Spring Training Fluff

Posted by Steve

At this time of year, we’re starving for news to overanalyze.  For example, Rickie Weeks has a 1.059 OPS.  Discuss his awesomeness at your respective water coolers, break rooms, study groups and playgrounds.

Because of this, we get a lot of fluff pieces.  In the past, both Jason Kendall and Bill Hall have gotten laser eye surgery in an off-season, leading to Spring Training stories about improved eyesight and to me creating a ‘The Wonders of Laser Eye Surgery’ tag.  In both instances, the surgery had no positive impact on the player’s offense.

This year we get a similar story on Corey Hart.  He’s going to wear prescription goggles.  First of all, awesome.  I had RecSpecs one year in Little League before I got contact lenses, and they were badass.  Secondly, I refuse to get sucked into thinking his offense will improve due to this.  They sort of had me hoping with Hall, and that was a disaster.

There’s a similar story on, of all people, Jeff Suppan.  Apparently, new pitching coach Rick Peterson suggested something new with his hands that he’s all excited about.

It all makes a lot of sense.  It’s simple.  If it adds that little extra on a pitch, that one pitch may get you out of an inning rather than throwing another ten pitches.  I’m excited.

No.  I won’t do it.  I will not allow myself to think that Rick Peterson is going to salvage Jeff Suppan.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my prediction is that I’m going to get really tired of all the Rick Peterson love this year.  Let’s take a look at the starting rotation:

Gallardo:  He never had a walk rate close to last year’s poor mark, so there’s reason to expect it to drop down.  So he’ll be better.

Parra: He fell far short of expectations last year, so there is again reason to expect at least a small rebound.

Bush:  He’s healthy again.  He pitched well until he was hit on the arm by that line drive last year.

Wolf: He’s better than Looper.

Davis: He’s better than Suppan.

Suppan: Even if he made no changes, it would be almost impossible to be as bad as he was last year.  He had a historically bad season.

So, the rotation will be better.  Here’s what people will notice. “Hey, there’s a new pitching coach this year!  Causation always means correlation!  Therefore, Rick Peterson must be the reason the pitching is better!”

Prepare to be annoyed.  Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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3 responses to “Spring Training Fluff

  1. I’m at spring training, so I was at the game today. Rickie hit the ball VERY hard twice today. And Escobar made a diving play in the hole that literally made my jaw drop. I’m worried about Gomez. He got stuck out in his first at-bat and looked SILLY. It may be fluff, but it makes for interesting discussions.

  2. Everyone knows that the Brewers picked up Gomez for his ability to bunt for a base hit in those clutch situations when nobody is expecting it, including the Brewers coaching staff.

  3. Thanks for the report Richard. I’m jealous; I haven’t made it out to Spring Training yet.

    Gomez is going to be a big source of frustration for me this year. He has the bat speed, but he’s just not patient enough yet. He really should start the year in AAA with Gerut in center in Milwaukee, but of course that will never happen.

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