I didn't see a game thread today to share my thoughts in, but I made it out to this afternoon's game in Bradenton, my first spring training game I've ever gone to. Sorry but I don't have too much to share...I came to Bradenton with some college buddies and they aren't too into baseball so it's sort of like pulling teeth to get them off the beach and to a game. Therefore, we sat out in the bleachers and arrived right before game time. I think I'll be heading over to tomorrow afternoon's game by myself and they will hit the beach instead...probably better for all involved.
Anyways, onto today's game with the Louisville Bats playing the Pittsburgh Pirates....at least that was what it seemed like looking at the lineups.
Some notes and observations:
- Aaron Harang - I was out down the right field line in the bleachers so I couldn't see the pitching too well but it really looked to me like Harang had his curve working. Throwing it for a lot of first pitch strikes. Some Pirates got good contact on him but the wind was blowing in and it knocked a lot of them down. He also had some great defense behind him. He got into a little trouble throughout getting behind early in the count but that was mostly the first inning and the last couple innings. He really hit a groove in the middle there.
- Adam Rosales should be on this team. He played EXCELLENT defense at third today. He made at least 3 plays that put Encarnacion to shame. If he can hit then he needs to be in Cincinnati. I also loved his hustle and I noticed talking to some other fans that they made the same comment. It sure is easy to make it into the hearts of Cincinnati fans...just hustle down to first after a walk.
- Paul Janish - Nothing stood out in the game, but he makes defense look so easy. I wish I could look that good fielding infield tosses and firing them to first.
- Dernell McDonald (or however you spell it) - He looks like he really wants to make the club. I'm not sure what kind of spring he's had or what he's done in his career (been busy with college exams lately) but he looked great today. He has some good speed, hustled hard and got excellent breaks when on the basepaths. On both the failed hit and runs he easily had second stolen. And I think he had 2 SB's as it was. Also played good defense.
- Josh Roenicke - Faced the scrubs in the 9th, but his stuff looked good. Nice fastball and good off speed stuff.
- Can't say much about how Weathers or Lincoln looked, we went on an ice cream run then and ran into a guy working the concession stand who was the superintendent of all of our high school alma mater for 25 years in the 1960's thru 1980's. Talk about random, I knew the guys name from seeing it on plaques and stuff in grade school. Pretty cool he noticed one of my buddies wearing a t shirt from high school.
- Castillo looked good behind the plate. He has a heck of an arm from what I saw. Made 2 perfect laser throws from his knees to try and pick runners off. He also had a really nice bunt base hit. I hope he gets a lot more time at catcher and hopefully his bat can develop a bit more. I was very impressed with his D today though.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Lots of nice people and good Pirates fans. Had a lot of fun teasing a couple Pirates fans around me who kept telling me they were gonna come back. A good bunch of people and a perfect afternoon for a ball game.
I'm planning on hitting the game tomorrow and then Wednesday and Thursday's games as well. I'd like to try and make it over to the minor league fields before the game tomorrow but I'll have to see when I get up. Loving the sun so far.