By Ethan Evans
In case you haven’t noticed, baseball’s started.
You’d know that if you’d been in any of the classes I’ve been teaching the past several weeks. I’ve been sure to count the days down for my students. They hate it, mostly because they’re all Cardinals fans. It creates some pretty great banter. The only thing that could make this day better would be if the Royals game was actually on MLB network. It’s not, so the gamecast will have to be enough.
Roy Halladay started for the Phils today. That’s a pretty far cry from the expected mound schedule that the Royals had.
None of these gentlemen are of the caliber of Doc Halladay, but the schedule got me to wondering. What should we expect out of each of these guys?
Luis Mendoza – Not really sure what kind of effect he’ll have on the rotation. He’s not a big strikeout guy and had an unnaturally good year in the minors last year. The keyword there is “unnatural.” It seems unlikely to me that he’ll be able to replicate his .268 BABIP.
Vin Mazzaro – The problem with Vinnie is that the mere mention of his name instantly brings to mind that game last year where he gave up a bajillion runs* against the Indians and got sent back to the minors. It’s hard to get past that. I don’t really see him forcing Yost to make a decision to insert him in the rotation. If that happens things are probably spiraling.
Sean O’Sullivan – Now, I went to a game last April where O’Sullivan actually looked pretty good against the Mariners. On perusing last year’s stats however, It would seem that I was merely in attendance for one of the VERY few bright spots in Sean’s season last year. He posted an abysmal 2.93 K/9 during his time spent with the big-league ball club. That’s just not going to cut it. When you’re walking (4.01 K/9) more guys than you’re striking out, you’re going struggle. Obviously. He’s another one of those guys who Royals fans should probably hope not to see that much. If he’s getting significant time, things are bad.
Nathan Adcock – I kinda like Nate. He had a some rough outings coupled with a few where he actually looked pretty good. He actually didn’t get a lot of chances to pitch based on his youth and the fact that he had to stay on the MLB roster all season. I’d like to see them find a spot for him. The only problem is that I don’t know that he can break into the rotation and we’ve got a ton of bullpen arms. I hope he finds a niche.
Granted, one or more of these guys could have a ridiculous spring and find themselves in a position that I never could have foreseen. In reality, I just don’t think these are players who will have a huge impact on the fate of the Royals this year.
But that’s kind of the thing about spring training. Some guys come out of nowhere and surprise you. I’m never upset about being wrong about something like this.
Spring training baseball. It’s time.
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