Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Games Can Get Weird

Cliff Lee got ejected for throwing at Chris Snyder. Of course Lee stated that a couple of pitches got away from him. And of course it was just a coincidence that Snyder had earlier run into Lee while scoring a run (Lee was backing up home). Yup. Coincidence. Mr. Lee can get a bit feisty, can he not?

Ben Sheets was a story that felt good when the Oakland A's signed him for $10 million after Sheets missed a year with arm problems. But that feel good story has gotten a bit strained. Sheets started the spring with two really bad starts and then pitched on Monday. He didn't get anybody out. Here is his pitching line:

0 8 10 9 1 0 1

Translation: Zero innings, eight hits, ten runs, nine earned, one walk, no strikeouts and a homer. That's a bad outing.

After glancing at box scores so far this spring, the Fan seemed to think that the Angels weren't hitting. They were shut out Monday. So just to see if the observation matched up with reality, the stats were checked and sure enough, the Angels are last in the league in batting average this spring. They are twelfth out of fourteen teams in OBP and last in slugging percentage. Matsui, Abreu, Aybar and Hunter are all way down in offensive categories. Sure, it's just Spring Training, but so far it hasn't been a pretty sight.

It has been really confusing looking at the Seattle Mariners' box scores. The problem is they have two shortstops listed as, "J. Wilson." One, of course, is Jack Wilson, the fielding wiz the Mariners plucked from the Pirates last year. The other is Josh Wilson, a journeyman utility man that has bounced around several organizations. If both make the team, maybe the box score guys can give us a break and go with, "Jo. Wilson" and "Ja Wilson." That would help. Oh, by the way, the odds aren't good for Josh. If you look at his playing record, he has stats for 2005, 2007 and 2009. Since 2010 is an even year, should he be playing? One other note for Josh Wilson: He has 484 major league at bats but he has also pitched in three major league games. That's odd.

For all the talk about BillyBall out in Oakland (they are even making a movie from the book), the Oakland A's seem like a poorly constructed offense. They are dead last in the majors in on base percentage this spring. Any team that has both Jack Cust AND Jake Fox on the same team seems like a bit of a reach. All they need now is Matt Stairs and they'll have a triumvirate.

Speaking of badly constructed teams, the Cubs don't seem to have enough pieces to put together a good season. They've looked bad this spring. The tell-tale sign is that they have been seduced by the "Kevin Millar is a great guy in the clubhouse" thing. Millar may be a hoot, but he hasn't hit worth diddly for several seasons now. On the bright side, Zambrano had a good outing today in a losing cause. But it seems odd he pitched four innings with zero strikeouts. That doesn't seem right for him.

Again, the mantra is: "It's only Spring Training." But last year, the Yankees finished decent in Spring Training with a 14-10 record. This spring they are 5-7. Telling? Worrisome?

Has anyone else noticed that the Nationals haven't won a game yet this spring?

And one last note: Mike Sweeney was again the DH for the Mariners on Monday and went 3-4. His batting average went down. Yeah, that's a good spring.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

I couldn't believe Ben Sheets' pitching line from the other day. Not sure what to make of that performance.