Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22...Spring training rolls on

Now that spring training is ongoing and all players are in and have reported, routines and workouts are in full swing.  The reception in all camps seem to be favorable and players are ready to get after it.  The first spring training games start this weekend and the healthy players are anxious to begin.

Injuries are still prevalent but on account mostly to last season's damage.  The biggest star out from injuries is a key homerun hitter for Minnesota; Justin Morneau.  Last season he suffered a concussion trying to break up a double play and has yet to fully recover from it.  Minnesota was instantly a different team without him and even though they were able to win the AL central last year, they were quickly dealt by the Yankees in the ALDS.  Morneau looks to be hitting and working out in drills but the Twins are being very cautious with him and hope that he is ready to go by the beginning of the season.  Not that I am questioning him at all, but his concussion seems to have really affected him and I just don't see how that concussion has kept him out this long.  I mean concussions in the NFL are unfortunately a dime a dozen and I am just a little confused as to why Morneau is taking so long to get over this injury.  I mean come on; he is a Canadian, which means he was breed on hockey making him tougher than most baseball players.  I just hope for his return and for his hockey mentality to take over and motivate him to tough it out and play ball already.

The only other injury to a player worth talking about is Frank Francisco of the Toronto Blue Jays.  Frankie was with Texas last year and after they avoided arbitration with him for this year, they traded him to Toronto flat out for Mike Napoli.  The trade seemed to be fair on both sides and it addressed areas that both clubs needed to address.  Frankie though is feeling soreness in his throwing arm.  According to the Jays, Frankie missed his second scheduled bullpen session today with soreness.  Such as the case was for Cliff Lee, maybe Frankie's injury from last year that sidelined him in Texas is still bothering him now in Toronto.  This injury though is skeptical for Toronto to look at.  Maybe Frankie does not like his new club, maybe he is seeing how everything plays out with his new team as he settles in, or maybe Texas knew that he could possibly have a resurging injury.  Either way Toronto should be a little annoyed and frustrated.

The Brewers made some really good moves this offseason and many analysts believe they could be the real deal this season.  Adding pitchers Zack Greinke and Shawn Marcum were very important additions to the club and they look to be a complete team from top to bottom.  Despite these moves, they are really going to have to hit it big this season because next season will be completely different.  The Brewers' FAs are: Prince, Corey Hart, and Marcum.  Those three players are part of that core group in their clubhouse and unless they are able to go to the post season, those players will likely be on different teams later this year or next year.  Prince will probably be the one gone by the trade deadline if and when the Brewers are out of contention.  He will be very expensive in the offseason and Milwaukee just does not have the money to keep him there.  I'm sure that when they trade him they will get 3-4 players for him and that should be a good move for a team trying to get that last power bat for the post season.  Corey Hart is also a power bat that will be just like or be a good substitute for Prince to a team looking to go to the playoffs.  Marcum was traded by Toronto and then sign by the Brewers for this year only and I believe he will pitch well, especially going from the AL east to the NL central (American League teams are harder to pitch to especially in the eastern division).  Despite Marcum being a new addition, because he was only signed for this year he could be a guy that a team going into the playoffs needs in their rotation.  A return on him could be possibly 2-3 players and that could work for him, but it depends on how he pitches this year.  Either way, I think the Brewers made really good moves this past offseason and I hope they perform the way everyone in Milwaukee hopes they do; likely though, they will not.

What do y'all say?

1 comment:

  1. Agree with your point on Morneau. Fun fact: his OPS was higher than MVP Josh Hamilton's until he was injured last season. A few weeks to months, sure. They say he has "lingering symptoms", but many months? My sister has had multiple concussions (none that I caused of course) and recovered faster...Brew crew will be better, but don't think good enough to make the playoffs. They would have to beat out the Cards and whoever else from the NL East and West for a wild card spot. I don't see that happening, despite their improvements.

    - John