Two weeks from today we’ll be deep into over analyzing the Angels home opener. Next Friday most of the Angels regulars will make their way back home. The 2021 season is near.
As impressive as those were, the single down the line against the shift on St. Patrick’s day shows just how dialed in he is right now. He can do whatever he wants up there. If he can translate this to the regular season…..
Also swinging a hot bat is infielder Franklin Barreto. I’m not good with gif’s but it looks like he’s dropped his hands a bit and is keeping them a little closer to his body. This is creating a nice, short path to the ball and likely a spot on the Opening Day roster.
It is pretty easy to find video of guy’s swinging the bat, like Jo Adell here. And like Barreto’s, Adell’s swing is also shorter to the ball. What is really showing improvement to me, though, are the non swings by Adell. He’s sitting on a lot of pitches he flailed wildly at last year.
As for pitching, Andrew Heaney was very nice yesterday racking up 8 k’s. Jose Quintana continues to look sharp, and Griffin Canning looked pretty decent last time out. Alex Cobb hit 94 MPH in his outing to boot.
The new look Angels front office is working closely with skipper Joe Maddon to give players and coaches “options to be successful.” One player who is a big fan of the information Minasian and crew give out is catcher Kurt Suzuki who felt the data and way it is presented helped him in Atlanta.
It is worth noting that a player specifically mentioned as a potential benefactor of that data is Griffin Canning. The front office seems to think there’s a breakout season for him on the horizon.
From around baseball, Fangraphs has a new toy, “maximum exit velocity.”
Tom Verducci’s article on baseball’s pace of play problem is your long form read for the weekend. He has a great point that way too many pitchers take way too long between pitches. 40 plus seconds with nobody on base is a joke.
My old man yelling at the clouds rant: I’m less concerned about the time of games than the lack of action. Three true outcomes baseball leaves the fielders standing around with nothing to do. I’m fine with 3 hours, but I want more balls put into play, more baserunning, more motion around the field.
Aaron Boone feels “awesome” after getting his pacemaker.
Diamondbacks first base coach Dave McKay is feeling far from awesome. He suffered a broken rib and lacerated spleen after falling into the dugout earlier this week.
Taking a look at our division rivals, Houston prized prospect Forrest Whitley had his TJ surgery this week but their other super talented youngster Framber Valdez did not have surgery. He might be ready for the stretch run, which could be huge for the Astros.
The Texas Rangers look to be sorting out their lineup. 1-3 seem sorted out, but that leaves 4 and beyond.
The A’s are like that one friend you have who always is just a little bit ahead of the curve, a tad cooler than you. They are selling a $64,000 luxury suite using Bitcoin, the first to do so.
I’ve Googled “Cactus League Covid” every week and thankfully no outbreaks have been linked to Spring Training. One really cool piece did pop up this week, though. Surprise is using a drone to sanitize their stadium between games. The idea came from longtime MLB coach Dan Wakamatsu who figured out how to use drones on a farm (you just can’t take the farmer boy out of me).
The best thing to do during this fortnight, IMO, is watch the NCAA tournament. Is your alma mater in the Big Dance? Who are you rooting for? Who do you think wins it all? In an odd year I’m taking the top overall seed Gonzaga to win it all.
As always, please let me know what I missed.