Blog Entry

Cactus League Report

Posted on: March 7, 2008 12:57 am
 
Today we went to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the Kansas City Royals in Surprise. Here are some observations:

  • The Surprise stadium is perhaps the nicest in the entire Cactus League. Too bad its tenants are the Royals and Rangers.  The good thing is always easy to get good seats.
  • Dan Haren (below) started for the D-Backs and pitched really well. I'm as big a fan of him but fans in Arizona are expecting Brandon Webb and him to do what Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling did in 2001. The thing is, this team has so many good young players, their two aces don't have to be that good to win a championship.
  • Arizona played their entire starting lineup except for Justin Upton. Too bad, I was really hoping to see that future star play.
  • Why do they bat Chris Young leadoff? Yeah, he's fast, but he has absolutely no idea what the strike zone looks like. In his first at bat he swung at a pitch that was way outside and grounded weakly to second. In his next at bat, he took 3 consecutive balls and then took three consecutive strikes. Bat him 5th or 6th and use his power to drive others in.
  • For the Royals the starter was former super prospect Zach Greinke. He got into some trouble in two of the three innings he pitched but worked thru it.
  • The Royals lineup was downright horrible. Billy Butler starting at DH was the only noteworthy thing. Miguel Olivo batted cleanup. Too bad Alex Gordon took the day off.
  • Is there a team will less name recognition than the Royals?
  • The coolest part of the game was seeing George Brett and Kirk Gibson taking before the game started. There must be a rule in MLB that says that each team has to have a former local hero be a spring training coach of some sort. Since the Diamondbacks haven't been around long enough for that they must have gotten Gibson to fill in. Next year Luis Gonzalez may be available.
  • Joakim Soria came in in the 4th... I guess the Royals wanted him to pitch to the major leagues in the D-Backs roster. He looked really good. Even a closer for a bad team will get 30-40 chances, so I wouldn't shy away from him.
  • Here's Mike Reynolds breaking his bat on a pitch from Leo Nunez, who also pitched pretty well.
  • Emiliano Fruto pitched an inning for the D-Backs and the Royals beat him pretty good.
  • Billy Butler showed why he's one of the top prospects in baseball by hitting a HR to tie the game in the 7th.
  • Today's Wow, he's still around? is Tim Raines Jr. He's trying to win a job with the D-Backs. Do you think if his name was anything else that he still be around? Someone must really be hoping he's a late bloomer. When his father was 28 years old, he already had 7 All Star appearances and had over 500 SB.
  • Ryan Sheely, who was a bust as a rookie last year hit the first pitch of the bottom of the 9th over the left field fence for a walk off home run giving the Royals a 4-3 win. If he can put it together, him, Gordon and Butler could make the Royals somewhat interesting to watch this year. They still won't finish any higher than 4th though.
Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2008 10:03 am
 

Cactus League Report

Good note on Chris Young. Funny thing is I just did a player update Thursday on how he was having a better judgment of the zone this spring. Not surprising, it is one of those telling us what we want to here stories. It is better to see the truth live and in the flesh.


Emack.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com