Cactus League Game 21, Padres at M’s
This is what we will use to do battle with the hated Padres.
SS Jack Wilson
Why, it’s almost an actual lineup. After Bedard, there’s a possibility of RHPs Jamey Wright, Denny Bautista, Josh Lueke, Brandon League, Mumba Rivera, and Andrew Carraway. Yes, friends, Mumba Rivera is still here.
Here’s an interesting bit from today’s press notes: the M’s are presently 6-0 in spring training vs. AL West opponents, going 2-0 to everyone. Division title, here we come!
Some people in the comments were asking for official remarks on the departure of Garrett Olson, by which I can only assume they mean something more substantive than snarky tweets. Generally, when a team places a player on waivers in the middle of spring training, you can expect that the organization didn’t value said player all that much and that they were expendable, with a few exceptions here and there (this guy). Olson was converted to being a full-time reliever last season, after which he showed some minor improvements across the board in areas like home run rate (still mysteriously worse than it was when he was an Oriole) and strikeout rate. The stuff, however, didn’t improve markedly over the previous track record, so it’s hard to say what changed and how it would be sustained. If you’re choosing to go the way of the advanced metrics, WAR and the like, Olson’s value sandwiched him between Brian Sweeney and Sean White, and he had guys like Ian Snell, Chad Cordero, and Jesus Colome ahead of him, all in very limited time of course.
In camp this year, Olson was competing against Castro and Ring, both of whom have looked better than him at varying points, with the exception of that one inning Castro had where someone was playing Yakety Sax in the outfield. There’s also Luke French, who has pitched better than all of them and remains in the fifth starter discussion for the time being. Down the line, there are also arms like Edward Paredes and Brian Moran who could turn into serviceable left-handed relievers. Olson was a cool guy and I’ll never forget that one time when he was John Travolta, but irreplaceable, he was not.