Alright everyone, we're about halfway into Spring Training, and so let's take a second to look at what we've seen thus far, and insight into what we'll be looking at these last two weeks before Opening Day.
- Torii Hunter has not yet proven to be overpaid. If anything, he's a bargain having gone 11 for 18 with 8 extra base hits thus far. His 2.021 OPS leads all MLB players with at least 15 AB. While we can't expect this production to continue at this rate, it's encouraging to see his excitement to be hanging out with the Rally Monkey in Tempe.
- Aybar, or Izturis? Thus far Izturis' bat has been slightly stronger than Aybar, but neither has been a slouch, either (.950 OPS vs .762). Neither has committed an error, leaving open the possibility of a 50-50 platoon this year. Also, while Wood has hit 2 dingers in 24 AB, he also leads the Angels in Ks at 10. Back to AAA he goes to start the year.
- Darren O'Day wins the bullpen spot vacated due to Bootcheck's injury to start the year. Tip back one for O'Day on Monday for St. Patty's Day, but while this one isn't official yet, it's looking awfully likely. In 9.1 innings this spring, he has not yet allowed a run, only 2 hits, yet has 10 K's. Dude might not even hit 90mph, but lookout for him to hit the Anaheim bullpen sooner rather than later.
- Ervin Santana, after a dominant playoff series in the Dominican Republic, has picked up right where he left off last year in the rotation. In 8.2 IP, he's allowed 8 ER for a not-so-healthy ERA of 8.31. While he's a lock to start the season in the rotation due to Kelvim's shoulder soreness, keep an eye on him, as if he continues in this vein he won't hold the 5th spot in the rotation over Saunders for very long.
- Peter Bourjos, at just 21 years old, has gone from low-A ball last year, to being clearly on the Angels radar at this point. Scioscia has been quoted as saying he's rivaling Willits and Haynes for the title of "fastest Angel in camp," and it's not just his speed that has impressed. At 8 for 18 this spring with a 1.111 OPS, keep an eye on this youngster this year to see how he does in A ball, as at this rate he may end up in Arkansas by years-end.
While these aren't the only stories this spring, these have been the most interesting. Let me know if I missed anything, and we'll take another look at the end of camp to see where things stand!
Poll edit: Scratch Jose Arrendondo off the list. Despite not earning a run yet in 5 IP this Spring, he has been reassigned to minor league camp. This would appear to clearly be a reflection of our front office's position on his "attitude problems." Keep an eye on him, though, as he would clearly be a candidate for a September call-up or fill in due to injury.