Melvin: 'A little too early to give first impressions'
"He's a pretty hard working guy and I know he's looking forward to getting back sooner than later." -- Bob Melvin on Andrew Carignan
Programming note: For all the latest from A's spring training, tune in to Raising Arizona, tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
PHOENIX -- With a large group of pitchers and catchers huddled around him, manager Bob Melvin stood on the grass in front of the rows of bullpen mounds at Papago Park and spoke to his players.
In the serene setting under a clear Phoenix sky, you could hear the skipper as he guided the young team. Shortly thereafter, the sound of the catcher's mitts popping began to cut though the air.
These events are all normal occurrences at a spring workout, but the fact that it was Brett Anderson and Andrew Carignan on the mound at the same time is a testament to modern medical science. Both pitchers recently underwent Tommy John surgery -- Carignan more recently than Anderson.
"It was his first time back to 60 feet," Melvin said of Carignan who had surgery on his right elbow last June. "He's a fastball guy, the trick to him is trying to hold him back, as opposed to trying to get him to go. He's a pretty hard working guy and I know he's looking forward to getting back sooner than later."
The rehab process for Carignan is going as well as can be expected. Anderson is so far past his elbow issues that Melvin barely had to keep an eye on him.
"All his pitches, throwing hard and doing his thing," Melvin said. "He's not one I'm concentrating too hard on because I know a lot about him."
- With fresh ink still drying on paper, left-handed pitcher Hideki Okajima reported to A's camp and got to work.
[RELATED: Okajima arrives, faces stiff competition]
Standouts from the first workout:
Melvin liked what he saw from relievers Arnold Leon and Fernando Rodriguez. Leon, 24, spent time in Stockton, Midland, and Sacramento in 2012. He has been in the A's system for three years.
"He made some big impressions last year and there was a lot of talk about him last year and I can see why," Melvin said.
Rodriguez was the other player acquired from Houston when the A's traded for Jed Lowrie.
"Big kid, big arm, downhill plane, when he keeps the ball down, the ball isn't in the strike zone very long," Melvin said.
As a former big league catcher, Melvin likes to keep a close eye on the A's backstops. He has been very impressed with Luke Montz. He also mentioned he has been impressed with Beau Taylor.
Melvin particularly liked the power from the group of catchers in camp.
"They were losing quite a few balls," he said.
Melvin's message to the team:
Prior to the first workout Melvin had a closed door meeting with the team. He did share a little with the media about what he told them. His basic message was that coaches will start evaluating when games start. He wants his team to make sure they are all healthy first and foremost as they prepare for games.