Now that we are a week away from Opening Night and real, live, counts-in-the-standards baseball, it’s time to take a quick look at how our heroes have been looking this spring. Granted, spring is a fickle beast and exhibition games aren’t the best judge of things but it’s been a pretty slow start for one guy in particular…
The Big Tilde is having a rough spring thus far. Today’s 1/4 performance puts him at roughly 2/21 in the spring. The good news is that Grandy and Miggy have been raking at least. And we really shouldn’t be too concerned, should be? Maggs got off to a slow start last year as well and still managed to finish with the usual .300 plus and 100 plus RBI. Tilde is a professional hitter and we’re not gonna start rending the garments just yet.
Terrible news for the D-Train today though, as he was put on the DL for anxiety disorder. My suspicions have long drifted towards the thought that Dontrelle’s troubles were as much mental as anything else. It’s (supposedly) not depression like what Zach Grienke dealt with a few years back, but we’re gonna hold on to hope that with the right medical help the Train will bounce back much like Grienke has. Best of luck, Dontrelle.
Joel Zumaya is also going to be opening the season on the DL as well. In other news, the sky is blue, the sun is bright, and I could still stand to lose more than a few pounds.
Jeremy Bonderman is also going to miss his first pass or two in the rotation as he works on building up his arm strength with some minor league starts. Bondo got hit pretty hard today, retiring only 4 of the 8 batters he faced and using almost 65 pitches to accomplish that much, but he was throwing strikes. Once the arm strength and endurance returns, there’s no reason to think that Bonderman won’t be a solid contributor this season. It just may not be until late April.
If you’re looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, this thought might have to do – the lack of Zumaya and Bonderman means that there is a chance we’re gonna see Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry to start the season. More likely, unless Porcello is just lights out in his next spring start, I think we’ll see a starting rotation of Verlander/Jackson/Gallaraga/Robertson/Miner with Perry and Juan Rincon filling the bullpen spots of Zumaya and Miner. No need to rush Porcello just yet unless he’s absolutely 100% ready. And I don’t think Leyland feels that way. YET.
Roster run-down and projections coming on Wednesday.