Saturday, February 26, 2011

Camp Notes

Jeff Wilson has the Cactus League rotos:

C.J. Wilson-Dave Bush, Colby Lewis-Michael Kirkman, Matt Harrison-open, Tommy Hunter-Alexi Ogando, Derek Holland-Neftali Feliz, Eric Hurley-Tanner Scheppers

Ignore all of the "Webb says he feels great" and "Webb says that long toss has changed my life" until after he pitches in game action for about 4 weeks. Maddux did go some way in answering the "why does it make sense to take Webb off the mound?" Well, he wasn't taken off the mound to build arm strength it seems, as he has been building arm strength for the last 12 months. Instead, it seems it was a matter of the arm slot, which, along with the "mental" side of things, was the principle issue that thwarted his comeback last year (discomfort, lack of velo, lack of command, movement). Maddux had this to say after watching him throw long toss for a week: "We did what we wanted to do," Maddux said. "We got an idea of his arm slot and his work zone. He is now where he needs to be to maximize his throwing program."

According to TRS, both Hurley and MDLS have been cleared to throw. Web could pitch off the mound again as soon as Sunday or Monday (but not to hitters yet, I gather). Beltre is out 10-14 days.

As I mentioned in a previous post with respect to Feliz, it is often the case that most of the important decisions about roster composition and roles have already been made by the time ST begins. So we learn today that the lineup order has been set (Kinsler and andrus, 1-2; Beltre, Cruz, Young, Moe, 4-7), Blanco is the 25th man and that they are determined to let Feliz win a roto spot (over Ogando). In the arena of "known knowns", we already knew or suspected most of this, including the continued and puzzling reluctance of Warsh to let Cruz bat cleanup. I like having Kinsler at the top and Andrus at the second spot. I hope Andrus can loosen up a little in that spot and we see a little more aggressiveness from him. Thad Bosley might be just the guy to help him with that.

TR Sullivan continues his Scheppers pessimism, has dropped his Ogando optimism, and continues to think Kirkman is ahead of Holland.

Strop confesses to what those who watched him in AAA already knew: his struggles in his brief Texas debut had to do with a lack of confidence. So, I guess we'll have to wait and see how he does over the course of the spring. If Feliz makes the roto, I think Strop is a lock for the pen, especially if Texas still has confidence that Scheppers will emerge as a legit option as a starter by the trade deadline.

Jason Parks and Jason Cole arrive at camp on Sunday to begin their month-long coverage.


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