Saturday, March 20, 2010

3/20 Live from Arizona

So this was my first day in the beautiful Arizona sun. I'll be staying in Surprise until Wednesday, and today I elected to go to the game against the Brewers. This choice was made primarily because the tickets were cheaper and the other game was about forty minutes farther away. Anyways here are my thoughts on today's Spring Training action.
  • Kyle Davies impressed. Davies stuff was nasty today and the only problem he had was a solo home run hit by Milwaukee pitcher Yovanni Gallardo. Other than that Davies pitched 4 innings and had 6 strikeouts.
  • Brayan Pena has trimmed down. It is interested that an article has been posted on on this issue, but just earlier today I was thinking about how much trimmer he looks. Apparently he has already lost over 20 pounds.
  • The Arizona air is thin. On just about every ball hit into the outfield today I was surprised at how deep it traveled. This was especially true on Gallardo's home run. When the ball left the bat my first thought was that the Milwaukee fans were dumb for thinking it was going to get out. I thought the left fielder would take a couple of steps back and make the play. Instead the ball carried over the wall.
  • Kila Ka'aihue belongs in the Majors. He may have went 0-4 today but the guy has a major league body and he puts together good at bats very consistently. He needs to improve against left handed pitchers, but I would love to see a platoon of him and Fields at DH. Kila also made a great backhand stop in the field.
  • Colon and Thompson both looked sharp. In case you are unaware of my feelings regarding the assembly of a Major League bullpen, I'd like to fill you in. I believe that a bullpen should be built as cheaply as possible. It seems to me that there are more successful scrap heap bullpen signings than multi million dollar bullpen signings. I firmly believe that a quality bullpen can be built through minor league signings, waivers, and the farm system. I think that GM Dayton Moore has had more success in building the pen through these means (Robinson Tejeda, Ramon Ramirez, Roman Colon) than through high dollar free agents (Farnsworth, Mahay, Cruz).

I'd also like to add some highlights from today's action on the farm.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals:

  • Not really a highlight, but the Naturals were no hit today and are now 1-2. Lane Adams a 2009 draft choice, was one of several inexperienced players to fill in for the Naturals today. Adams had a walk and stole second. However, Johnny Giavotella and Clint Robinson were unable to get him home.
  • Gilbert De La Vera gave up three runs in three innings. Sugar Ray Marimon and John Bannister totaled four shutout innings and Barry Bowden pitching one giving up one run.

Wilmington Blue Rocks:

  • Yesterday the Blue Rocks defeated the Texas Rangers single A affiliate 9-6 and are 1-0.
  • Eric Hosmer went 3 for 3 today with a single, double and home run. Good to see Hosmer get off to a quick start. Hopefully he can keep it going and will get an early bump to Springdale.
  • Nick Van Stratten had two singles, a walk and a steal.
  • Salvador Perez went 2-3.
  • The second rated independent league prospect, according to Baseball America, short stop Adam Frost had a pinch hit home run. I'm very interested to see how Frost does this year, I am a huge fan of the Royals working every possible stream of talent.
  • Sam Runion allowed five runs in four innings. Runion continues to disappoint and look as though he is a second round bust.
  • Matt Mitchell allowed one run in three innings with six Ks. Good to see Matt Mitchell back, he should begin the season in an intriguing Burlington rotation.
  • Patrick Keating pitched two scoreless innings. Keating should rise quickly as a relief prospect.

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