Monday, February 23, 2009

Quick Hits from Spring Training

It's still February, but baseball is in the air, and Spring Training games are just days away. Here are a few tid bits I recently came across...

  • Brett Cecil will start the first Grapefruit League game for the Blue Jays when he takes the mound against the Yankees this Wednesday.

  • While I don't generally like to give much credit to Spring Training prospect hype, Oakland A's manager Bob Geren took time out of a Sunday meeting with reporters to make a few comments about first baseman Chris Carter.  "Chris Carter hits the ball about as far as I've ever seen.  Are you kidding me?"  Pretty high praise for a 21 year old.
  • Though not completely forgotten, Indians pitcher Aaron Laffey has a lot of ground to gain this spring.  He finished the 2008 season rehabbing an inflamed elbow that had plagued him since June, and all reports indicate that he is in good shape and ready to compete for a starting job in Cleveland. 
  • What happened to this guy?  Andy Marte was recently placed on waivers by the Cleveland Indians, just 3 years after he was considered one of the elite prospects in the country.  Marte never lived up to the hype, and has yet to reach even basic production levels in the majors.  Maybe it was another case of great expectations gone sour, or perhaps another casualty of the steroid era, but either way, Marte has been one of the biggest busts of the past decade.
  • After spending big bucks and an early first round draft pick on shorstop Gordon Beckham, the White Sox are now considering utilizing him in the outfield due to an overcrowded young infield.  I don't believe they'll ever actually do it, and if it did happen I would really question the sanity of the White Sox front office, but the fact that the idea has even surfaced seems absurd to me.  Shortstops with above average defense and .300/20 home run potential can be quite a valuable asset.  Left fielders with those types of stats?  Not so much.
That's about it for now.  I can't wait for games to start, even if they don't really mean anything.  The country needs some baseball in its blood. 

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