Baseball is back. This weekend we all got to enjoy the pleasure of sitting on our couch, and taking in the view of Cardinal baseball on FSN once again. It’s just Spring Training, but for most of us, it just feels good to have the game back in our lives. Now I don’t want to look too much into three exhibition games, but I figured I would share some of my thoughts and analysis from the three games this weekend.
Kolten Wong looks lost. After hitting horribly last year in the big leagues, I’ve expressed concern time and again that Wong may not be ready. I’m trying my hardest not to look deeply into six exhibition at bats, but it is startling that Wong is 0-6 with four strikeouts. The young 2nd baseman has taken some awful hacks, and has yet to hit the ball hard. I’m going to let Spring Training play out before panicking about Wong, but this problem is deeper than 6 AB’s.
The young arms just keep coming. We saw it last year, a wave of young pitchers coming through St. Louis with the likes of Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Kevin Siegrist, etc. While the next wave may not be as highly touted, there certainly is no shortage of pitching in the organization. Zach Petrick, Keith Butler, Lee Stoppelman, Sam Freeman, and most impressively Tim Cooney have all looked great early this spring. That’s what happens when you have a great scouting department and draft well, great young pitching just keeps on coming.
Randal Grichuk is competing for a ML roster spot. This kid has some pop! Grichuk homered twice in a coach pitched scrimmage last week, and put on a power display over the weekend. He followed that performance by muscling a triple off his shoe tops to deep centerfield, doubling to nearly the same spot, and being robbed of two other extra base hits. The power is no fluke, the 22 year old outfielder hit 22 home runs for the Angels AA affiliate last year. He did suffer a defensive lapse when he got a bad break on a shallow fly to left, and has struck out three times already. However, Grichuk has power and potential, two things the Cardinals bench could desperately use until Oscar Taveras arrives.
It’s just three quick observations, but I thought those were the points we could take away from the first weekend of spring ball. It is after all just exhibition, reading too much into it is naïve. It does get you excited for the season though, excited for baseball, and for competition. Let’s go Cardinals!
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