Never gets old. - Otto Greule Jr
No defeat of the Angels is meaningless.
Wow, spring training games are boring. A 13-5 blowout of the hated LAAA during the season would have me juiced. Instead, listening to the play by play by Vince Marotta (which is apparently routed to the moon and back to MLB's servers in Guam) has me desperately craving caffeine and listening to M.O.P. - Ante Up on loop to wake me up.
Still, I am told that 3,751 folks in Phoenix Municipal Stadium watched our beloved green and gold crush last year's third place finishers, so that's pretty good.
The game was actually a mildly interesting back-and-forth affair until the A's C-team put up a 6-spot in the 8th against Chad Cordero, who signed a minor league deal with the Angels this spring. Apparently he hasn't recovered from the labrum tear that derailed a solid career (2.89 ERA over 314 relief appearances).
- Dan Straily is going to AAA after Bartolo Colon returns. Straily would have had to destroy batters this spring to make a case for the rotation, but instead he gave up 4 hits and 2 runs in 2 1/3 innings; this performance actually lowered his spring ERA. He did have 2 K's and no walks, which is really what matters.
- Cespedes got his first hit (a line drive single to center) and threw out Hank Conger at second base. He also had a walk. Hopefully any mild panic that A's fans were feeling will subside.
- John Jaso had a bases-clearing triple in the 4th. I think we are all going to enjoy watching him hit. He was ridiculously late to try to throw out Trout stealing second base, but I'm guessing part of that was the pitcher's fault.
- Speaking of which, Mike Trout will continue to be a thorn in our side. He was 3-3 with a double (off Straily) and two singles, along with that SB. One of the singles was a broken bat infield single. Cespedes and Trout are going to make every A's - Angels game a must-watch this year.
- Brandon Moss went 2-for-3 and looks to be rounding into form.
- Josh Donaldson went 0-for-2 and is hitting .059 this spring...shades of last March/April. I don't want to read too much into this, but...
- Shane Peterson continued his impressive spring. If he performs like he did last year in AAA he is all but assured of being the first OF called up.
- Ryan Cook allowed a 3-run HR to Vernon Wells. The ball bounced off the top of the fence but was ruled a HR. Say what you want about Wells' contract, but the guy isn't completely devoid of talent (just nowhere near $21MM of talent...).
- Our spring C-team is awesome. Jefry Marte, super under-the-radar pickup, is hitting .444. Peterson is .435, David Freitas is over .600, and Darwin Perez is hitting a solid .400 and vying for a spot on the all-name team. All had hits today. If a couple of them continue to produce, then that would go a long way toward shoring up the farm.
- Jason Vargas. I'm convinced they signed him just to beat the A's. And he delivered with 2 scoreless innings. Sigh.
- The A's are the only team not sending any players to the World Baseball Classic. Once again, other GM's are jealous of Billy Beane.