TUCSON - New pitching coach Bryan Price will supervise the pitchers' first throwing exercises today, but it is not his first look at several members of the staff. Russ Ortiz, Brian Bruney, Dustin Nippert, Jason Bulger and Casey Daigle had regular work with Price at Chase Field, starting in early January.
Doug Slaten, Brandon Medders, Neal Musser and Brandon Webb also had a few throwing sessions.
"Watching videos is great, but you can't really sense temperament, competitiveness, the ability to make adjustments, the feel for pitching, and the emotional and mental resiliency from video,'' Price said.
"We had a nice handful of guys who came in and got regular work down at the stadium. It helped me with the way they throw and with building relationships.
"In the end, if they don't trust me, the relationship can't go as far as it should. Building trust is very, very important.''
Bruney worked on adding a second pitch to his mid-90s fastball, something he also tried last spring in sessions with Gregg Olson.
Orlando Hudson, Andy Green and Justin Upton were among the infielders seen in camp Friday, even though position players are not scheduled to report until Wednesday.
"Trying to win a job and get ready to go,'' said Green, a candidate for a reserve infield/outfield spot after being named the MVP of the Pacific Coast League with Tucson last season.
"It's cold at home,'' said Upton, 18, a North Carolina native who received a $6.1 million bonus when he signed last month after being the first player taken in the June 2005 draft.
"I wanted to come out and meet everyone, get comfortable and get used to the atmosphere. It's only a week early.''
Right-handers Tony Pena and Luis Vizcaino are not expected to participate in the first workout this morning, manager Bob Melvin said.
Pena is having visa difficulties while attempting to leave the Dominican Republic, Melvin said, while Vizcaino had a family issue that required his time.
Vizcaino is expected to participate Sunday, Melvin said, while Pena could miss two or three workouts.
The Valley may have had no measureable precipitation since Oct. 18, but it did sprinkle in Tucson about 2:15 p.m. Friday. "We got about 100 days of sunshine, and we get down here and get a little cloud cover and so forth,'' Melvin said, dryly. Melvin said he has spoken to Cubs manager Dusty Baker, an old friend. "Dusty called me and we talked for a while,'' Melvin said. "It is the time of year when you make a few calls, you get a few calls, and the first day on the field comes and it is all about business.''