Since I’ve been somewhat cynical mentioning the meaninglessness of individual games in spring training, and the overall deceptiveness that stats can give you from this month, I wanted to show that I do think a few things can be learned from the month. It’s more than just a tuneup, it can give managers a very good idea of what to expect. I just believe that a month of games when people don’t care shouldn’t override several years of evidence. Anyway, here are a few things I’ve noticed in the first half of the spring:

  1. Strasburg has looked very good – his second start wasn’t as well-covered or noticed, but it was just as good as the first. He’s pretty impressive so far
  2. Elijah Dukes hasn’t looked very good – hitting .174/.263/.294 so far probably won’t make him lose his job, but it will significantly shorten his leash in April. He’s gotta start hitting, although at least he still can walk
  3. Ian Desmond has alot of good news surrounding him – he’s hitting the hell out of the ball (.455/.580/.815, if you must know – whatever I’m sure that’s real sustainable) but Rizzo has also said he’s definitely NOT coming on the club as a utility man. This was assumed, but there were rumors to the contrary – like when Riggleman went on XM-Sirius last week and said he might be a utility man. He’s gonna start in Washington or Syracuse at SS – my guess is in Syracuse until they figure out whether they could get anything for Guzman
  4. Scott Olsen has not had a good looking spring – he hasn’t pitched in a real game for a while, though, so I’ll wait to make any judgments there
  5. Mock and Martin haven’t looked bad – in their 5 innings each
  6. Willie Harris is looking good and will probably steal some playing time from Dukes early
  7. Aaron Thompson is building up a case for himself – probably not for the major league rotation yet, but for consideration for the presumed revolving door that will eventually make up the 3, 4, and 5 spots in it later on this year
  8. I’m thinking Eric Bruntlett may get the backup infielder role at this point, unless the Pete Orr man-crush remains
  9. Mike Morse is beating Justin Maxwell in the race to 5th outfielder spot
  10. There is probably a hole in the rotation large enough that even Livan is going to be able squeeze his frame in there

By Charlie