I don’t pay much attention to Spring Training Statistics. You never know who the statistics are coming against. Baseball-Reference did, however, have an amazing tool last year that attempted to quantify the quality of opposing pitchers or batters faced during spring training games on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being MLB talent and 1-3 being high A to low A level. This tool is great, but it averages all the Plate Appearances or batters faced. You would still need a deeper dive to see if your stud prospect smacked a donger off of Chris Sale or off of your kid’s future pony league baseball coach. So what should we watch for in March when we’re starved for the crack of the bat? Ignore “best shape of their life” stories and Spring Training statistical leaderboards. Pay attention to injuries and lineup construction and position battles! Also pay attention to where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign… Note that those two signings can instantly eliminate some of the position battles detailed herein.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Can you imagine if Kevin Pillar (OF, Sprained Shoulder) played in Boston? Yeesh. Boston Radio would be the most unlistenable noise ever recorded. “You see dat catch by Kevin Pillah?! I almost friggen ran outta my pahlah!” Pillah is going to be out 4-6 weeks after injuring the area near his collarbone. Shame. His 19 HR+SBs were looking pretty good and I think there was a good chance his run production numbers would’ve gotten a boost if he got traded to a competitor. Stash or Trash: Stash. He was having a pretty good year so far and will be back to help you for your stretch run. Fill In: Kevin Kiermaier (8.4%.) “Wait Klug. You want me to replace one injured guy…with THE injured guy?” Yea I know, Kiermaier, Shmiermaier. “I don’t want to pick that clown up just to read about him in next week’s Ambulance Chasers!” I know it’s been a lost season for KK, but he’s hit safely in 9 of his last 11 games and has a HR and two SBs in that time as well. He’s got 10 HR/10 SB capability in the second half even though, yes, he also has DL-60 capability in the second half as well.Please, blog, may I have some more?