*** 4/4 Game Update:
4:30 pm: Mike Clevinger takes the hill for the A-Ball Burlington Bees against the Beloit Snappers.
*** Yesterday's Game*** Led by starter Clint Sharp, second baseman Kody Eaves, and DH Mike Fish, the Bees took down the Snappers in the season opener. Eaves, a 2012 prep pick, was especially impressive, opening the game with an opposite-field shot that almost cleared the left field wall, then walking twice and swiping a bag. He showed good speed and a little pop in Orem last year, but a noisy, unrefined approach at the plate led to underwhelming numbers. Maybe those change in 2014.
5:00 pm: The Double A Travelers take on the Midland RockHounds.
No word yet on who's starting for the Travs. My money's on Mike Roth.
*** Yesterday's Game*** Mike Sappington was disappointing, struggling with his command, but who cares: the Travs piled on 20 -- that's right, twenty -- runs on 22 hits. Kaleb Cowart delivered much of the thump, swatting a two-run shot and an opposite field double from the left side to go along with three singles and a walk. He also swiped a bag, just to show that he could. Jett Bandy added a home run and Drew Heid chipped in four knocks. Reliever Ryan Chaffee also impressed, fanning the side in his first inning of work. The game was influenced by gusts of wind that hit 40 mph, so it literally felt for all the world like an aberration, but maybe the minnie hurricane was just the elements saluting the debut of a potentially tremendous Travs' lineup.
5:35 pm: Newly acquired Jose Alvarez and the Salt Lake Bees take on the Sacramento Rivercats.
*** Last Night's Game **** Jarret Grube went six innings and gave us just two runs. Grant Green and Efren Navarro each collected three hits a piece, and Luis Jimenez homered in his first 2014 plate appearance, perhaps as an expression of frustration over so little spring training playing time. CJ Cron -- he of the 4% 2013 walk rate -- walked in one of his five PA's, and JB Shuck homered!!! Gotta love the PCL. Perhaps the most impressive contribution came from the bullpen, which tallied three innings of one run ball marred only by a fluke triple and RBI groundout. Some of those relievers are likely to see substantial time in Anaheim this year.
7:05 pm: Kyle McGowin takes the hill for Inland Empire @ High Desert
*** Last Night's Game *** The 66ers pitching staff combined for a five-hit shutout at High Desert, one of the top hitting-friendly parks in the minors. Starter Nate Smith went 5 innings before handing the ball over. Shortstop Jose Rondon and DH Cal Towey combined to reach base in seven of their ten plate appearances, scoring four times. This could be a very fun club to watch, so make plans to visit San Bernardino a couple of times this spring.