Just getting around to watching the April 20th game. Sean Watson is the starter again but this time it won't be 35 degrees, 68 degrees and NE winds @ 8 MPH at the start of the game.
I heard Browning say this in regards to the FO hopes on Watson "I think they wanted him to build up his arm strength" because of his last yr at Tenn only getting to throw 1 to 2 IP at a time. And "They have high hopes for him to progress through the org and maybe be a starter, but eventually they probably have long range plans for him to be a reliever".
On Watson: Throws 1st pitch FB low and outside alot and for strikes quite often. Mixes up that 2nd pitch pretty good. And Throws that Knuckle Curve as his out pitch. And it's a good pitch as it has nice break and he seems to throw it w/o "showing it" with his arm speed much. However he seems to have little answer for opponents who lay off his KNC with 2 strikes, which he seems to always throw with 2 strikes. When that occurs it also seems to throw off his concentration or disrupts his rythym. His line 5 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 10 K's 1 BB and 1 Hit Batter.
Quad City Swing (St. Louis Cards) Pitcher Elvis Hernandez: Good command pitcher, good movement, not necc. a high velocity guy(no radar). 3/4 Arm delivery, tight slider and throws a 4SFB (maybe 91-92), also throws a 2SFB. 4 IP, 4ER
Browning "Stubbs is a prototypical leadoff hitter, great speed". Sorry Tom it takes more than footspeed to be a leadoff hitter. Not to say that Stubbs doesn't have some of the tools but Tom probably should have clarified his remarks.
On Stubbs: His bat speed didn't look like an issue tonight. 3 of his 5 PA's resulted in a ball pulled to the left side. 1 on a SL, 1 on a 2SFB (both low and mid-in and both outs), 1 on a HR which was a 350 ft laser about 10 ft right of the foul pole (a 4SFB at the letters and in). His other 2 PA's were, a single off a slider or curve middle and between the knee and belt, between 1st and 2B and he was HBP. His 1st 3 PA's were all off the starter Hernandez.
On Valaika: The guy ooozes confidence, like I said before Chipper-esque. Oddly though for some reason something about him reminded me of Corbin Bernsen in Major League, Smug perhaps? He hit well tonight going 4-5, triple,double, 2 singles, scored 3 runs and had 2 RBI. 3 of his 4 hits were down the 1st base line, the other a single was a bloop-line drive to LF. The triple was probably just a long single but the ball caromed hard off the wall and went between the RF's legs. His defense looked pretty good, he threw a guy out while going to his right and losing his footing as he planted so he in essence double pumped and still gunned him. Other plays he seemed to be right in position.
But he also had a play were he was playing for one w/ men on 1st and 2nd 2 outs, the guy at the plate wasn't a bopper. He was playing closer to the bag than the hole and on the grass, as the ball was delivered he was coming in and as the ball was struck he was about 2-3 steps in from the grass. The ball is a three hopper hit sound but not with hair on it about a foot left of the bag. He goes to his left 3-4 steps and dives he is right on the ball but it goes under his glove. A run scores, but the problem is it seemed to me that he shouldn't have had to dive for the ball it just seemed he was a step slow to it. Something to keep an eye on.
On Marcos Mateo: (I called him Julio in my last thread, don't know why) He is a big RH who throws a FB,SL,CH with a very long delivery (the PBP guy Vanderwood said it was Gossage esque). Good velocity, solid command, not as consistent as Watson but good, although he did toss one well over the catcher and ump after sitting awhile (5 run inning) Randy Johnson like Circa All Star game vs. Kruk. His line was 2 1/3 1 Hit (a dbl), 3 K's, O BB's 1 ER (Lee Tabor allowed his baserunner to score). He looked pretty good.
On Lee Tabor: LHP His command was bad for his 1st 2 batters a dbl and a HR. But he settled in and started striking guys out quickly. He has a nice 11-5CB I noticed but at this point I was trying to catch up on this report and didn't have time to dbl check his performance. Didn't catch his line either but he did have 1 2/3 and 3K's I believe but allowed his lone inherited runner to score plus 2 ER's of his own.
Jason Lowsma - Had a 3 run jack, but looks like he tries to pull everything.
Juan Francisco - Had an RBI dbl and scored a run, but the CF was playing shallow??? Left the game later, hit with a FB on top of the forearm.
Justin Turner - Nothing new, was given the previous game off (the Dragons 1st loss of the season) and didn't look in sync.
Dennis Phipps - Looked solid again although he needs better plate discipline, not as bad as Francisco's but still needs it. Ultra agressive on the basepaths and has good but not elite speed. Kinda reminds me of Michael Jordan when he played for Birmingham back in the day. Just has that tall lean look, of course not as tall as MJ.
Chris Heisey - Not much new, had a slow day. But noticed he had a funky throw (arm motion, kinda sidearmed it) from LF to 2nd base.
Justin Tordi - Came in for Francisco after he got HBP, that kid has a gun. And good wheels also for a Catcher guess that's why he's a C/SS.
Eddy Rodriguez - Does a nice job behind the plate at calling the game, moving around and framing pitches. Didn't get to see his arm though. His bat is less than stellar although he did make consistent contact.
Logan Parker - Looked like the 2nd best pure hitter on the team behind Valaika. Kept his eyes down on the ball and hit it where it was. Had 2 hits (singles) both resulting in RBI one to each gap.
A few notes on the opponent:
Brandon Buckman 6'6 205 lb 1B LH/LH - Watson (0-2) & Mateo (0-1) owned him he went 1-4 dbl RBI (his dbl of off Tabor) But he killed the Midwest league and was moved up eventually to High-A Palm Beach. Hitting .341, .384, .590 with 14 HR & 19 Dbl's 52 RBI in 278 PA's. He looked lost vs. Watson and that KNC.
Quad City uses the tandem pitching method. I didn't think anyone else used that method. Also one last thing they have the worst looking uni's I have ever seen. Burnt Orange (University of Texas) with North Carolina blue numbers/letters. 1 big # and 1 little #, and they had a ton of guys with #'s well above 50.