Saturday 24 February. Today is the day that Shohei Ohtani makes his much anticipated Spring Training debut for the Angels. All baseball eyes will be on Ohtani as the Angels take on the Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona. American League MVP Jose Altuve is also expected to start for the Astros today. Some top pitchers are expected on the mound today – specifically Dylan Bundy for the Orioles and Carlos Martinez for the Cardinals.
Yesterday was the first day of official Spring Training games. It’s always hard not to over react to Spring Training results and you constantly have to remind yourself that these games don’t count. However, individual performances can be telling in Spring, specifically for rookies, guys coming back from injury or guys in Spring battles. One doesn’t have to worry if guys like Joey Votto or Freddie Freeman struggles in Spring. These type of players will be ready come the regular season and one definitely does not have to over react to their performance.
Having said that I noticed the following notable indictable performances:
- Austin Meadows – the round one draft pick went 3-3, 2 2B, 2RBI, BB.
- Tyler Wade went 2-2 with a double.
- Aaron Slegers the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season went 2IP, 0ER, BB, 2K.
- Jack Flaherty, former first round pick and top 100 prospect had a good start to Spring Training. His line 2IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K.
- Scott van Slyke had a great debut for the Marlins as he hit 2 home runs with 5 RBIs.
- Tommy Malone looked good as he went 2IP, H, 0ER, 0BB, 3K.
- Chance Sisco the rookie catcher went 2-2, 3RBI, HR.
- Nick Williams who has been damaging his manager Gabe Kapler’s car in batting practice all week went 2-2, with a double.
- Granderson homered on his Blue Jays debut.
- Joe Biagini who is competing for a rotation spot is off to a solid start with 2IP, H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K against the Phillies.
- Zack Wheeler got through his first spring outing with 1IP, 1H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
- Matt Kemp homered in his first game back with the Dodgers. His line 2-2, 3RBI, HR
- Lorenzo Cain made his Brewers debut and looked solid going 2-2.
- Padres top prospect went 1-2 with an opposite field homer.
I’ve purposefully not mentioned game scores as I don’t believe Spring Training team results matter. It’s all about the individual performances in Spring.