While you were away...actually, I was away, too. I spend one weekend a month away on PTO and this was my weekend for March, so this is going to be a survey. Feel free to add in anything important or interesting that I miss, but here we go:
In the Heavens of Anaheim:
Cronic Success: Wilson needs to just drop back to "Chris", because Cron is currently owning the rights to hang as any "CJ". Right now, the only other Major League player who even comes close to Cron's .471 spring training batting average is Jose Abreu at .479. But Abreu and his 48 at-bats is not even in the top 75 players with the most AB's, whereas Cron is tied for 8th most.with 57. Overall, among spring "qualifiers", Cron is 5th in BA (Trout is 3rd), 15th on OBP (Trout is 2nd), 5th in SLG (Trout is 1st), and 4th in OPS (Trout, again, is 1st). And, yeah, he is tied as hit leader with 24.
Trout Porn: So, of course, one of the very few players having at least as good of a spring as Cron is Trout. Even better, actually. Stunning what might be with a healthy Pujols, too, come this season. but I digress. Anyway, MLB notes that Trout is seeing an average of 2.31 pitches per plate appearance this spring. This is huge. "...this mark is well below that of his career rate of 4.23. So Trout is making good on his promise to be "locked and loaded" on first pitches this season after establishing a reputation for first-pitch patience. We talked a bit about this earlier this spring, but the simple fact is that for Trout to maintain an MVP-caliber level, he's going to have to adjust to pitchers' attempts to exploit his biggest weakness at the plate -- high and tight fastballs. One way to do so is to change the way he approaches them, and a more aggressive mindset early in counts might help Trout limit the strikeouts that clouded an otherwise brilliant 2014 campaign." Mike Trout: velociraptor.
Tough crowd: Screw past reputations and historical "respect". Get the job done you are hired to do or get the hell offa my
lawn wall. Gone from the stadium main entrance banners are C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamitlon (and, no fault of his own, Howie Kendrick). Up go Erick Aybar, Garrett Richards and Huston Street. They join Albert Pujols, Jered Weaverand that kid Mike Trout...........
A Spring in His Step: Garrett Richards is over the moon with excitement after his last workout. He actually was so efficient that the coaching staff used a 4th out in his fifth inning to get Richards up closer to their target pitch count for his outing. And afterwards Richards was beaming. From OCregister: "It felt great. Everything felt normal. I didn’t feel any stiffness anywhere. I didn’t feel sore anywhere… Today I felt like I could go all nine."............
Heavey-Hearted Heaney: A big price was paid to acquire a new #1 prospect in the organization, with the Angelssending away the final year of Howie Kendrick's contract for Andrew Heaney. Heaney had every chance to snatch a spot in the starting rotation. And he failed, again and again. And he knows it. "It is disappointing. I came into camp wanting to make the team, didn't come into camp trying to break with Triple-A. I don't know, I just go out there and pitch. It's not up to me to make decisions. I want to make decisions easy for them, and I don't feel like I've performed well enough to have that." But he's only 23. Trout didn't set the Major Leagues ablaze when he first dipped his toe in the water, either. I am holding out hope that he will figure it out.
Puig: This has to be said. Yasiel Puig has an arm that reminds me of Roberto Clemente. No sense in denying it, so we might as well just watch the fun highlights over the next few years.
Clueless in cleats: Ex football coach John Maddon threw water all over Will Ferrell's spring training media day. Maddon was applying his personal knowledge of preparing for the sport of pro football, and exposing his ignorance of what goes into preparing for a season of pro baseball. Ferrell finally responded.
R.I.P. Young Mariner: The Seattle franchise has begun be showing respect for the loss of their pitching prospect Victor Sanchez, who died over the weekend after suffering a boating accident back in February. He had been in a coma all this time.
Trumbo Trend: Mark Trumbo is leading a trend in using right-handed gloves to right field, in order to improve their defense. But, overall, there is probably a lot less to what any coach might be thinking of behind "the Trumbo Advantage" after all.
Knives, and Forks in the trending: Elbow surgeries among pitchers are up, but shoulder surgeries are plummeting. "After a peak in 2009, when more than 40 operations were performed, shoulder surgeries seem to be fading toward extinction, with only 12 in 2014. Some have attributed the decrease in shoulder injuries to improved shoulder exercises. This explanation is consistent with the fact that shoulder injuries have disappeared for position players, as well."
Indian Uprising: I totally missed it, but something remarkable must have happened to Cleveland in the off-season to make them such a trendy pre-season pick. And, oh, are they trendy.
Broken Clock Day: We all know that David Ortiz put his foot into it when he went crying about his PEDs reputation last week. Well, infamous Boston noob Dan Shaughnessy had something to say back to Ortiz and, shockingly, it was cogent and potent and on point.