Spring Training Report: Game Fourteen
1.) Great, great start for Boof today. If there was any question about whether he was going to get a spot in the rotation -- and there shouldn't have been -- it was likely answered for good today. Matt Garza also made a triumphant return to the mound, recording an out for the first time since Game 1 of the spring. He went 2 solid innings, giving up 1 hit and walking 2. Now he just needs to build up his arm strength.
2.) Entering the game, Nick Punto was hitting .130; he left it hitting .222, after a 3-4 performance. Why is this significant? Because with such a small sample size of at-bats, you should take those averages you see to be pretty much insignificant. Far more important is the fact that a guy is getting his work in, working on his timing, things like that that aren't going to directly show up in box scores.
3.) Ken Harvey returned to the lineup today for the first time in just about forever. He went 1-2 with a double as the DH. Matt LeCroy followed him, going 2-2 with a double of his own. LeCroy is probably ahead of Harvey on the depth chart right now, but to make the team he's going to need to keep hitting well, and hope that J.D. Durbin is terrible the rest of the spring.
4.) Alexi Casilla got another hit today after taking over for Jason Bartlett at SS. There's no question that he's the most talented potential backup middle infielder on the team, but I remain convinced that it would be folly to give him a roster spot. Let him play everyday at Rochester so that he can develop into an everyday second-baseman in time to take over for Luis Castillo either at the trade deadline or to start the 2008 season.
5.) If you haven't checked it out yet, the first list of cuts is directly below this post. No big surprises, unless you think that 3 catchers being cut from camp in the first go-round was a surprise.
Today's Big Winner: Boof Bonser (Spot on the roster is absolutely secure)
Runner-Up: Matthew LeCroy (2-2 and a .286 batting average . . . seriously?)
Today's Big Loser: Garrett Jones (0-2 day puts him at .069 for the spring)
Runner-Up: Jason Tyner (Slump continues unabated - plus there weren't many options)