SARASOTA, Fla. - The highlight of a slow day this afternoon came when first-round pick Dylan Bundy threw his first live batting practice session behind a protective screen and with hitters given the green light to swing away. They weren't just tracking pitches here.
Chris Davis joked about getting into a low crouch - he almost was scraping the ground - before taking the first cuts against Bundy. Davis swung and missed, barely got a piece of another ball on a foul tip, let two go past him - the second looked like a strike - and bounced to second base.
Davis checked his bat as he stepped out of the cage to make sure it didn't crack. Sure sounded like it.
Robert Andino was next, and he left the cage shaking his head and saying that he understood why Bundy was drafted in the first round.
Davis returned for one more swing and went the opposite way, clearing the fence in left field. Davis said he had to pimp it because it was the first ball he's hit hard all spring.
Turning serious for a moment, Davis said he couldn't believe that Bundy, a high school kid, has five pitches.
Endy Chavez and Wilson Betemit also faced Bundy, and they won't be bragging about the results.
Teammates marvel at Bundy's effortless delivery and how the ball explodes out of his hand. It looks like he's not even trying, but he brings serious heat.
Catcher Caleb Joseph sat next to Bundy on a metal bench while reliever Jon Link completed his session. Joseph asked Bundy what the right-hander wanted to throw and where he wanted to locate certain pitches. He also wanted to know where he should set the target. It was an interesting inside-baseball moment, and a much-needed break from the monotony of Day 11.