Scrabble had another solid game today after a rough 1st inning in which he gave up 3 runs but retired 9 of 11 the rest of the way. This guy is a battler and I don't see any way he isn't our #4 starter to begin the season behind Marcum, Romero, Morrow.
Brian Dopirak had a monster home run off the scoreboard to the opposite field today. Though he strikes out too much like most power hitters, I continue to profess that this guys only needs someone to show confidence in him to get his major league career off the ground. However, Randy Ruiz continued his tear with 2 more hits and will be hard to ignore, while continuing to put up strong numbers following his awesome showing late last year and a solid season in winter ball.
Tyler Pastornicky looked more than comfortable at short today especially on a couple of popups with a swirling wind today. He also had a hit in 4 trips to the plate.
Casey Janssen put in a solid inning but Brett Cecil looked shaky. Janssen may make the pen based on history and reputation but I can't see Cecil making the team out of spring training unless there's an injury. While his stuff is indisputable, it appears to me he needs to more time in Las Vegas to create some consistency.
Missed "Dave Stieb" Type Opportunity
It was reported Sergio Santos, a converted shortstop who's pitching well for the White Sox, is very likely to make their staff as a reliever, as he is out of options. He throws in the high 90s and has an excellent corkscrew changeup, according to pitching coach Don Cooper. White Sox farm director Buddy Bell gave him the chance to become a pitcher a year ago after he didn't hit enough to play shortstop. He still had the bug to hit and was traded to the Giants last spring, but after he didn't make it there as a shortstop either, he returned to the White Sox.
For those of you who remember, Dave Stieb was drafted as a weak hitting outfielder in 1978 who had a great arm and was convinced by Jays brass that his future in the majors was as a pitcher and not a hitter. Within a year and a half he was with the Jays to stay and turned out to be one of our best players ever. It's too bad the Jays management couldn't have remembered that lesson with Santos, or perhaps they suggested it but were unable to convince him he couldn't hit enough to make it as a SS. Santos the Diamondback 1st round choice in 2002 and was acquired by trade but was unable to get beyond AAA as a SS due to weak hitting.
Whether the Jays or Santos ever considered this during his stay witht he organization, it is a good lesson to be remembered for future. Could this apply to Justin Jackson or Kevin Ahrens?
Twins Closer Situation Still Muddy
MLB website reports that Joe Nathan is going to begin throwing to take one last shot Saturday at determining his potential to pitch this year though the likelihood is he'll need season ending surgery. Potential internal replacement Francisco Liriano sees himself as a starter and is fighting for the 5th starter role after recovering from surgery himself. Part of the Twins challenge would be to convince him to take over the closer role temporarily for the best interests of the team. They might be better off having a happy Liriano starting and find an alternate solution to their closer situation knowing that it is only for a year until Nathan returns in 2011.