All the talk in the West is about Ohtani at the moment. Ohtani threw a live bullpen session and according to catcher, Maldonado he struggled to locate his curveball. Apparently it has something to do with the dry air in Arizona. Interesting. All Ohtani related news will be overblown to some extent. Obviously its very early in Spring Training and this is just a pitcher trying to find his groove in February.
Here are some of my notes for the AL West:
- Flame throwing Francis Martes has impressed in the first couple days of the Astros camp. Here is a guy that could be a dark horse for the World Champions.
- The Astros are still looking for some left handed relief pitching. At the moment they’re hoping Tony Sipp will return to form. He had a horrible 5.79 ERA last season. If not, they brought in Buddy Boshers, previously with the Twins, to provide some depth and competition for the left handed relief spot in the pen.
- The Angels had loads of depth at first base so they’ve traded CJ Cron to the Rays for a player to be named later. Albert Pujols and Luis Valbuena will play at first base for the Angels this season.
- As mentioned earlier Ohtani took his first live bullpen session in which he threw 30 pitches over two simulated innings. As one would expect at this stage of Spring, he needs to work on his curveball. Nothing to be concerned about.
- Ian Kinsler is happy to reunite with his friend and ex Tiger teammate, Justin Upton. Kinsler was of course despised by Angels fans when he played for division rivals Rangers.
- There is a lot of competition for the three open rotation spots in Oakland. The list of candidates include, Paul Blackman, Jharel Cotton, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Andrew Triggs and Daniel Gossitt. Certainly one of Spring’s more enticing battles to watch.
- The Mariners are one of eight clubs experimenting with later Spring workouts. Can’t say that I think one hour makes that big a difference.
- The Mariners are hoping that their new first baseman, Ryon Healy, will be ready for Opening Day after undergoing hand surgery recently.