I know that the games officially started last week with the epic battles staged by the Mariners and Athletics in Japan, but I’m calling today the official start of the major league season when the Cardinals take on the Marlins.
With the attrition rate of closers at this point of the preseason, will any hurler reach 40 saves this season? Hell, will any reach 30? Of course they will, but the tumultuous start for many a team in the bullpen, and remember we’ve only had a couple of major league games played to this point, is yet another indication of why you shouldn’t reach on closers on draft day. One other note in case you missed it – Alfredo Aceves will get the first shot to close for the Red Sox. No idea though if he will lead this team in saves though he is a decently skilled hurler who could thrive in the role, you never know (I’m still a fan of Mark Melancon who I think possesses better skills). Heck, I can’t stop. Here’s another note on bullpens. Looks like the White Sox still aren’t certain who they will call on in the 9th inning, but support is growing for Hector Santiago being that guy. Why? Beats me. Perhaps it’s because he has thrown all of 5.1 innings above Double-A in his life. For my thoughts on their bullpen situation see Lunacy in Chicago?
Michael Pineda says that his shoulder is feeling better. Whoppie. He’s still going to start the year on the DL, and he’s still likely to miss all of April – and that is if he doesn’t have another setback. Good luck with that.
It wouldn’t be an opening day without Grady Sizemore on the DL. He was placed on the 60 DL since he has no shot at being back on the field in April after undergoing a micro discectomy procedure on his back on March 1st. Boy that sounds bad doesn’t it?
Did the Indians overpay for Asdrubal Cabrera when they gave him an additional two years for a total of $16.5 million? He won’t repeat his 25 homer outing of last season and he hit .273 which was below his career average of .281. For further thoughts on why the Indians may have slightly overpaid see Cabrera’s Player Profile.
I don’t care if Katy Perry has blue hair. I still love her.
As of this writing the Giants still haven’t officially told Brandon Belt that he has made the club. It does appear though that he will open the year with the club, and that he could play first base with Aubrey Huff moving to the outfield. “He’s been getting most of the playing time there,’’ manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ve said we’d put the bats out there that are swinging well.” Belt has hit .389 in spring games while Huff has also produced hitting .306.
Anyone else get the feeling that Nelson Cruz isn’t going to make it through the year unscathed, or even close to it? He’s already dealt with a hand issue that kept him out of action, and now he’s being slowed by an elbow issue after taking a pitch of his left one. X-rays confirm that there is no break, and he is still expected to be ready for opening day. Is it possible that he’s getting all his injuries knocked out before the season starts? Doubtful.
Looks like Ross Detwiler will open the year as the Nationals fifth starter as the club has decided to send John Lannan to the minors in a surprising move. “I look at it this way, Detwiler earned the job,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “He deserved the job. It was a prudent baseball move for the current Nationals and the future Nationals.” As exciting as the news is for Detwiler and his NL-only prospects, don’t forget that Chien-Ming Wang isn’t expected to miss much more than four weeks and at that time Detwiler will likely end up returning to the bullpen. If you’re an owner of Lannan in a mixed league, it’s time to move on.
All the prep work, all the late nights of telling your significant other that you didn’t have time for them because you had to break down middle infielder’s BABIP are over. Now it’s time for all your hard work the entire offseason to start to payoff. Enjoy it for a day or two. After that, get back at it because the baseball season is perfect for those of you out there who are willing to work at the daily grind. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the 2012 season.
By Ray Flowers