Spring Training Report
Deuce and I were able to watch two games in Tucson this past weekend. Wish I were still there. (When the plane took off from Tucson yesterday, it was sunny and 70; when I landed at O'Hare, it was 24 degrees and snowing.) I already posted some remarks in other threads and probably will make another thread about the major leaguers in the main forum. As for the minor leaguers . . .
Anderson confirmed that he'll start the year in AAA. He said it'll be nice to play in a hitter's park but, more importantly, it means that he'll be that much closer to playing in the major leagues. He appeared to be 100% recovered from his injuries. Brian is a very nice fellow. Being a local guy, he was the most accessible player, though most of the minor leaguers and a few of the major leaguers also were very accessible. Brian came over to sign and chat with the fans both days. The first time, Deuce asked him for baseball for Lt. Deuce. Brian said, "I don't think I can get a baseball for him." I replied, "Lt. Deuce is the cute blond sitting in the eighth row." After she stood up and waved, Brian said, "I'll see what I can do," and returned a few minutes later with a ball. When he saw her in the same section the next day, he stopped running; asked "aren't you 'Sgt., Lt., Capt. Deuce?'; and signed the ball for her.
Sweeney looked good. Watching him go with a pitch and line the ball into left field is a thing of beauty.
McCarthy looked great in his start, but was limited by a lengthy rain delay. He wanted to come back out and pitch, but Ozzie wisely went to the pen. As usual, McCarthy kept the hitters off balance by changing speeds and location. He even wasted a pitch on an 0-2 count!
Honel also was effective. His patented knuckle-curve wasn't working during his inning of work, but he got the job done with his fastball. He said he's just happy to be throwing with decent velocity and with no pain. I have to agree. After the disaster that was 2004, he looks primed to put himself back on the prospect map.
I got my first look at Paulino Reynoso and can see why the Sox put him on the 40-man. Good fastball and breaking ball, but kind of a strange pitching motion. It'll be interesting to see where he begins the season this year and whether they let him start.
I suppose Iguchi arguably counts as a prospect. I'll just note that he's hitting for a pretty high average, but failed to advance a couple of runners and was positively awful defensively. Hopefully, he's just dealing with some early nerves and will work out the kinks before the season starts.
I missed Borchard's big game yesterday. He didn't play much in the games I saw. However, he made himself very accessible to the fans. I kinda felt bad for him because, though he's easy to recognize, almost nobody wanted his authograph. I mean, Man Soo Lee signed more balls than Borchard.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see much action from Fields, Young, Rogowski, Owens, or Lopez. Hopefully, I can get down to NC / Birmingham later this year.