clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

TuesdoLinks: Alex Meyer ready for his close up?

New, comments

As Alex Meyer gets command of his new mechanics, he might just look good enough to make the Opening Day rotation after all. And wouldn't that make Billy Eppler look particularly brilliant?

Alex Meyer warming up in Spring
Alex Meyer warming up in Spring

Alex Meyer did a major turnaround on Sunday, and his success is still resonating. That's Meyer up above, warming up before facing his first batter that game. (Yours truly took the photos and built the montage. It could be nicer, sure, but I do have a day job already, thankyouverymuch.) One of the longer odds coming into camp was for Alex Meyer to make the Opening Day roster as a #5 starter.

His first outing, back on March 1st, he gave us 2 strong innings against the Rangers. Looked good. But that was early, when everybody was still yawning and stretching and grabbing their Spring Training cups of coffee to wake up. His next outing was far less shiny and bright. On March 6th, against the Cubs, he lasted a mere 2 outs and surrendered 3 earned runs. Yeah. Maybe some Salt Lake time was more certain. After all, we could use the demands of his learning a new system of delivery mechanics as an excuse, and still have high hopes for the future. But then came Sunday. Boom. Back on track, and deep into camp. This, now, looks promising.

Consider. By shifting things around just a little it would be possible for Meyer to get 4 more looks and stretching out more and more, ending with an outing against the Dodgers to conclude The Freeway Series on April 1st. He would then be in line to take his turn as the starter in the Home Opener against the Mariners on April 7th. That's 25 days from now. Practically an entire camp. So, plenty of time to learn more and plenty of time to work more.

And wouldn't it be nice if TWO of our anchor points in the 2017 rotation came from Billy Eppler's sweet deal with the Minnesota Twins, at the low low price of Hector Santiago and Alan Busenitz. Maybe not the shut-down back-end we hoped for, but it could work. It could work.

Five More Observations from Spring Training, to complete my Top 10 Things started yesterday:

6) The guys walking the outer fields are Arte's Men in Red. Young, clean cut, wraparound sunglasses, and the ubiquitous slacks and red polos. They move silently from field to field, park behind the various backstops, and carry on stealthy conversation with a random coach before gliding back into the bowels of the main stadium. All they need are unmarked golf carts. If not Men in Red, then Arte's own Mr. Smith, but without the scowl.

7) There are so many players in camp, from so many levels, that there just are not enough numbers to go around. They should use letters AND numbers. What's wrong with a #27, #a27, #b27, etc.? I have dozens of shots of prospects and no clue who they are. Some looked damn good, too.

8) The ticket scalping industry is pretty intense. Tempe must have much different event resale laws than Anaheim.

9) The Marriott Buttes Resort is missing a really good opportunity to build some private viewing suites on the bluff overlooking Diablo Stadium. They could rent those out for catered events and make some extra coin.

10) With so many fouls balls hit back over and out of the stadium each game, why is it that I don't see hordes of ball hawks camped out there on the ramps and the lawns?

All that, and still so many Links:


______________________________
A Little Bit of Angels News

Ricky Nolasco continues to look sharp. And Albert Pujols is on the Home Run board. But the Angels' bats went dry and they lost another practice game to the Dodgers 3-1. Mike Trout's batting average is down to .227. Who's noticing?..........

Who is Matt Shoemaker? I know who Matt Shoemaker is. Matt Shoemaker is the husband of Danielle Shoemaker, goddess of Twitter............

On the back end of the pitching roster, with the bullpen, we are seeing some serious competition. Considering how MLB teams have gotten into the habit of rebuilding bullpens yearly, and the more successful teams being the ones that get lucky in their construction sense and their luck, this is another promising data point for our outlook this year...........

Wally Joyner, in camp as a guest instructor, is rushing to the rescue of Cameron Maybin. He is also on board to help Matt Thaiss. With Maybin it's his bat. With Thaiss it's his move to defensive first base..........,

Among the sleeper teams to watch, are the same LA Angels that we will be watching, anyway..........

______________________________

Everywhere In Baseball

Everything WBC here..........But focus in on Mexico getting bounced by oddball tie-breaker rules. Mexico wins but loses anyway. Venezuela studied the rules and Mexico ain't happy. Worse, instead of advancing, Mexico is not even granted an automatic invite to the next WBC (if there is one). They have to qualify. This is not the way to call a tourney a "success"...........

Arte Moreno and the City of Anaheim are among the blazers of new trails in the sports stadium industry. That would be...letting their stadiums get old and worn and historic and comfortable............

Looks like the Justice Department is pretty much happy with AT&T Uverse and DirectTV anymore. No need to uncork the Dodgers SportsNet mess after all. Dodgers fans will remain in the dark, unable to force allow me to subsidize their baseball team so that they can watch it...........

Uh, baseball only needs to be sped up to "save it", if you are unaware that baseball is a game for lazy summer afternoons to begin with.  So, I suppose, the Original Sin of baseball was moving it to night where you have to fit it into prime time viewing hours in the first place............

You remember Yasiel Puig, no? The LAD's answer to Mike Trout? The one that is hanging on to any form of career by fingernails? Yeah, Puig better step up, or he will be done altogether. At least as far as our neighborhood is concerned..........

Seattle will be posting three center fielders in their outfield this season, in a park that already eats fly balls. Don't be surprised to see a lot of hitters who are making the switch to swinging for fly balls have poor splits when they hit Safeco Field this year..........

This is interesting for those who wonder about the overall impact of the shift on baseball. The returns being reported are, well, weird. On the surface it does not appear as if much  has changed overall. But as you dig, some of the obvious expectations start to rise into view. It's not about pulling the ball, but about hitting away from the shift. And the real oddity is that BABIP on ground balls has changed exactly zero over the last ten years, which would be pre and post shift. So it's hitting the ball away from the shift, and hitting the ball OVER the shift (BAPIP on fly balls) that are where the difference can be made. And you won't see that unless you are curious enough to dive into the data...........

It may not all work out for the Cincinnati Reds as they transform themselves into a modern baseball franchise, but it won't be for lack of trying. It's so fun to see the parallels between baseball and all the business transformations I see in so many other places. Every industry has their Murray Chass and their Lyle Spencer and their Mitch Albom. I have met many in my career. I'm dealing with a few of them now. It's not a "fault" to want to jump off the train of progress. The fault is watching the train disappear over the horizon and insist that the train must be doomed because you have chosen not to be a passenger any more. If you are not such a person, you will be interested in Cincinnati's journey.........

______________________________

The Duffle Bag

You might want to make fun of Tim Tebow getting hit #1 this Spring, but you need to keep in mind that this is 1 more hit than Cameron Maybin has to date.............Justin Turner is really really good at the baseball. But he is even better at the dating...........Ha. Looks like we (SBN) got sent to our Twitter room without dinner yesterday. Shame on us for trying to offer up free market penetration into any sport's target audience............Manny Ramirez practice? No. Manny Ramirez free sushi? Hell yeah..........Signing up for Sports Crate is probably cooler than LAA promos anyway. Hell, getting a subscription to Sports Crate might be a fun LAA giveaway!..........Why blame Anthony Rizzo for faulty safety glass in a press box?...........A nice moment between a pair of old LAA war horses. (Trivia time: did you know that both John Lackey and Jered Weaver finished in the top 5 vote getters for RoY in their respective first seasons?)..........Yet another Better Promo Idea for Anaheim...........

OT #1: King Kong Premier goes horribly awry, everybody thinks it is a fun part of the show.............

______________________________

Halo-Oppo-ly

Week 6 of our Chance/Community Chest cards!

27-CHEST-OPT-OUT

______________________________