Friday, March 27, 2015
BYB HOT STOVE: VOLUME XX
Another week closer to opening day and it is about time! Let's take a look at what's happening across the MLB. First up- Alex Rodriguez is giving out compliments these days, specifically to his new teammate and short stop Didi Gregorius. As a matter of fact, Rodriguez, according to Ken Rosenthal, is morphing into a future scout, breaking down our new short stop in numbers and adjectives.
"What you see in a lot of young players are 6 or 7 arms, but then their accuracy is 3 or 4. Which is normal, par for the course. As they get older, they go from a 7-1/2 arm to about a 5-1/2 or 6-1/2 and their accuracy goes to about 6. But when you have that combination at 25 years old of crazy range, 7-plus arm, 7-plus accuracy ... even Ozzie [Smith], he had 7 accuracy but he didn’t have 7 arm strength. [Gregorius] has made plays from the hole, from his back foot, throwing the ball 90 mph across the diamond from his back foot. You don’t see that. It also makes it a lot easier for your third baseman to play third base," according to Rodriguez. This is really positive...really positive and if this isn't complimentary enough, another veteran, praised Gregorius for his performance on the field. "Didi is unbelievable, as good a shortstop as I’ve seen,” first baseman Mark Teixeira said. “And I’m not over-exaggerating.”
This is incredibly encouraging, now if he can hit with as much excitement and power, then we would be in business. According to Rosenthal, "Gregorius is intent upon improving his offense -- he’s working to keep his body looser at the plate, not stiffening up the way he did in the past. For what it’s worth, his spring performance -- 10 for 35 with three doubles, two triples and two walks -- has been encouraging. He’s young, he’s energetic, he’s athletic. I don’t know about the rest of the Yankees, but the new shortstop, at least, will be fun to watch." Let's see what he can do- give the guy a chance and who knows? The possibilities are endless!
Turning to pitching, another man down in Colorado this week. According to Nick Groke of the Denver Post, "Jorge De La Rosa, the Rockies' No. 1 arm, is nearer to the disabled list than the pitching mound. It's doubtful he'll be ready to start the season. Other than playing catch right now, he's pretty much shut down," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday. De La Rosa is suffering from a left groin strain that has hampered him all spring." To add salt to the wound, Groke states that, "Weiss described De La Rosa's injury as "chronic " — a worrisome word for a team that used a club-record 15 starting pitchers last season." This is not good for the Rockies who continue to battle through the thick competition of the National League West and their ace pitchers.
Finally, the Mets are keeping an eye out for a closer amidst their pitching injury woes. According to Mark Saxon's Twitter feed, the Mets closely watching three Dodgers left-handed relief options — J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez and Adam Liberatore — in case any of the three become available. As we mentioned last week in Hot Stove XIX, Josh Edgin is out with Tommy John surgery leaving a left-handed void in their pen. The Mets are also taking a closer look at former Yankee pitcher Boone Logan and recent word is the Mets are still interested in Rookie lefty closer Rex Brothers. Pitching is where the Mets have excelled over the last couple of years and they are hoping that this will help them contend this year, earning a spot in the post season. We shall see.
That's it for BYB Hot Stove. See you next week!
-Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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