JUPITER -- Marlins minor leaguers are out on the back field taking on Team Italy in a "B" game. Of significant note to the Marlins: Omar Poveda, one of the two right-handers they received from the Rangers in last year's trade deadline deal for Jorge Cantu, pitched in his first game since undergoing Tommy John surgery last February.
Poveda went two innings and gave up a run, but looked sharp otherwise, mixing in a wicked changeup to complement a high 80s fastball that should reach the low 90s once he stretches out. Poveda will either start the year at Double A Jacksonville or Triple A New Orleans.
"I was nervous," Poveda admitted afterward.
Watching from behind the backstop screen was the other piece in the Cantu deal, Evan Reed. Reed won't be pitching anytime soon. After coming over in the trade, Reed made one appearance for Jax and injured his right arm. He had Tommy John in September.
"I came out to see how he looks and whether there are any differences from the past," Reed said. "He looks good. That was just two innings of work. But he threw a changeup and got a pop up and he was throwing his breaking balls for strikes. The only time he got hurt was when he left it up. The thing is he mixes his pitches so well and throws them all for strikes. That's what I expected to see, and that's what I saw."
Reed wasn't the only onlooker. The entire Marlins's baseball office brass was out in force, with Larry Beinfest, Mike Hill, Dan Jennings and Jim Fleming on hand.
(Video of Omar Poveda pitching "B" game against Italy: Sunday)