Remember, spring training is not regular season baseball. If Ryan Zimmerman has a bad month, it doesn’t mean he can’t hit anymore. It may indicate a slow start, but he didn’t forget how to do it. If Jason Marquis dominates, mowing down starting cleanup hitters and lifelong quadruple-A players alike, it doesn’t trump what he’s done in almost 1500 regular season major league innings pitched. His career ERA+ is 99, and he only had one year under 4.00. Not saying he’s terrible, but a perfect spring probably doesn’t indicate an upcoming Cy Young season.
That being said, younger players do have a chance to show they can succeed at yet another level. A perfect 3 innings by Shairon Martis is much more exciting than the same performance by John Lannan in the spring. So, here’s a few things I’ll be paying attention to today and in the upcoming games, and I few things I won’t:
- Garrett Mock and J.D. Martin are both pitching today, and I want to see how they do. Are they getting hitters to swing and miss? Mock is still supposed to have some of the best stuff of the staff, let’s see some of that.
- How do Mike Morse and Justin Maxwell do in their first month back? They had decent Septembers, can they build on that?
- Is Ian Desmond going to boot easy plays? He should get a chance to play some SS this spring. He needs to start showing everyone that he can be a successful every day starting middle infielder. If he can do that, the bat could regress and he’d still be valuable with that arm and that range.
- When does Jesus Flores start playing? Is he going to be able to throw the ball? He’s not playing at the beginning of the spring, a few weeks from now could be a different story.
- Can Livan and Miguel Batista still pitch to a lineup that is half filled with people who are never gonna be in the majors and half filled with players who haven’t gotten into the groove of a season yet? Don’t Care. If they get lit up, that’d be troublesome.
- How is Nyjer Morgan hitting today? Or Josh Willingham? Bunk. If they go 0-for-spring training, I’ll start to worry.
- Is Ivan Rodriguez back in form? Can he rake the ball off of opposing teams’ versions of Garrett Mock and J.D. Martin? It matters not. He is 38 years old and he’s smart, he’ll hit the guys that don’t deserve to be up there. Now if he takes a few walks, I’ll be ecstatic.
- Chris Duncan and Kevin Mench are supposed to be able to hit in the spring. I don’t know there’s much they could do to convince me they could hit in the regular season. 50 spring ABs doesn’t trump 1000 or 2000 regular season ABs. One guy’s gonna hit better, that’ll help make a decision if they want to keep one of them. But it probably doesn’t mean too much, and they other guy may get a chance as early as tax day.
Also, I’m interested in watching baseball. Finally!
And one more thing:
Ok one more one more thing. Now that Greivis and company are seniors, and won’t return to Comcast Center, now that a new crew is in charge, can we slow down on the gold jerseys? I don’t mind the team wearing them, but I cannot abide people walking around in gold t-shirts with Testudo on them. Save the jerseys for once or twice a year. Everyone in that stadium should be wearing red, it goes with the team, the mascot, the university and the region. What DC sports fan doesn’t have red to wear these days? (And as a side note, if the Nats were smart, they’d figure out a way to steal “Rock the Red” from the Caps in some way).