Rob Whalen and Dan Vogelbach
the best pitcher and the best hitter in camp, respectively


Finally, at long last, there is noise coming out of the M's camp that Dan Vogelbach has a shot to break camp.  In this article, credit is given to him as well as to Rob Whalen.  Dipoto sez,

"Vogelbach is making his case, whether Ryon Healy is ready or not, to be on our 25-man club," said Dipoto. "Whether that is sharing time at first base while Ryon's hand improves, whether it's a bat on the bench or in this case it might be helping Nelly out while Nelly recovers from his quad.

"But Vogey deserves to be on this club. He has raked from day one. He has controlled the strike zone really better than anybody in the Cactus League. What he's doing with the bat is reminiscent of what he's kind of always done in the Minor Leagues, but we've never had the opportunity to see in the big leagues."


'Bach, the concierto artist with the strike zone, is a Teddy Ballgame-like .405/.532/.811 with a 9:7 EYE.  Another "noise" out of camp is that he has "controlled the zone" better than anybody in Arizona, period.  So, let's say he and Healy wind up in roughly an equal job share .... that's 2 draws to snap up one face card.  Dr. D likey.


Rob Whalen does indeed have a remarkable late bite, a late drop, to almost all of his pitches and G-Money's caution is that he hasn't held up well under heavy usage.  (Maybe it's Taro's "inverted W," which Whalen is in fact guilty of.)

But Greg Johns makes the mistake, IMHO, of assuming that Whalen has to be the #5 starting pitcher to make the squad.  ....?? .... why would that be?!  ... why wouldn't you want him in the #8 slot, eating 2-3 IP at a time, and spot starting when needed?  Wouldn't that also address any possible concerns about durability?

Dipoto also sez,

"Nobody has been any better than Rob [this spring]," Dipoto said. "And it's a great story. He went through so much last year battling depression and at one point went home. We accommodated it and made sure he had the help he needed.

"When he showed up this spring, he showed up 25 pounds lighter and his emotional place was so much different than this time last year. In addition, his command has been lights out. His mind is free and he's enjoying playing the game."

On the heels of his strong outing against the Rockies, Dipoto wasn't ruling anything out for Whalen, who was acquired from the Braves a year ago.

"This guy worked his tail off to put himself in the position he's in," Dipoto said. "He's certainly a threat right now to break with the big-league club. He's pitched that well. He's freezing guys on front-hip cutters. The ball was moving all over the place and that was the single best breaking ball we've seen any of our pitchers have all spring."


I think that's true, that nobody (except Zeus of course) has thrown pitches any nastier than Whalen's.  And he leads the camp in strikeouts: he's at 19 whuffs and Ariel Miranda comes in 2nd at 12.  That is a whale of a good way to make any sports team.

Whalen sports a 19:4 CTL with 2 homers in 13 IP.  Since he's given up only 2 runs, his ERA sits at 1.38.  Count Dr. D an advocate on this one.

Greg Johns, a conventional man, goes so far as to predict the Opening Day Roster for yer.  Alongside that, we'll give you the roster Dr. D would publish as we stand now.


Johns Dr. Detecto
1B Healy 'Bach
2B Cano Cano
3B Seager Seager
SS Segura Segura
C Zuumball Zuumball
LF Heredia Ichiro
CF Gordon Goron
RF Haniger Haniger
DH Boomstick Boomstick
Bench Frietas C Frietas or Marjama C
Bench 'Bach 1B Healy 1B
Bench Romine IF Romine or Motter IF
Bench Ichiro Heredia
SP1 King Felix Zeus
SP2 Paxton Hernandez
SP3 Leake Leake
SP 4 Marco Marc-O
CL Diaz Diaz
SU Nicasio Nicasio
SU Vincent Vincent
SU Phelps Phelps

Knew I'd leave that short!  OK, last 4 RP's:

Johns Dr. Detecto
LH Zip Pazos
LH Pazos Zip
#7 Altavilla Altavilla
#8 Lawrence ROB WHALEN

So, whattayou got?


Dr D


RockiesJeff's picture

Thank you Jeff. Fun to see the rare times when a youngster tears it up in Spring Training and birdies the first 5 holes. Who is this guy? Okay, it is Spring Training but still gives a measurement of some potential. Congrats to Whalen for working through some serious issues. And the same to Vogs for not packing it in mentally when another 1B was traded for. 


For the bench, does Beckham not play the 6 hole? Can't remember with my aging brain.

I saw that Lawrence had a solid outing today. Good point about Whalen and the BP....but bet that they keep him as SP because that is what teams do? Great movement and location in his pitches. Of course, location + movement = success! 

Get healthy guys! And that includes you also Jeff!!!

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