Notes: Weight issue irks Lieber
Righty more concerned with his performance than waistline
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Talk about his weight is weighing on Jon Lieber.So the veteran found a creative way to fight back Monday, reporting his weight at a brisk 210 pounds. "I feel great," he said.
Considering he reported to camp at 243, shedding 33 pounds in three weeks of camp would make Jenny Craig jealous. Sign the guy up as a Slim-Fast spokesman.Pressed for details -- one reporter asked if Lieber sliced off a leg -- and the right-hander relented. "I'm [messing] with you," Lieber said. "Put that in the paper." Though he chuckled, Lieber's frustration showed. Lieber, who weighs 241 pouonds and wants to be at 235 by Opening Day, isn't thrilled about having to regularly address his weight. "I'm just tired of it," Lieber said, with a sigh. "The way it works is you pitch good and they don't care what you weigh. You pitch badly and they do. It gets to a point where you have to answer the same questions when things go bad. I try to go out there do what I do best, and hopefully that's pitch and throw strikes." Lieber tossed two scoreless against Cincinnati on Monday. He allowed no runs on three hits and struck out three in front of at least seven scouts, who were conspicuously stationed behind home plate. "I'm just watching the catcher's mitt," Lieber said. "I'm not thinking about anything. I'm just getting ready and pitching." As he said when he first rolled in with his monster truck, Lieber can't worry about his final destination, which likely won't be determined until the final weeks of Spring Training. "There are a lot worse problems in the world than worrying about what's going to happen in these next two or three weeks," Lieber said. "I'm not concerned about it. I'm just going about my business." For all his struggles, Lieber recovered nicely after July 31 last season. He posted a 5-3 record with a 3.38 ERA over his last 11 starts, including a 35 1/3-inning stretch without a walk. Without that, his 2006 campaign might have been a lost cause. With one year left on his contract, Lieber realizes he's playing for his next contract, if the 36-year-old (he turns 37 on April 2), wants to continue to pitch. That's down the road. For now, he knows he'll be pitching somewhere.
Coming up: Jamie Moyer is scheduled to make his second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla. He'll be opposed by Delaware native Ian Snell. Fabio Castro, Geoff Geary and Matt Smith are also slated to pitch for Philadelphia.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.