Holy Felix the Cat. Let’s hope he’s got 9 lives because he used one up today. 5IP, 8R, 7ER, 10H. And that’s against the White Sox. Imagine what will happen when he has to face a big league team. I kid. And Felix Hernandez will be just fine. Or you could always trade him to the D’Backs. I’m sure Kevin Towers is willing to give you Stephen Drew. He might even throw in Lyle Overbay.
In fact, why don’t the M’s send Ichiro and Montero over, too. Then the D’Backs would have 2 catchers named Montero. Imagine Ichiro in left, CY in center and J-Up in right. Anyway, back to reality.
So Hernandez will be fine. Ichrio is settling nicely into the 3 spot in the batting order, a move I really like. He’s hitting .400 in Spring ball, with 2 HR and 8 RBI. In fact, if you look at the Mariners likely Opening Day starting lineup (in Japan), there is only one glaring weakness. Chone Figgins. Or no leadoff hitter. Same problem.
After that, Ackley is solid, Ichiro will have a bounce back year, Smoak, Montero, Carp are all studs, Olivio has some pop, and Saunders is playing really well. Brendan Ryan… OK, so they have 2 holes, #1 and #9.
I also just realized the AL West is the fishing division. Well, it is the West Coast so that makes sense. We’ve got Mike Trout and Mike Carp. Hey whaddya’ know… they are both Mike’s too. They should open their own business. Mike’s Carp & Trout, Fishing Baseballs, Inc. Trademark it now, boys. Seattle’s Fish Market could have some competition. Or not. Either way.
I got a chance to see Hector Noesi throw a few innings live via the new DirectTV app, on the new iPad. Let me tell you the only thing more sick than Noesi’s breaking ball is this new DirectTV app. Noesi was acquired by the Mariners, along with Jesus “The Savior” Montero, for Michael Pineda. I believe when it’s all said and done, the M’s will have pulled the wet wool (it is raining, duh!) over the Yankees eyes in this deal. Pineada is good, but these two prospects are better.
I’ve spent a lot of time discussing Jesus Montero and for good reason. He’s obviously got the talent and he’s playing well this Spring. But let’s not forget there is another Montero who plays catcher. One who has been doing it successfully and consistently for a few years now. Miguel Montero, the D’Back, is a baller. And if you don’t believe me, just check out his new ride. Goodness gracious. And that’s without a long term deal. Thanks to Steve Gilbert, MLB beat writer for AZ, for the pic.
All that hype. All that talk. Pujols. CJ Wilson. Yu Darvish. Angels. Rangers. Even the Athletics. Manny. Cespedes.
And here we sit. The Seattle Mariners have the best record in all of the Cactus League. They are now 6-1, plus 4-0 on the road. Not that it means much in Spring Training. Not that any of those wins mean a damn thing in Spring Training. Still with Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley, the M’s have some serious talent to build around. Each of them are playing extremely well this Spring. Throw in “The Condor”, aka Michael Saunders, and Carlos Peguero and Seattle looks a little sunnier. Although at 6’5″ 245 lbs, Peguero would blot out the sun should he make it to SafeCo Field. Something tells me the Mariners would have no qualms about playing in the shade if he continues to tear the cover off the baseball.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had a Ryan Braun sighting. Although with the glare coming off his smile lately, I’m not sure it was him.
No, R-Breezy wasn’t holding another press conference with his hair perfectly quaffed. He actually decided to work today and in the process lost a baseball with a 2-run HR. Good for him. I’m sure he’s clean. And by that I mean, showered after the game today. Maybe he even used a little Axe body spray while he was at it.
The Milk Man is delivering. These days, it doesn’t come in handy glass bottles and dropped off on your doorstep. It comes in the form of mammoth home runs deep into the lawn seats at Scottsdale Stadium. One of his shots almost hit the Salty Señorita patio in right field, where they do have glass bottles, but they ain’t filled with milk.
On Tuesday, Melky homered from both sides of the plate. How do you follow that up? Well, it’s tough, but how about a 3/3 performance with an RBI and run scored. I know, not quite as impressive, still three hits is solid no matter what league you’re batting in.
Quick Cactus League notes…. Jeff Samardzija pitched three scoreless innings with 3K’s as he makes his case for the Cubs starting rotation… Manny Ramirez has an injury, that didn’t take long…. Jesus Montero continues to impress for Seattle, adding 2 more hits to his total…. don’t look now but the Mariners are 5-1…. Josh Reddick had another 2 RBI for the A’s…. APB Alert, MIA Yoenis Cespedes, Jurickson Profar, Mike Trout… Wednesday marked a day of hitters catching up with pitchers… Tattooed were Trevor Cahill 3ER, Tyler Skaggs 4ER, Jonathan Sanchez 3ER, Tim Lincecum 5ER, all of those in one or two innings for each of them.
The Arizona Diamondbacks played two games on Saturday to start their Cactus League season. One of the match-ups paired two of baseball’s best young pitching prospects head to head. Trevor Bauer-outage went against opposing starter, Drew Pomeranz for the Colorado Rockies. Both pitchers went 2 innings each and recorded two strikeouts. Bauer did not give up a walk or a hit. Legit stuff. Ace in the making. Glad he’s a D’Back.
I’ve been saying for weeks now, screaming actually, to anyone who will listen that Drew Pomeranz is going to be a stud and that the rest of the Rockies are a) old, b) almost fossil like and c) will struggle on offense. It’s only one game and it is Spring, but the Rockpile started with an ominous sign. They had their starting lineup, sans Helton, and totaled one run on four hits. I fully expect some backlash from the Rockies fans on this. It seems if I sneeze the wrong way, the Rox fans let me know all about it.
Elsewhere, a quick recap of two days in the Cactus League. Justin Upton is ready to start the regular season. Chris Young, ready for the regular season. Tim Lincecum, Jemile Weeks, Brandon Belt, regular season. Manny Ramirez? Not ready for the regular season. Prospect wise, Jesus Montero looks like the real deal in Seattle with a HR in his Cactus League debut. Jarrod Parker pitched 2 innings, striking out 4 and giving up no runs. Michael Choice in Oakland and Nolan Arenado are hitless, but it is very early. Like day one.
So keep checking back. WestSide Culture is your source for all things C-League and we’ll tell it like it is. Like the Rockies will be lucky to win 70 games this year.
I am excited about both the NL West and AL West this season. Additions like Albert Pujols, Yoenis Cespedes, Manny Ramirez, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Quentin, Yu Darvish and many others, brings an increased focus to West Coast baseball. Plus there are some incredible prospects in both these divisions. Guys like Yonder Alonso (Padres), Jesus Montero (Mariners), Mike Trout (Angels), Jarrod Parker (A’s), Michael Choice (A’s), Jurickson Profar (Rangers), Trevor Bauer (D’Backs), Tyler Skaggs (D’Backs) and Nolan Arenado (Rockies) are all future big league All-Stars.
There is no doubt the top two teams in the AL West, Rangers and Angels, are going to dominate the headlines, but don’t count out the Oakland A’s. They have made some very interesting moves this off-season and refuse to just give up. While I don’t think they can win the division, I do think they will finish above .500, leaving the Mariners destined for last.
The NL West, like just about every year, is just going to beat up on each other, until one team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, pulls away from the pack. The Giants, Dodgers, Padres and Rockies have each improved, but I still believe AZ has the best team.
The East Coast seems to get 99% of the baseball coverage, with the Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Braves and Rays leading the way. That’s fine. I understand how major markets and advertising dollars work (I majored in Marketing). I have however, started to see a shift this year. It appears as though MLB.com, ESPN.com, Yahoo, etc have taken notice that there is some seriously good baseball about to be played on the West Coast. I’m seeing a lot of Angels, A’s, Rockies, Rangers, D’Backs, Dodgers and Giants headlines leading the homepages of the previously mentioned sites.
About time. Last time the West Coast got this much love, NWA ran the streets of Los Angeles. Now, it’s the Angels. Although technically they are in Anaheim.