Spring Training News and Notes – Part 3

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By Todd Johnson

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This is my busy time of year at school between history fair and scholastic bowl. I don’t have a lot of free time in February and March. So, Saturday afternoon was the first time I got to see a live baseball game since November 2. It was fun to watch Kris Bryant go yard and Kyle Hendricks pitch very well along with Carl Edwards, Jr.

Over the last eight days, not much happened in terms of trying to figure out who was going to be on the 25 man roster. Pitchers are now just starting to get into the second inning and starting position players are now playing through the fifth or sixth inning. There is still a month left to sort everything out.

There are, however, some trends. Brian Anderson seems to be struggling a bit. As for Mike Montgomery, the other 5th/6th starter, he is doing much better having not allowed a run yet.

Pedro Strop just debuted.Most relievers seem to just be getting into a routine. I think the bullpen will be the most exciting competition this spring. It probably will come down to the last week before a decision is made.

When it comes to Jeimer Candelario. Last year, he destroyed Spring Training pitching. This year, he is finally starting to take off. I wonder if he has a shot at making the big league club? I think the odds would have to be very slim. He plays 1B and 3B and is a switch-hitter.

Ideally, I would like another SS. For me, though, Tommy LaStella is not that shortstop and neither is Munenori Kawasaki. In all honesty, I don’t think Jemile Weeks has a shot either. It is an interesting dilemma.

As for the week…

*Eloy is doing very well and he hit his first home run of Spring Training on Friday.

*Javy Baez continues to flash the glove.

*Matt Szczur appears to wake up and start hitting.

Ian Happ, Victor Caratini, and Chesny Young all look decent as they get a lot of reps this spring.

Kyle Hendricks started on Saturday and he’s the first regular starting pitcher to see some action.

Alec Mills and Eddie Butler both looked good in their short starts. I’m excited to see their next couple of starts this spring! Butler threw 21 pitches with 18 of them going for strikes.

Yesterday was also Joe Maddon’s “Respect Bald” event where several players shaved their hair including two of the “Flow Brothers,” Pierce Johnson and Taylor Davis.

Ryan Williams also looked good in his spring training debut after missing most of the 2016 regular season.

Minor league teams start playing games next week. Carrie Muskat took this good picture of Dylan Cease throwing live BP.

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Upcoming Posts
A Sneak Peek at the 25 Man Roster

Draft Profile – Kyle Serrano

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