This week gave us the return of Major League Baseball (kind of) in the form of the Cactus and Grapefruit League. This final-draft tournament will give us various games a day up until April 4, this will both satisfy our need for baseball and statistics while at the same time giving teams a chance to design their final draft for the upcoming season.
This being said, I hope people understand that this is not about points, winning or losing. It’s about scouting out potential and future trade candidates. After watching a few games this week these where the four teams four teams I thought were note worthy (so please, forgive me if I missed some of them).
Note: The new “Pace-of-play rules” are having a big impact on the way the game is being played. mostly affecting batters, tipping the game in the favor of the pitcher once again.
Giants vs Athletics
Madison Bumgarner has had a rough start this week, showing a bit of the wear and tear of recently having won a championship his performance during the Cactus League has been nothing more than mediocre. On top of this Hunter Pence has been injured (broken left forearm) and will be missing most of March, April and maybe even May. This has become a setback for The Giants who’s offence was going to be their main selling point this season. It seems Buster Posey will have to work twice as hard, for now. The Giants do not look like a MLB championship team this year, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. They have proven themselves time and time, but got caught on a rocky start. We’ll see if some last minute offense trading takes place, they’re going to need it.
The Athletics in the other hand seem to have gotten up on the right foot this season, praising their acquisition of Marcus Semien who did one of the hardest things in his last game against the Giants, getting a home run out of Bumgarner. Another worthy mention is Jesse Hahn, the ex-Padres pitcher had a good start this week striking out 2 in his first test inning. There’s not much I can say about the Athletics yet other than they seemed to make some good decisions this preseason.
Yankees vs Phillies
Cole Hamels made two scoreless innings today (Philies lost however 4 to 1, but hey if it wasn’t for Hamels it would have probably been worse.) only giving Stephen Drew a chance at going to first base. Hamels once again showed us why he is worth the money he is asking to be paid, and if this match served for anything it was for advertisement. Ryan Howard however gave us a glimpse of what is soon to come for all batters. Having problems adjusting to the new batting hit box he was quickly and seamlessly struck out. The Phillies have a long way to go this season, the horrible game today (well everyone except Hamels, of course) shows how unprepared they really are, and sadly validates Hamels’ fear of not being in a team whose main goal is to win.
Typical Phillies’ fans on a sunny day.
There’s nothing to say other than the Yankees played a good game. Luis Severino showed us what he was made off, striking out two batters with ease. The Dominican rookie performed at a pro level, leading me to wonder if he will get a pro-contract in the next few days.
Nathan Eovaldi has proven himself many times in the diamond and today was not an exception. The team played in unison and it payed off. I’m not going to go into detail for the Yankees because I believe that belongs to another time. Maybe in a few more days of play we will be able to see their true colors this season and A-Rods’ performance as well.