Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Williams is keeping a diary for ESPNChicago.com during his first big league spring training. The 2014, 10th round draft pick is slated for Triple-A Iowa after going 14-3 last season in the minors. Read his first entry here.
Williams faced live hitters for the first time over the weekend when some of his teammates stepped into the box against him in advance of his second diary entry.
MESA, Ariz. -- It's the first time seeing live hitters since last year so it's really the start of baseball for me. You get in that competitive mode. I felt good out there. I threw 45 pitches. That's perfect for me. I've been out here a long time so now it's just working on the little things. Fine tuning and enjoying the competition.
I was able to work my fastball in and out which is good because I'm a ground ball pitcher and need to use the entire plate. Eventually I played with counts. So I'm just trying to get the feel back for situations and go from there.
The coach that's with me on the mound as we throw was giving me positive feedback then would give me situations like "one out, runner on second." Then I can work on my timing to home and stuff like that. And hopefully execute the pitch I want. I got a few ground balls when I needed them so that was good.
I know they're (coaches and front office) looking on but I'm not focused on that. It's just about getting your feet wet and stuff like that. I wasn't focused on what was going on around the cage. It's been fun. The advice I keep getting is to just be myself and try not to do too much.
Off the field was great because Sunday was "Funday." All the guys were yelling it up during the relay throwing contest then seeing the dance-off with (Justin) Grimm and (Travis) Wood was great. It was a great way to start the day. I'm trying a little Pilates. Jake Arrieta told us some things about it 6-7 days ago and so we're working with the Pilates ladies in the morning. That's a new thing. Seeing how that works.
That's about it. I'm looking forward to Tuesday's golf competition. It will be fun to just get out there and have some fun with the guys. I'm looking forward to games as well. I'm not sure when I'm pitching but I'll be ready.