First Cactus League Gamethread
Blake Beavan vs. Tyson Ross, 12:05pm
You may say, “This is exactly the same as yesterday’s game – the M’s vs. the Padres with absolutely nothing riding on the outcome.” There’s obviously more than a kernel of truth there, but today’s game should include top pitching prospects Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker. And while Blake Beavan doesn’t make for the most exciting starting pitcher, leave it to Hector Noesi to make you appreciate the steady, unassuming, quiet dignity that comes with replacement level (or, hopefully, a touch above).
The M’s line-up looks like this:
1: Franklin Gutierrez – CF
2: Casper Wells – RF
3: Jason Bay – LF
4: Justin Smoak – 1B
5: Kelly Shoppach –
6: Ronny Paulino – DH
7: Alex Liddi – 3B
8: Nick Franklin – 2B
9: Brad Miller – SS
Good to see the M’s two big middle-infield prospects playing together. The M’s haven’t officially said Franklin’s moving off of SS, but he’s played a lot of 2B in the Arizona Fall League, and Miller may have more arm strength. The fact that they’re lined up this way in the cactus league doesn’t mean much, but my guess is this is the way the M’s see them most of the time in 2013.
Tyson Ross, who the Padres picked up from Oakland, starts for San Diego today. He’s long been an intriguing pitcher to me, with very good velocity and a funky, short-stride delivery, but he’s struggled to stay healthy. The kind of trunk rotation that allows him to throw 95mph fastballs puts a lot of strain on his obliques. He’s the kind of pitcher who could put up an ‘out of nowhere’ good season, especially in Petco, but his command has to get better. He was legitimately bad last year in Oakland, but he’s got talent.
Hultzen and Walker are slated to pitch after Beavan, along with Bobby LaFromboise, Kameron Loe, Lucan Luetge and hopefully hard throwing sinkerballer Carson Smith.