Clemens throws batting practice
For the first time this Spring, Roger Clemens threw live batting practice on Wednesday morning.
Carlos Pena, Justin Maxwell, J.D. Martinez and Rick Ankiel made up the lucky group with Ankiel the only one to take Clemens deep.
“I don’t think I’ve been on the bump in what, eight months? But that was fun,” Clemens said.
“It was great for him,” manager Bo Porter said. “He’s obviously in great shape. You just look at him. The mechanics are absolutely clean and that’s what he talked to our pitchers about – about understanding your mechanics and how your mechanics will actually help you use your stuff in a game.”
Clemens wouldn’t quite agree about the state of his fitness.
“It’s very difficult (to come back),” Clemens said. “It’s difficult at 30, 40 or 50. I’m real thankful that I’ve taken real good care of my body for the most part, and if my sister didn’t make all those cookies and I didn’t have all those Starbucks, I’d probably be in real game shape right now.”
Clemens said he threw about 70 percent as he threw a mix of fastballs, sliders and a few split-fingered fastballs.
“I didn’t want my leg to fall off and my elbow to come with one of those pitches,” Clemens said.
But he felt he felt good about his outing, which lasted about 15 minutes, and even called some of his pitches.
“I felt really good about my command for not doing it for a long time,” Clemens said.
Clemens added that although he approached 90 mph when he briefly threw for the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters in 2012, he didn’t go anywhere near that on Wednesday.
“I wanted them to work on their stroke and seeing the baseball ,” Clemens said.
After a four-day appearance, Wednesday was Clemens’ last scheduled day in camp in what was the first of three scheduled stints in Kissimmee. He is expected to return in March.
OFF TO THE WBC: OF Che-Hsuan Lin left camp after Wednesday’s workout to join Taiwan for the World Baseball Classic which begins on March 2.
SPECIAL WELCOME: To new Astros radio broadcasters Robert Ford and Steve Sparks, who both arrived in camp Wednesday afternoon.