Cactus League Game Thread 3/12/10
M’s vs. Royals, so you know what that means…. pitch fx is back! This is a great opportunity to see what Ryan Rowland-Smith’s new cutter looks like in pure, raw Cartesian coordinates. I know I just got joser’s attention.
Line-ups have been posted – here for example (hat tip Kirby Arnold at the Everett Herald)
2: Chone Figgins (2b)
3: Milton Bradley (LF)
4: Ken Griffey Jr. (DH)
5: Ryan Garko (1b)
6: Franklin Gutierrez
7: Matt Tuiasosopo (3b)
8: Josh Bard
9: Jack Wilson
SP: Ryan Rowland-Smith. Aardsma looks like he’ll get back onto the mound today as well.
Also in Kirby Arnold’s story linked above is the news that Jack Hannahan suffered a groin pull and will be out another week-10 days (he hasn’t played since 3/4). Arnold thinks Josh Wilson might benefit, but Geoff Baker mentions Tui as another guy who might make the roster as the utility infielder if Hannahan doesn’t heal quickly. Personally, I think Tui’s got the inside track. Wilson may be the better defender, but his bat is bad enough that it’s tough to justify giving him 100-150 ABs.
Luke Hochevar starts for the Royals, who I think is fascinating. I know his xFIP is much, much better than his results, but as the #1 overall pick in a pitching-heavy draft, his pure stuff has always seemed fairly pedestrian. The fascinating part? He’ll still uncork a game like this just to tease Royals fans, who need no additional teasing, thank you (they’re starting Yuni at SS today and Mike Aviles at 2B. I’m so sorry, Royals fans). Here’s a fangraphs article on Hochevar’s strange results in 2009.