First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. I am super pissed Stephen Strasburg is not pitching in his hometown of San Diego this week. #FAIL Nats. Should’ve lined that rotation up better. Yet, where there is failure, there is opportunity. And so we shall look at the glass half full and see that out of San Diego’s loss comes Los Angeles’ gain.
Strasburg will now start in a prime time, Saturday night matchup with the Dodgers and Matty Kemp. He likes it when I call him Matty. Now, I suppose since I do REALLY want to see Strasburg pitch and LA is not that far from SD, I could drive up the 5 to check that ish out. But then, you consider traffic and yeah, no. Not happening. So, I’ll pull up a stool at a nearby local brewery house, pub, eatery type thing and watch the heavy-weight fight. Kemp v Strasburg. 50/50 v 100mph.
Let’s do some analysis (don’t worry, no WAR reports… grrrr…. grumble grumble):
2012 MLB Stat-Leaders (HITTING)
HR: 9 – Matt Kemp -1st
RBI: 22- Matt Kemp -1st
AVG: .474 Matt Kemp -1st
Hits: 27 Matt Kemp -1st
Runs: 17 Matt Kemp -1st
Note: I could go on, but you get the point. He predicted 50/50 (50 HR/50 SB) this season. He’s on pace for about 90HR currently. He’ll need to start hitting singles doubles and triples if he wants to get to 50 SBs. Currently on pace for 12. Run Matt, Run.
2012 MLB Stat-Leaders (PITCHING)
ERA: 1.08 Strasburg -5th
K: 25 Strasburg -4th
IP: 25 Strasburg -9th
Note: He could easily be first in both IP and K, but the Nats have Strasburg on a serious pitch count. 95 pitches and or the 6th inning seems to be about it.
Oh and by the way, this match up will also feature currently the two best teams in the National League, with the Dodgers leading the NL West at a 12-3 record and Washington leading the NL East at 12-4. It looks like it will be Chad Billingsly opposing Strasburg, but don’t rule out a possible Clayton Kershaw v Strasburg match up.
And poop on my Diamondbacks who are now below .500 and without Daniel Hudson and Chris Young for a few weeks. Not good.
I haven’t seen a line-up yet for today so not sure if Mike Trout is playing or Pujols (they better be). But, Tim Lincecum is. And I will be there. The Freak is in the building. Keep checking back. I’m going to try to get technology to work for me today and blog live from the game. No promises though. After all it is technology.
#### Trout DNP. No surprise there. Pretty much the rest of the Angels were in the lineup versus Lincecum, including Pujols, Howie Kendrick, Mark Trumbo, Erik Aybar, etc all. Both teams appear to be serious contenders in their division, with pitching and depth being the keys.
This was my first look at Albert Pujols in person and I’ve gotta say, I came away quite impressed. Dude just looks smooth out there, on defense and at the plate. Still not sure why the STL decided to give up on him.
Speaking of fun to watch, is there anyone more entertaining than Pablo Sandoval? I have no idea what he’s doing up there, but Kung Fu Panda just goes up to the batters area and starts kicking dirt around. Strange. Can’t argue with the results though.
A sad side note from today’s game came off the bat (literally) of Mark Trumbo. He broke his bat which went flying into the stands, just above the Angels dugout, about 5 rows away from where I was sitting. The lady it hit was clearly knocked out cold. I’m hoping she’s ok. Play was stopped and she was taken out on a stretcher. She did walk to the stretcher so that is a good sign. I’m certain she is in the thoughts and prayers of young #44 this evening.
So, I finally found a place where you can get some Spring Training stats. And by some, I mean all. Check it out here. Of course, I should have figured it would come from mlb.com.
Anyway, they are not West Coast, nor do they play in the AL West, but the KC Royals do play in the Cactus League and they are all kinds of exciting. Not to mention all kinds of talented. Look out for the Royals this year. And yes, I am serious.
Cactus League Leaders
RBI – Eric Hosmer, KC Royals (17)
AVG – Lorenzo Cain, KC Royals (.500) – and that is a true .500, not a “I batted 4 times and got 2 hits” .500; he is currently 17/34 and one of the top prospects in baseball.
2B – Lorenzo Cain, KC Royals (7)
SB – Gregor Blanco, SF Giants (9) – Who? Yeah, Gregor White (Blanco means White). Batting .419, 18 hits in 43 AB’s, 9 steals. Those are #1 fantasy draft pick type numbers. Not that I’m suggesting you take him #1 (or at all) in your fantasy draft.
HR – Carlos Peguero, SEA Mariners (4) – There are a bunch tied at 4 so I’m just going to list my favorite. At 6’5″ and 245 lbs, there’s a lot to like. Literally. And physically.
ERA – C.J. Wilson, LA Angels (0.64)
Wins – Luis Mendoza, KC Royals (4) – In 4 starts. Oh by the way, 12 K in 11 IP, and just 1 ER for a 0.77 ERA.
K’s – Felix Hernandez, SEA Mariners (17)
Mike Trout is not ready for the regular season. In fact, he’s not even ready for Spring Training. Going into the Spring, I was hoping he’d show off enough skills to get him onto the Angels roster for Opening Day. Alas, he did not play. At all. But, Ladies and Gentlemen, have no fear… We’ve had a Mike Trout sighting. He started the Angels v Royals game, going 0/3 with a walk and a K. I’ll get to see him play in person, next week at Scottsdale Stadium. (Provided he’s playing. At this point, I’m guessing he will be. Has a lot of ground to make up). Here we go, Angels fan going to yell at me about why he wasn’t playing. Speaking of Here We Go, anyone else see that Bud Light commercial? With the dog? Come on now, that is some funny ish.
C.J. Wilson, 5 innings, 5K, 0BB, ready for the regular season.
Jordan Walden? Goodness gracious. 0.1IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER. The good news? He didn’t walk anybody. Walden’s got a 108.00ERA this Spring. Suffice to say, that’s not good. Maybe he’ll be in Cedar Rapids, too. Double the promotion. Double the fun. 2,000 bobble heads!
The Machine, or El Hombre, as his friends like to call him, hit his 3rd Home Run of the Spring on Friday. Pujols is dispelling any rumors about his age or health being a factor. Dude can still ball and the Cardinals are going to regret letting him get away.
And just what the rest of MLB needs, another top notch, ace like pitcher for the Angels. Garrett Richards, the club’s top pitching prospect, is now 3-0 with an ERA of 2.00 in the Cactus League. Friday he went 4 shutout innings, striking out 6. Hmm, so let’s see, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson, Ervin Santana, Garrett Richards. No thank you. I’d rather not have to face any of them.
Speaking of face, as in taking ground balls off of the face, can we all just admit the whole Mark Trumbo at 3rd base experiment is not going to work? And speaking of not working, Mike Trout anyone? Anyone? No? Yeah, I didn’t think so. God forbid he play. Not like anyone would want to see a top 5 prospect get on the field. Yes, that’s sarcasm. And yes I’m laying it on pretty thick.
Think Dan Haren wasn’t a little extra fired up to face his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks? Think again. The DH went 3 scoreless innings and struck out 7 of the final 8 batters he faced. Who said it’s just Spring Training?
I’m sure glad Haren is in the AL West and the D’Backs, being in the NL West, don’t have to face him. Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana and CJ Wilson are 3 other reasons I’m glad the Angels don’t play in the NL West.
The D’Backs ended up getting Joe Saunders and Tyler Skaggs for Haren in a deal that worked out well for both clubs. Skaggs, who projects to be a future #1 or #2 pitcher for the D’Backs as soon as next season, had a rough first outing. He followed it up today with 2 scoreless innings and a K.
I’ve heard Sir Albert really likes it when you call him El Hombre. I look forward to when he plays on the road and fans bust out large El Hombre signs. Actually that will probably just make him mad, something you definitely don’t want to do when he’s playing your team.
Mr. Pujols played his first Cactus League Spring Training game today and went 2/3 in the process. He had a double and RBI. The other Angels newcomer, CJ Wilson pitched 2 scoreless innings against the Oakland A’s.
Manny Ramirez still does not have a hit this spring and is 0/5 as an A. Josh Reddick and Brandon Allen continue to tear the cover off the ball. Yoenis Cespedes has not played yet, but is getting closer. Excited to see what he does. There could be something to this A’s squad. Plus, if they are terrible, there’s always my boy, Run BMC and his girl, Amanda McCarthy.
Elsewhere in WC Baseball (that’s West Coast abbreviated), the Mariners played my now hometown San Diego Padres. Carlos Quentin got his first Spring Training action this year with a 2/2, double, single, walk appearance. Just missed a home run and triple for the rich man’s cycle. I don’t know what that means, but I think it involved the walk part of the cycle. Speaking of rich men (that doesn’t sound good coming from me), the newest Millionaire, Cameron Maybin did not play today. I’d take the day off too if I just received $25M. Good signing for Los Friars and my man, JB.
I love me some Andy Van Slyke. This whole post has some rather gay overtones to it. Not sure what that’s all about. Anyway, the AVS produced a very talented ball player in Scott Van Slyke. That dude can flat out mash a baseball. I hope he makes the big league squad. He’ll be fun to watch. Van Slyke, the younger one, had a two run HR for the Dodgers today to help his case.
Los Giants are under the lights tonight in Scottsdale or as I like to call it, the mean streets of Scottsdale or just plain Scottsdiggity. Interesting the two places I’ve lived in my life both have SD. Lots of initials and abbreviations today, too. Not sure. Maybe it has to do with the Mayan calendar. WSC out.