What we have seen of the pitching so far this spring suggests the staff is diligently carrying out the Maddux plan: 1st pitch strikes, pitch to contact, keep ball low, get groundballs
McCarthy: 7 batter 1st inning of work, 3 straight ground ball singles, 46 pitches (28 strikes)
Sinker (and 4s?)and cutter: 85-89 (flashed 90 1x); Curve 75-78; possibly a slurve/slider at 78-79 unless it was just a harder curve
After long 1st inning of work, CT was about 86 in his second inning while his sinker was 87-88.
Lewis: 20/26 pitches for strikes, really sharp in his second inning
4s, 89-92, taking a little off an 88mph offering; Slider 81-82, CSO, CS; Curve, 78, CSO, HR; Two 86mph offerings, with one probably a change, the other a cutter
Phillips, a long 8 batter inning. Cole says he couldn't command his FB or change.
Sinker, 87-89, sat 88 (single, double, homer); CB, 73-77, might have changed speeds on the offering; Change, 81-83, all balls (possibly a slider at 75, likely a CB; I'm wondering if he threw a couple of cutters at 87-88 as well)
Mendoza: seemed like he was throwing a cutter in the 86-88 range and I'm assuming that his sinker is his hardest offering (and not a 4s on occasion); didn't remember him throwing a slider but it was his out pitch in this outing (Cole says it is better, harder/sharper, than previous years)
Cutter, 86-87; Sinker, 88-92; Slider, 79-82 (2 SOS); Curve, 74-76; Change, 81-82
Holland: Rough outing, didn't get out of the inning, couldn't command the FB - Maddux said he was overthrowing
4s, 90-93; CB, 73 (single); Slider, 79-80 (SS); Change, 83-84
4s, 89-90(SOS, triple); Curve, 78-79; Change, 85 (SS)
Snyder: long inning
4s, sat 87-88, commanded it well; Curve, 74-76 (HR vs LHH; foul tip SO); change, 80 (and a 77 offering, either a curve or a change)
Defense by Evan Grant (though not in defense of Arias, his former fav for 24th man):
"Joaquin Arias threw a feed to second low for an error, then Arias and 2B Marcus Lemon collided on a ball up the middle that Arias fielded resulting in no outs. After Holland left with just one out in the inning, Lemon couldn't turn double play relay."
"SS Joaquin Arias made a low throw to second on a force play for an error. Later in the inning, Arias and 2B Marcus Lemon collided behind second base on a ball Arias fielded. The Rangers failed to get an out on the play."
" (Arias) rushed a feed to second base for an error on Monday, then ran into 2B Marcus Lemon on another grounder. It's the shortstop's responsibility to make clear which middle infielder should go inside and which one goes deeper on ground balls up the middle."
Roster roulette by Evan Grant:
Esteban German has now replaced JA on the roster for the utility infielder spot. Per Grant: "Don't be surprised if the Rangers take a look at him at shortstop in the next week or two." NOT. Be surprised, very surprised, neh, be frightened. CK out his UZR at short Evan, there is a rhyme to the reason.
B GAME (various reports)
Both Scheppers and Kirkman pitched 2 scoreless innings in the undercard. Scheppers was 94-96, getting a CSO and SOS swinging on his hard curve. Grant seems surprised at how good Schepps CB is (See 08 draft, 09 Independent League, 09 AFL). Kirkman was pitching 90-93, while Grant was surprised at what a good CB he throws (Assuredly a slider, his best BB, though he still has his CB).
Lemon made 2 errors at second.
Cole tweets on B game:
Strop: 1st pitch hr, 2 SOS (splitter, slider) sat 93, broken bat on FB
Kirkman: 93 1st ip, 91-92 2nd ip, SO on a slider, 87mph sinker
Schepp: 93-95; 79-80; 2nd ip - leadoff sinlge, 3 consecutive groundouts; 1 SO backdoored a LHH; other SO buried Curve in dirt to RHH
Cole on Leury Garcia (from 3/6 I think):
"In the field, the game simply appeared to be moving too fast for Garcia on Saturday. The shortstop has plus range and a plus arm [bordering on plus-plus for both], but he is extremely raw defensively. In the eighth inning, he rushed a throw and fired high after fielding a ground ball from Royals prospect Irving Falu. When Falu stole second on the next pitch, Garcia bailed out as Falu slid into second, and the on-target throw sailed into centerfield."
Minor League camp
pitchers/catchers report, hitters in a few more days
Cole reports an Anyenil Mendoza sighting. Mendoza is a sleeper he might have been sidelined by injury last year as he did not pitch; he should have made his debut in the AZL in 09. He has a nice FB/BB combo and profiles as a starter. He also notes that Glenn Swanson is going the AJ Murray route, having changed to a sidearm delivery after years upon years of injuries dating back to his college days. Cole also notes that UDFA MIF signe Vicente Cafaro and Bakersfield OF Aja Barto have retired.
Along with Cole and the beat reporters, you will find Klaw and Jason Grey in AZ this week, and word is that Jason Parks will be on scene today. Can't wait for some reports to start coming in from the minor league camp.