As we inch closer to March, I find myself craving baseball. I’m sure you’re the same way. I actually pulled up a game from 2010 at random on MLB.tv the other day just to watch a few at bats in an effort to get the feelings to subside for another month. It’s weird because in my heart, I don’t believe this team will be very good, but I’m dying to watch. That said, just a few notes that I wanted to comment on and get your opinion on.
Ryan Dempster is the opening day starter. It’s not the route I would have gone, but I certainly can’t argue with it. I think I would have probably thrown Garza out there, but when you get down to it, it’s really a stupid discussion anyway. Once the first game is over, everything just settles into a routine and guys take the ball when it’s their turn. No rotation stays the same throughout the course of the year. I tend to believe Garza will be our best starter this year by far, followed by Dempster and then Zambrano. That’s how I would have structured my rotation, but Quade’s the man that needs to make those calls.
Adam Wainwright’s arm fell off to the point that it may need to be rebuilt. Believe it or not, Dusty Baker wasn’t even involved. I kid on that one only because he actually commented on it as if people were going to somehow blame him. I think Dusty got a bad rap. I don’t think it was his fault that Wood and Prior got hurt. Things happen. People get injured. This Wainwright injury just made the NL Central a little more wide open. Suddenly the Cardinals don’t look nearly as imposing.
Finally, Mike Quade talked a little bit about what we will see in terms of non-pitching roster spots:
Quade said he sees only two openings on the non-pitching side of the roster on a team that finished 10th in the National League in runs scored, 11th in the NL in getting on base and next-to-last in the majors in fielding last season.
With versatile infielders Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt each getting a piece of second base, right fielders Kosuke Fukudome and Tyler Colvin both projected to make the 25-man roster, Koyie Hill slotted in as the backup catcher and all the other starting jobs locked up, Quade said he’s looking for another infielder capable of playing short and a versatile fifth outfielder to fill out his 13-man position-player roster.
The top candidates for the infield job are prospect Darwin Barney and non-roster veteran Augie Ojeda. Non-roster veteran Reed Johnson is in the outfield battle with newly acquired Fernando Perez, the fastest player in camp.
Talk amongst yourselves on that one. I don’t know what to do with that, but it may not be all that fun looking at the baseball lines courtesy of BetUS this season. Speaking of betting, I’m really looking forward to the new games we have for you this year. We’ll have prize winners every week of the season and I’m working on securing a really nice grand prize for the final season winner. It’s going to be a really cool year here at VFTB. Stick with us as we work through spring training. You’ll be glad you did.