Saunders New Swing
Spring Training performances are still worthless, but this isn’t really a performance thing – this is Saunders doing a thing he just couldn’t do before. This doesn’t mean he can do it in the regular season against pitchers who aren’t just getting their work in, but the old Michael Saunders was unable to go the other way with any kind of authority. Last night, he almost hit one out to left center by staying back on a 95 MPH fastball.
At this point, I’d say it’s pretty likely that Saunders plays the lion’s share of center field the first few weeks of the season. He won’t play out there every day, but it’s probably in the team’s best interests to see if he can keep doing this in the regular season. Even if there’s no obvious roster spot for him when Guti returns, having a potentially useful Michael Saunders around would give the team options, and this is a team that needs production from guys who can play the outfield.
Don’t go overboard with what this means, as lots of guys have looked great in March and reverted to pumpkins in April. But opposite field power from Michael Saunders? That’s new, and that’s encouraging.