Some stories to read before 2011 Spring Training *finally* starts...
Today’s the first game of Spring Training, which means we’ll have box scores to look at tomorrow and 234 tweets about Bryce Harper this afternoon. Tomorrow night, the tape-delayed game will be shown on the MLB Network, and for a preview, here’s a story by Bill “The Rocket” Ladson.
In between, a few stories of note that appeared from the rest of the beat guys over the weekend…
MASN’s Ben Goessling posted the roster of the mincamp, a.k.a. accelerated minor-league camp, a list of names we’re rather familiar with as 18 of the 22 pitchers, three of the five catchers, nine of the 10 infielders, and all six of the outfielders are on our watchlist. Goessling also had a nice post about the reuniting of college teammates Corey Brown and Adam Carr.
Steve Lombardozzi is among the infielders (oversight, note that there are nine names but “10” in the subhead), so perhaps the most notable omission is Tanner Roark. Cameron Selik, Mitchell Clegg and Hassan Pena are three pitchers that weren’t sent to the FIL (almost all the position players were), leading to the inference that they had been shut down for the year (that’s almost certain with Clegg, who was sent to the GCL for a stint). Otherwise, as noted in the comments, it appears that Michael Taylor is being converted to the outfield.
CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman filed one of the great staples of spring-training sportswriting, the upbeat teammates piece, profiling the Nats’ double-play combo of Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa, proclaiming they’re a “duo with ‘swagger.'” No word on whether father-to-be Desmond will be rockin’ the swagger wagon.
Washington Post beat writer Adam Kilgore gave us a rundown of Rule 5 pickup Brian Broderick’s faceoff against Bryce Harper, which ended with the 18-year-old going down on strikes just as he did when the two matched up in the Arizona Fall League. As I remarked in the comments, I think he’s going to see a steady diet of offspeed and breaking pitches until he proves he can hit them. In some ways, getting carved up like this a few times may prove beneficial, as it’s clear Mr. Harper is unlikely to be demoralized and more likely to accept his failure a la Pedro Cerrano as a challenge.