Let me preface this post with this:
Spring Training statistics are meaningless.
Time and time again Spring Training has shown us that those who play hot for a few weeks before the season begins, aren’t essentially solid bets to carry that performance over into the regular season. Neifi Perez hitting .474 with 7 HRS in a few games? It’s probably best to just ignore it. Last spring Jason Ellison looked like Ted Williams. He hit (.403/.493/.613) and from that line, you would think he was Albert Pujols. The point is that anyone can look really good over 60-some AB’s and even more when it’s against guys who haven’t played for a few months, or minor league journey men. Rookies, injury reclamation projects, non-roster invitees all make up a huge portion of the Spring Training experience.
It’s best to not get too overly jazzed about whats going on in Spring Training. It’s great that baseball is back, but don’t come trying to convince me that Rajai Davis should be hitting 4th after he hits .675 over a handful of games.
With that out of the way, the Giants played their first Spring Training game today against the Chicago Cubs. They lost 12-6. Let’s check out some of the good performances and some of the bad performances from todays action.
Randy Winn – Winn hit the first HR for the Giants this Spring in the 1st inning of today’s game. He went deep off Ryan Dempster and finished the day 1-2. Winn had a nice bounce-back season last year and hopefully if the Giants can trade him at some point, they’ll do so. Maybe around the trading deadline if he’s playing near his career numbers?
Aaron Rowand – Warrior Spirit went 2-2 with two singles. Not too bad for a guy that struck out against Rags.
Fred Lewis – Freddie went 2-2 with an RBI. He hit a triple in the 8th inning. Fred might have a decent chance to make the roster with Schierholtz still having some options. If he’s not traded, Lewis might appeal more to the Giants because he’s out of options, unlike Nate.
Brett Harper – A dark horse candidate for first, Harper went 2-3 while picking up an RBI. Harper had one of the better AB’s of the day when he fouled off several pitches in a row after working the count to 3-2. He then knocked a RBI single to finish the at-bat. He also lashed a double. Harper might work his way into the 1B position sometime during the year if Ort struggles offensively.
Manny Burriss – Made a couple of fine defensive plays, including a diving stop-and-throw to get the out from short. Burriss, one of the faster prospects in the organization, also beat out an infield hit for a single.
Noah Lowry – Lowry’s control issues from 2007 carried over into his first start. He only pitched an inning, but he walked three, threw a wild pitch, and hit Kosuke Fukudome. If Lowry can’t improve his control this year, he’s going to be in for a rough season. The Giants have to hope that he throws the ball well in the Spring to help boost his trade value which might be a little low right now.
Kevin Correia – Kevin pitched 1 innining, gave up 7 hits, and 5 runs, 4 earned. The defense didn’t do him any favors, a error at third by McClain led to a run. Correia’s got the inside track on the 5th starter job right now, but if he pitches very poorly in the Spring while another 5th starter candidate excells — Misch or Sanchez — he could find himself back in the bullpen.
Kevin Frandsen – Franny went 0-3 and left 3 on base. I listened to the radio broadcast on and off, but anyone care to mention his defense at short? Did he have any balls hit to him?
Tomorrow split squads play. Jonathan Sanchez faces Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs. Tim Lincecum faces newly aquired pitcher Erik Bedard and the M’s.