It’s early in spring training. The M’s won their eighth game in nine tries today, clubbing the Dodgers 9-5. The games have been filled with power displays by Justin Smoak, Franklin Gutierrez, and Carlos Peguero. Even Brendan Ryan has a homer and the M’s have twenty as a team, the most in the Cactus League.
I know we’re not supposed to get all hot and sweaty about spring training games, especially early spring training games. It’s a long pre-season this year because of the WBC, so these games probably mean even less than usual until the rosters begin to shrink and we begin to see more off the regulars playing. Even so, let me ask you: would you be as interested or excited if the M’s were 1-8 instead of 8-1?
In addition to the homers, we’ve had a chance to see some of the young guys pitch. Thus far, Brandon Maurer, Danny Hultzen, and Taijuan Walker have looked good, while James Paxton needs to improve. Though Blake Beavan and Erasmo Ramirez have both looked good at times, it’s too early to rule out a spot on the 25 roster for at least one of the young guys. Of the guys making a comeback, John Garland looks better than Jeremy Bonderman, but it’s still early.
The M’s hitters continue to strike out at a ridiculous rate and walk very little. Still some things to improve on for spring training.