(Courtesy of the AP)
There wasn't a whole lot of meaning to yesterday's Spring Training opener, other than players on both sides using it to take the next step in their preparation for the 2013 season. Major League participants in yesterday's game were outnumbered by the Minor League counterparts, and most of them didn't stay in the game for more than 3-4 innings. It was about what you'd expect from a ST opener, with little to be taken from the game that will have an impact on the big picture. But just like the players have to get back in the groove of their regular baseball routine, so do the bloggers. So I'm using yesterday's game as my early Spring Training workout for getting back into doing game recaps.
- David Phelps got his 5th starter competition off to a solid start, pitching 2 innings of shutout ball and allowing 3 hits. Just a small first step, but still a good first step.
- Brett Marshall looked good in his 2 relief innings of Phelps. He did give up an earned run on a walk and a double, but he also struck out 2 batters and had his fastball sitting 93-94. Not bad velocity for a first spring outing.
- Strong showing for a couple MiL outfielders. Melky Mesa showed off his speed with a nice play in center and a stolen base that led to a run in the 3rd. Zoilo Almonte was the star of the day with a great throw to nail a runner trying to go 1st to 3rd on a single and a 2-run homer in the 4-run 3rd.
- Robinson Cano also looked good in his first game of the year, belting a solo shot in the 5th and scoring 2 runs. He's got about a week's worth of ST games left before joining his team for the WBC.
- 4th outfielder competition- Juan Rivera went 1-2 with a BB playing as the DH; Matt Diaz went 0-3 with a GIDP and 2 LOB.
- Francisco Cervelli didn't do much at the plate, but he impressed the fans and Joe with a nice throw to nail a base stealer in the 2nd inning.
- In an effort to bring a little offense to the position, Austin Romine chipped in with a 2-run single in the 7th after replacing Cervelli.
- If Corban Joseph was looking to prove he could handle third base, he didn't make a great first impression yesterday, bobbling a ball in the 4th that led to a run.
- Cool moment for prospect huggers in the late innings, when Ramon Flores, Slade Heathcott, and Tyler Austin, the ideal starting Double-A outfield for this season, were playing together.
No individual awards to hand out today. Remember, it's just the first game for me too. I don't want to over-exert myself too early.