Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein made two huge off-season moves. Both of them paid off on Tuesday. The first was trading Andrew “Cash Money” Cashner and his 103 MPH gas to the Padres for Anthony Rizzo. Jed Hoyer drafted Rizzo and has now traded for him twice. Epstein has traded for him once, traded him away once, and was also responsible for drafting him. The other large move for the dynamic brain trust in Chicago was dumping Carlos Zambrano for Chris Volstad.
Rizzo was 1/1 with a HR and 2 RBI on Tuesday. Volstad threw 3 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits. It’s addition by subtraction in Chi-Town and the plan will work.
Manny Ramirez has his first hit of the Spring. Home run. He and Cespedes are the Bash Boys 2. The OG Bash Boys were Jose “Can’t Play in Mexico” Canseco and Mark “Ryan Braun and I are Both Innocent” McGwire.
Break up the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s. Both are a best in the Cactus League 9-3. This is not supposed to be how the AL West was won.
Yu Darvish is human after all. He walked 4 and gave up 3 hits. $111M just doesn’t go as far as it Yu-sed too.
Drew Pomeranz is ready for the regular season. Another 2 innings, 2 more K’s, zero runs. The Rockies Rookie is proving he belongs. I had no doubt. Rockies fans got on me when I said he was the best pitcher Colorado had. Perhaps now they’ll listen. Or not. Either way.
“You’ve had this extra pair of gloves the whole time?”
“Yeah, we’re in the Rockies.”
Yoenis Cespedes sure is fun to say. Let’s hope he’s as fun to watch. I have a feeling he’s going to be. Anyone want to bet he goes yard today in his first start with the Oakland A’s? Unfortunately I’m back in San Diego, so I cannot attend the game, but I’ll update his progress as best I can.
Cespedes start brings us to the next question, when will we see the other two top prospects, Jurickson Profar and Mike Trout? I figured for sure Trout would have started every possible game for the Angels, but he has yet to sniff the field. Something smells fishy. Get it? Trout? Fishy?
Same with Profar for Texas. Get on the field. Sometimes I think GM’s baby their prospects a little too much.
Speaking of getting on the field, we’ve had a Matt Kemp sighting. I know, he’s been playing. (Kind of). He went deep yesterday and is gearing up for his 50/50 season. I say the odds of him doing it are less than 50/50. Like way less.
##Cespedes, 2/2 with a walk, a run scored, 2 RBI, a HR and a single. Not bad for your first appearance.
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.
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.
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.
My countdown calendar tracks how many days til the regular season begins and we are at less than 30!
The regular season kicks off in Japan with the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners. Sure, there will be a host of Spring Training and exhibition games played after their battle and before the April 4th U.S. Opening Day, but the games still count. So mark your calendars for March 28th, make reservations at your favorite sushi place, order a Kirin and watch some baseball. Ichiro in his home country taking on Manny, Yoenis and the A’s. It’s going to be fun! Ippon!
As a side note, please be careful when referring to these games. You don’t want to pull an ESPN Jeremy Lin or a Ben and Jerry’s. Fortune cookie say, “Caution.”
Another development in the Cactus League… this is starting to become a circus. Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson in Angels camp, Yoenis Cespedes an A, Manny being Manny, Matt Kemp being Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton aka The Relapse, If the Yu Fits Darvish, and now Brewergate.
Something in Milwaukee stinks, and it ain’t the cheddar. No, Prince Fielder has not suddenly shown up at Brewers camp, but Ryan Braun has. And yes he brought baggage. After all, he now has to pack for an extra 50 games this year. Congratulations, Ryan. Let’s show him what he’s won. A court case appeal on a technicality a full 162 game season. Yeah!
I’m honestly not hating on the guy. I could care less if he cheated. I just think it’s funny and all very convenient.
Let’s recap. The National League MVP tests positive for a elevated testosterone, which was 30x higher than normal. He plays for the team which is owned in part by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Suddenly his urine sample is carried home overnight by some random employee before being shipped to Montreal. Really? Montreal? MLB hasn’t had a team there for 8 years, but they do their drug testing there? That ish cray.