Possible new closer Corey Knebel lights it up: ‘He could mean the world to us’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
CLEARWATER, Fla. – As Corey Knebel prepared to take the mound to face hitters Thursday, someone asked if he wanted a protective screen in front of him.
The pitcher said no then proceeded to show why.
Truer tests will come as hitters sharpen their eyes and get their timing and strokes down, but Knebel was pretty much untouchable three weeks before the eve of opening day.
“Very impressive,” said J.T. Realmuto, who caught the eye-catching 25-pitch session. “Looking at the numbers, I heard he was 93 to 96, maybe 97 (mph). (Pitching coach Caleb Cotham) asked him if that was where he usually was at this time of spring and he said he’s usually not throwing this hard yet.
“It was coming out hot. The fastball had life. Breaking ball was sharp. He’s got that deception. He throws his fastball up so much that he froze two or three guys with it down in the zone….