I know I haven’t written in a while – sorry, family stuff. And my usual sources of info at Spring Training haven’t sent me any special info all yall don’t already know from the rest of the media.
Also, Merry Sun-Shynne seems to have gone into the Witness Protection Program, or something – haven’t heard from her.
So here’s where we’re at:
1 – Jason Castro is out for the year because he tore his knee. I am still hearing rumors that Fast Eddie is looking for another starting catcher, as obviously none of the minor leaguers can hit MY weight. As usual, JR Towles is hitting the heck out of the ball – he’s 9 fer 24 with 2 doubles and 2 homers, but Fast Eddie is still looking to trade him. I’ve been hearing that for like 2 months, since before Castro was hurt and nothing has changed. We all know that Quintero will catch The ol WB, but not sure what Wandy wants. He historically has pitched worse with Quintero catching him (and yes, one of these days I will actually look up each *(^*$^@! game and prove it).
2 – Clint Barmes, who is supposed to be providing this Nomar Garciaparra 2000-like bat (not sure why on earth Fast Eddie thinks THAT) is hitting like a shortstop: this spring he is batting a robust .651 OPS; Tommy Manzella, who crapped out after 4 games in winter ball, is hitting a measly .781 OPS – and I hear tell he’s on the trading block too. I pointed out last year that Tommy always took a year to get used to each level, and it just might could be that Fast Eddie got too impatient too soon. But no matter HOW he hits this spring, unless Barmes gets hurt, he isn’t getting paid 3.5 mill to sit on the bench. Sort of like CJ and Pedro Feliz last year.
3 – Bill Hall, who is supposed to be the Other Piece Of The 30 homer hitting Infield Puzzle, has a lower SLG than Tommy Manzella.
4 – Brett Wallace is killing the baseball, which means that unless Fast Eddie manages to find some AL GM and slips him some mind-altering chemical, managing to persuade him that it is July 2008 and trade Clank, that Wallace will be starting at first. Same a few photos of Clank – he looks as if he’s put on 20 lbs since last Sept. I’m hoping it was just a bad pic. He is, at least, hitting the ball, as well as the buffet line. Good thing Wallace is hitting because I had nightmares about Clank at 1B.
5 – still unsure about the 5th OF – Jason Michaels has been hitting like Barry Lamar 2002, and anyway, he had the 5th OF spot nailed down. Jason Bourgeois is outhitting, outslugging!!!! and outstealing Bogusevic, .790 OPS to .620 OPS. Man I sure wish we could get rid of Clank and play the other 3 guys. Not sure what they’re gonna do with Drew Locke, but he’s killing the ball, too – has a .978 OPS. Looks as if he’s gonna be one of those unfortunate guys who kills AAA pitching, but never gets a real chance in the majors – unless he gets lucky and gets traded, that is.
Pence came in, hit the ball, is still hitting the ball, is 14 fer 38 with 2 doubles and 2 triples. I hope he keeps it up when the season starts.
6 – I think that Matt Downs has a iron grip on one of the 2 utility IF spots – for some reason, Fast Eddie thinks that THIS time, he’s gonna hit for power in the majors. Of course, I’m scared that Anderson Hernandez is going to get the other spot – runs slowly for a MI, doesn’t hit and is a lousy fielder – has a .653 OPS this ST, unfortunately, out”hitting” Angel Sanchez.
7 – I’m pretty sure that Jordan Lyles won’t make the Opening Day roster – they want to prevent Super 2, OR they are going to hold him back, hoping that he kicks butt at AAA and then they can bring him up if the fans, the few who are left, are clamoring for him, as they did with Pence back in 07.
8 – Starting pitching is yecccch. Wandy has a sore shoulder. The Ol WB has given up 21 hits/13 ER over 4 GS/13 IP. Bud Norris, to put it nicely, got hammered because of giving up 3 HR over 8 IP, but at least he’s keeping the hits and walks down. Nelson Figueroa and Ryan Rowland-Smith haven’t thrown well, to put it mildly – too many hits, walks, run. J Happ has a nice ERA, but that is because 3 of his 6 runs over 8 IP were unearned. He gave up 9 hits, 4 walks.
Let’s hope the guys are “working” on stuff.
9 – the bullpen. Well, Sammy Gervacio and Alberto Arias are still hurt and certainly won’t make the Opening Day roster. Wilton Lopez has pitched 5 innings, no hits, no walks – and he’s been the only one to do this. Anuery Rodriguez and Pance Pendleton, the Rule V guys, don’t exactly look like Joakim Soria. Gustavo Chacin, believe it or not, has actually pitched pretty well – 6 H, no walks, 2 runs/6 IP. Wesley Wright, um, well, I luuuuvvv the little guy, but he’s pitching terrible – 10 hits, 4 walks, 8 runs/5 IP. Fernando Abad looks as if maybe sending him to Winter Ball to start wasn’t the best idea – he’s given up 9 H, 2 HR, 2 K over 4.2 IP. Maybe we should kept Byrdak – he’s given up 3 hits, 1 walk, no runs over 4.1 IP (for the Mets.) Melancon is meh - 7 H, 2 BB, 3 R/1ER in 5 IP. No one besides Lopez looks GOOD. And yes I know that the hitters almost always look bettern the pitchers in ST.
Fast Eddie is always looking for another crappy second baseman and maybe he can pull another turns out to be good reliever off the scrap heap again.
Still haven’t heard so much as a whisper about serious bidders for the team – I guess Drayton is thinking he should get Cubs money or something.
Anyone else even a little bit surprised that Nolan Ryan managed to get rid of Chuck Greenberg before the guys had even owned the team a year? Me, I’m surprised that Greenberg didn’t get purged any sooner. I always understood why Drayton McLane wasn’t about to give Nolan the teeensiest bit of power – had to smile when so many fans thought that Drayton should have offered Nolan the team presidency to keep him from leaving for the Rangers. Drayton shoulda just sold him the team and cut the preliminaries. Unfortunately, I guess that Drayton hadn’t wuite decided to sell the team at that time, too bad for us…