Spring Training 2013: Thursday 3/21 Recap

Editor’s note: I can’t connect to the hotel wifi, so it looks like it will be phone posts all weekend. Please forgive the lack of links and poor formatting.

Jonathan Sanchez took the mound tonight looking to stake a claim to a spot in the rotation. 5 shutout innings with 4 Ks and only 3 baserunners should do it. Other than a two batters in the third, when he walked Lew Ford, then sent him to second on a wild pitch, Sanchez was in control the whole time. This wasn’t against minor leaguers either, as Baltimore had 7 regulars in the lineup.

Chris Leroux and Justin Wilson both solid in their relief stints.

The offense looked a lot like last year. Eight hits, but never more than one in an inning, and nine Ks. Starling Marte and Neil Walker both reached base twice. Travis Snider had two hits and two walks, plus made some tricky plays against the twilight sky.

On the bad side, Brad Hawpe had a hat trick and clearly disagreed with the umpire on both of his called strikeouts. Jose Tabata pinch hit for Hawpe in the ninth when the Pirates were trying to rally but missed a bunt sign and left pinch runner Alex Presley out to dry at second.

It would have been nice to win, but all-in-all there were a lot if positive things to take away from the game. I also got to meet Pat Lackey from Whygavs.com, who seemed to be having a good time. Which is really what it’s all about.

Some pictures:

Jonathan Sanchez warms up.

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Pedro Alvarez watches Andrew McCutchen at bat.

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Swing and a miss.

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A great night for baseball.

Heading South

Getting ready to head down to Bradenton for spring training this weekend. If you’ll be at the following games send me a tweet or email and we can try to meet up.

Thursday Orioles @ Sarasota
Friday   Rays    @ Bradenton
Saturday Red Sox @ Ft. Myers
Sunday   Orioles @ Bradenton

Look for pictures and thoughts to be posted all weekend, assuming I can figure out why my wireless card isn’t working or the hotel has an ethernet connection available.

McKechnie Field Renovations

It will be a few weeks before I’ll be down there to see for myself, but the Pirates put together a promo video about the new renovations to McKechnie Field.

Not a big fan of the new beige exterior instead of what used to be a clean white finish, but that’s a minor detail. The big news is the new flip-down seats, which will be a godsend to anyone that spent any time in the old molded plastic ones. It will be great to walk around the entire park as well.

Pirate Presidents

Happy President’s Day everyone. Here’s some light reading for your day off – a Pirate player who’s a name match for each one of our country’s Commander-in-Chiefs. I hope you’ll forgive some stretches where there wasn’t an exact match.

George Washington – U.L. Washington (SS)
John Adams – Babe Adams (P)
Thomas Jefferson – Jesse Jefferson (P)
James Madison – Art Madison (2B)
James Monroe – Craig Monroe (OF)
John Quincy Adams – Sparky Adams (2B)
Andrew Jackson – Grant Jackson (P)
Martin Van Buren – Andy Van Slyke (OF)
William Henry Harrison – Josh Harrison (3B)
John Tyler – Tyler Yates (P)
James Polk – Kevin Polcovich (SS)
Zachary Taylor – Carl Taylor (OF)
Millard Fillmore – Len Gilmore (P)
Franklin Pierce – Steve Pearce (1B)
James Buchanan – Steve Buechele (3B)
Abraham Lincoln – Brad Lincoln (P)
Andrew Johnson – Mark Johnson (1B)
Ulysses Grant – Mudcat Grant (P)
Rutherford Hayes – Charlie Hayes (3B)
James Garfield – Bill Garfield (P)
Chester Arthur – Dixie McArthur (P)
Grover Cleveland – Elmer Cleveland (3B)
Benjamin Harrison – Joe Harris (1B)
Grover Cleveland – Elmer Cleveland (3B)
William McKinley – Michael McKenry (C)
Theodore Roosevelt – David Ross (C)
William Taft – Jack Rafter (C)
Woodrow Wilson – Jack Wilson (SS)
Warren G. Harding – Hardie Henderson (P)
Calvin Coolidge – Duff Cooley (1B)
Herbert Hoover – Rich Sauveur (P)
Franklin Roosevelt – Rosie Rosebraugh (P)
Harry Truman – Shane Youman (P)
Dwight Eisenhower – Bill Howerton (OF)
John Kennedy – Brickyard Kennedy (P)
Lyndon Johnson – Bob Johnson (P)
Richard Nixon – Brian Bixler (SS)
Gerald Ford – Chance Sanford (3B)
Jimmy Carter – Steve Carter (OF)
Ronald Reagan – Bill Regan (2B)
George H W Bush – Bullet Joe Bush (P)
Bill Clinton – Clint Barmes (SS)
George W Bush – Guy Bush (P)
Barack Obama – Ken Oberkfell (2B)

If this was a 40 man roster, you be hard pressed to make a decent everyday lineup out of it.

Jed Lowrie Trade Tree: Part 2

Also known as: Billy Beane makes a ton of trades.

Remember the Mike Morse/John Jaso three-way trade from a few weeks ago? I had a trade tree all drawn up but didn’t take the time to write anything or post it. Here’s the Athletics part of it:

John  Jaso Athletics

Pretty sweet, huh? Fits on one page and is easily legible at a regular zoom. Plus it’s nearly symmetrical so it’s got a nice aesthetic quality too.

Apparently Billy Beane hates all of those fine qualities and only cares about trying to make his team better. What other reason could he have for including Brad Peacock in the Jed Lowrie deal, which linked it to the Dan Haren deal through Chris Carter, which linked it to basically every other trade he’s made since he became GM. (click to embiggen)

Jed Lowrie Athletics Start with 14 draft picks, make 23 trades that cycle through 47 players and you end up with 13-15 players still in the organization. My favorite part is the direct path from Mark Mulder to Dan Haren to Brett Anderson. Other teams dream of getting back an ace when they trade an ace. Billy Beane does it.

Justin Upton Trade Tree

The Diamondbacks finally completed a deal for Justin Upton, netting a five-player package from the Braves headlined by versatile Venezuelan Martin Prado. Also going to Atlanta is 3B Chris Johnson, who has the unenviable task of replacing future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones. Total assets used: Three draft picks and two amateur free agents to get a potential MVP left fielder and a platoon thirdbaseman.

Justin  Upton Braves

Arizona had for some reason soured on Justin Upton, with even the team owner talking shots at him for not being healthy. Still, they valued him highly enough that they held out for a pretty good deal. Prado may not be a power hitter, but he’s a very productive one. Randall Delgado replaces some of the young pitching the D-Backs have traded away this off-season. And when you consider that they got three other prospects too, there’s a chance for this to go very well for Arizona.

Justin  Upton Diamondbacks

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