecdote, and it helped fill up some space here before we post the lineup for tonight’s game, which is being broadcast(ed?) live on MASN at 6:05 PM ET.
It’s the first game of the spring on TV, so will you all be watching tonight? Who said, “No?” See us after class...