It was just a simulated game with no umpires, no fielders and against players wearing the same uniform.
But still, Tuesday represented a big step forward for Jason Groome.
The Red Sox' first-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft got a chance to go up against some of the top Red Sox hitting prospects at the upper levels of the club's minor-league system Tuesday, throwing 20 pitches in a simulated game at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.
The outing represented the first chance for Groome -- who missed all of 2018 and most 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery -- to compete in a game situation while spending time as a member of the Red Sox' taxi squad. (The organization had been easing him into action due, with the pitcher having only 20 minor-league starts under his belt.)
Groome acquitted himself well, throwing a fastball that clocked in at 94 mph while facing off with the likes of Jarren Duran and Jeter Downs.