Friday, February 15, 2013

"The hardest thrower in camp"

Nice to have a guy with pure heat in camp, I say. 

Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury-News says it's Heath Hembree out of the 37 pitchers that are the Orange and Black spring training right now. Here's most of the post -- 

Once he gets on the mound, however, there’s no mistaking Hembree for anybody else. He’s likely the hardest thrower in camp, and you can hear the fastballs popping when Hembree lets it loose. He said his arm feels as good as it ever has.
“I feel strong,” he told me. “I feel really good right now. My arm feels great.”
Hembree is stationed in the middle of a long row of clubhouse lockers. On one side, he sees mostly minor leaguers. On the other side: Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and George Kontos. It’s an appropriate spot for a player who likely would have made his big league debut a year ago if not for an arm injury. Hembree was briefly shelved in July because of a strain in his flexor tendon.
“It was a little bit of a disappointing experience,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever dealt with something like that, but I think last year was good for me mentally. I had to learn to get mentally stronger.”
After a strong 2011 season, Hembree had a 4.19 ERA at two stops last season, but much of the damage was done right before he was shut down (he gave up five earned runs in his final appearance before going on the DL). After returning to the mound in August, Hembree gave up just one run in 11 outings.
Hembree is working on a slider and changeup to mix in with his explosive fastball, and he’ll get a long look this spring. Five Giants relievers are scheduled to participate in the World Baseball Classic, although Javier Lopez may pull out. Either way, Hembree will get plenty of innings this spring.


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