Sunday, March 23, 2008
What's in your Easter basket?
*Francisco Rosario (out of options) has been placed on the DL to begin the season and is officially out of the running for one of the remaining bullpen spots. Fat Mike Zagurski and Scott Mathieson who are still mending from '07 injuries have also been shelved.
*Kris Benson hasn't been DL'd yet, but that's not really necessary because of his minor league contract status. He won't be MLB ready until May at the earliest, and is still working his arm and body back into game shape. He missed his last scheduled appearance and appears to be missing today's as well. C'mon Anna, put down your marmosets and give your man some McLovin.
*Rule 5'er Travis Blackley, non-roster invitees Vic Darensbourg and Gary Knotts, and Clay Condrey (out of options) are still vying for the coveted spot in the Phils 'pen. I believe Condrey has the inside track, but Darensbourg is a lefty and has pitched well so far this spring.
*After having their punk card publicly pulled by the renowned players' manager Charlie Manuel earlier this spring, the starting pitching has responded well. Brett Myers, Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick, and even Adam Eaton have turned in quality outings. Yesterday Chad Durbin (destined for long relief) pitched 3 perfect innings against a Detroit Tigers lineup mostly composed of regulars.
*Centerfield is still up for grabs between Nate McLouth and Nyjer Morgan. Based on spring stats alone McLouth should be the starter (OPS: McLouth 1.084, Morgan .533). Then take into account that McLouth has experienced some success at the Big League level while Morgan is still wet behind the ears.
*It seems that glovesman Doug Bat-Mientkiewicz will make the squad. Not sure why the Buccos need a no-hit all-field backup first baseman, but then again I don't understand most the moves this organization makes.
*An example of a move I don't understand- prospect slugger Steve Pearce, he of 4 spring longballs, is most likely ticketed for Triple A...why?
*Like the Phillies, the Pirates starting pitching has been a bit rough around the edges this spring with Matt Morris, Tom Gorzelanny, and Paul Maholm all pitching poorly. Ian Snell and Zach Duke have done well though. Also, minor league signings Jaret Wright and Hector Carrasco are improving their chances of being added to the 25-man roster.