The Most Photographed Cactus League Game in America: Mariners at Reds
Brandon Maurer vs. Homer Bailey, 1:05pm
I don’t know, but it’d be a better choice than photographing yesterday’s ugly affair against the D-Backs. Sure, Salt River Fields is the jewel of Arizona complexes, but Joe Saunders and a still-recovering Wade Miley? No, much better to focus on this match-up between the most intriguing prospect of 2012 and Homer Bailey, the guy who now acts as an object lesson in not giving up on pitching prospects. Maybe there’s no such thing as a pitching prospect, but Bailey teaches us that there’s no such thing as an ex-pitching prospect. There’s lots of philosophical work to be done here, but Bailey’s is a strong and important critique of the dominant theory.
Maurer’s path to the starting rotation obviously got a bit easier with the release of Jon Garland and the growing consensus that Erasmo Ramirez won’t start the year in the rotation. We learned a little something about the fallibility of growing consensii over the weekend, but still: why would you have a guy start making short relief appearances a week before the season? Anyway, the competition behind Felix, Iwakuma and Saunders seems like it’s down to Bonderman, Maurer, and Beavan. Maurer’s certainly had consistent results, though his velocity dropped a bit in his last start. That may have been because he threw a lot more two-seam fastballs (he reported he didn’t have a good feel for the four-seamer), but it’d be nice to hear that he’s back up in the 92-93 range today.
Jesus Montero returns to the starting line-up at catcher – it’s nice to see that scary bat-to-the-head incident hasn’t sidelined him, and that the M’s were able to rule out a concussion so quickly.
1: Saunders, CF
2: Andino, 3B
3: Ibanez, DH
4: Smoak, 1B
5: Seager, 2B
6: Montero, C
7: Bay, RF
8: Wells, LF
9: Ryan, SS