Lots of mush.
Sherrill might as well have been pitching BP. Grooved FBs abounded.
And it wasn't anybody's fault but the pitchers. Wedge played his percentages perfectly. 2 righties coming up and a man on? Time to pull the starter in the 7th and go with some RH heat. Result? HR.
Next guys up are lefties. Go get the former closer. Result? HR and some base hits. Now we're in a garbage game, just trying to keep it close enough to have a prayer against their set-up or closer types.
In comes Delabar. There goes ANOTHER home run.
It was a joke. I know the ball carries in the dome, but those balls were just crushed.
Kelley and Sherrill can't have too many more showings like that, or Erasmo and Furbush are gonna need to move up the bullpen ranks quickly.
We're gonna have some close games this year, improved offense or no. Gotta be able to win those bullpen battles.
Lots of mush.
Everything is encouraging until we start seeing erosion among the "flagship" players -- which Kelley, Sherrill and Delabar ain't.
Sherrill was throwing mush in AZ, too. I think that's why it looks like they are keeping Leutge. Delabar is pretty high on the risk/reward scale for a short reliever in my book. I think Ruffin is the guy they want in that role, but he wasn't sharp in AZ.
Eventually we'll have a host of folks looking for work in the pen -- Noesi? Beavan? Snow? Millwood even?
Hovers on the horizon.
Cesar Jimenez is still around as a lefty option. You know he struck out 10 guys per with a changeup outta the pen last year, right? Injuries derailed his path and he walks a few guys, but he’s an option.
Charlie Furbush has a problem with hits, not Ks or accuracy. If a pen relegation helps him cut the hits down he’ll be plenty helpful.
Forrest Snow can be a decent reliever right now, and his stuff is still improving.
Chance Ruffin is destined for a late-innings role at some point with that arm of his. He’ll be a help.
Stephen Pryor has one of the uglier motions around. His stuff is still terrific.
Brian Moran has to prove the first half of last year was the fluke and not the second half. Once he does that, look out world.
I’m not really worried about 2013 pen arms, the same way I’m not worried about our 2013 rotation. But the placeholders need to do a better job so we don’t have to rush the vintage we’re currently ripening on the farm.
Even though I really want to rush it, from an excitement standpoint…
Which is why Erasmo is in the pen, I have to assume: partly to provide an immediate stopgap should Millwood or Beavan waver, and partly to ensure that our pen doesn't implode in April while we get the moving parts in order.
If the pen really does struggle I do wonder if they'd move Noesi back to it and call up one of our crazy-good starting prospects, though. The pitcher shuffle will likely be the key to this season. The offense will be mostly the same. Sometimes Chone, sometimes not, but for the most part? The healthy lineup should be a consistent one.
It's the arms that are gonna have to find their seats in this game of musical chairs - quickly - if we plan to enjoy a competitive season.
What's up with Robles? He healthy again? Still starting? Seems like he'd be a heck of shot in the bullpen's arm as a late inning lefty. I can live with a couple of walks along his way to striking out the side.
And I'm very much looking forward to his season. But last season was REALLY off the rails, and he's lost a ton of time to this injury now.
So I'm not expecting him to get anything more than a September look this year, and that's if his year goes well. We have other lefties for the first time in a while. I'm hoping Robles brings his unhittable 10K / 3.5 BB self to the bullpen, though: his arm is (was?) very live, and I want to see him healthy and contributing to the big league club next year.
Nice opposite field homer by Smoak from the left side. He pretty much muscled the ball out of the stadium. he doesn't quite mirror his swing from the right side. In fact when he turns on one from the right side it kind of makes you say "man alive, he can swing the bat." I don't think Safeco will ever hurt Smoakie.
How much longer will it take Ichiro to move closer to the front of the order? He's a lead off hitter, and looks like the same old Ichiro to me. Ichiro, Ackley, Smoak, Montero as the one thru four sounds better. Then ride the hot bats in the five and six holes.
Jeff, I do enjoy your comments and analysis very much. But I must admit I also love to see what pictures you are going to pull out of the rabbit's hat for your work. Never a disappointment. Busy spring but I am looking forward to see what everyone has to say about the new season!
So true...Jeff has got to be the best I've seen at stealing web images that perfectly illustrate the basic mood of the upcoming post and making the reader chuckle. :) I don't know how he does that so well.
If Ichiro's primed for revenge, that will be bbiigggggggg.
Monday's game sort of reminded me ... in an absolute sense, Ichiro's talent towers above the game. Maybe Ackley could afford to compare talent reservoirs, I dunno. We'll see whether Montero can.
But Ichiro is the HOF'er here, and HOF leadoff hitters are usually effective at 38-39.
Funny you should say that, 'cause I was sort of wondering whether the pics were worth doing or not ...
Youse two mentioned that and I scanned the archives, checking the pics, and they did give me a little bit of a 'G-rated Dodger Blues' impression... perhaps need to go a little heavier on the satire and a little lighter on the conventional baseball pics?
Feedback is welcome :- )