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MondoLinks: The home stretch

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10 days to Opening Day...

ASSOCIATED PRESS

This is the final full week of the off-season. It will be a good week for watching players getting optioned back to the farm. And a good week to watch the guys struggling try and snap out off it at the last minute. And a good week to see if those guys having a great Spring are for real. Is Marte for real?Are Calhoun’s and Graterol’s Spring hot bats for real? How about Jose Fernandez and David Fletcher? Has the clock struck 12 on Parker Bridwell?

We still have a week to settle some things.

It’s why we have Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Shohei Ohtani is clearly having a tough go of it this Spring.........Since we are closing in on Opening Day (!), the question arising is whether he should be on the MLB roster, or on an MiLB roster, when Opening Day arrives? Let’s take a tour off headline writing:..........Mike Scioscia is very sure that Ohtani is about to click in at any moment. Since this is the same person who is probably still holding staying similar things about Jeff Mathis, this news probably doesn’t count...........The plans are still to have him on the MLB roster...........Unless it’s too early. Since there is no guarantee...........And nothing is promised............But he could start in the Minors............Because he should probably start there............

Gerrit Cole is a great pitcher, certainly. One who is trending the wrong direction the past few seasons, but he’s not bad at all. One wonders, though, how a Gerrit Cole outweighs a Justin Upton + Ian Kinsler + Zack Cozart + Shohei Ohtani + others? Because that is what Sports Illustrated thinks..........

That Ian Kinsler upgrade at 2B? Looks pretty solid so far. The last 3 seasons Kinsler has generated 12.2 fWAR. In that same period, the LAA 2B conglomerate has produced -1.0 fWAR. That’s a 4 fWAR upgrade. With one single acquisition. Out of many..........

I always wonder what it is that MLB pitchers do in the offseason where they have to take advantage off camp in order to figure themselves out all over again? Take Blake Parker, for example..............

Young David Fletcher, way down on the Prospect list (and not too high up on the HH prospect list, either), has been having a fantastic camp, and is the farm hand on the verge off taking full advantage of his positional opportunity...........

Martin Maldonado ran out of gas at the end of the season last year. His recipe for avoiding this in 2018? More hard work.............

You are getting old, you know. You have been here since BEFORE Matt and Danielle Shoemaker had their first child, Brady..........

INSIDER ANNOUNCEMENT: Our own JeffJoiner will be interviewed for SBNation Radio tomorrow morning, 8:25AM PDT. For some of you , this will be after your morning read, so I am alerting you in advance that you may enjoy Jeff repping HH.................


Everywhere In Baseball

The Minnesota Twins’ #1 shortstop, Jorge Polanco, failed a drug test for Stanozolol and has been suspended 80 games to open the season, AND will be unavailable for any post-season. Polanco is now to serve the same sentence as his fellow DR countryman Erin Santana, who was busted for Stanazol shortly after returning to the US for Spring Training back in 2015........

Eric Hosmer and his .220 Spring BA are tinkering with his swing plane. In that linked article is a quote from Scott Boras that I has missed before: “I’m so pleased our modern-day analytics are proven wrong. The prestige he brings to the game is valued… He brings to the game a completeness. As we go forward, I think Eric Hosmer will be an example of how we need to do more to go beyond the algorithms and [look at] the human value a player can bring.“ This I would interpret as “My schtick almost completely failed this Winter, but I am going to use this pulpit to bully my way back into the hearts of owners everywhere.”...........

Windows open and windows close. And, for that Nats, the fear is that their window is not just going to close, but be slammed shut on their fingers..........

The injury bug is afoot...........Jason Vargas with hand surgery............Jharel Cotton with Tommy John surgery...........Jerad Eickhoff strained a lat...........

Rest In Peace, Ed Charles...........


Hot Stove

And now it’s time for the Astros to start paying for their success. Jose Altuve has been signed to a $150 million, 5-year, extension. That is $24 million closer in AAV towards the luxury tax...........This does not mean that Carlos Correa will now sign an extension next...........

Eugenio Suarez signed a smaller extension, $66 million over 7 years, with the Reds............

Jeremy Hellickson signs with the Nats to minor league deal..........

The Braves signed Anibal Sanchez to a minor league deal, and Sanchez promptly took the mound and started dealing...........


The Duffle Bag

Manny Machado thinks MLB needs to get a sense off humor..........The Phillies tried out a new form of outfield shift, one that parks the left fielder in the dugout.............The A’s social media maven is usually pretty good. Usually much more clever than meme tailgating. And, considering the differences between AT&T Park and Oakland Coliseum, this is a bad fight to be picking, especially when that Oakland Stadium may be a contagion..........Ronald Acuna the next Henry Aaron? We know what it’s like to have a phenom compared to inner circle HoF’ers even as they step onto the MLB level for the first time............