Welcome to the Spring Training recap for Monday, March 29. Every day throughout spring training, we’ll be providing a rundown of the top news and performances from the previous weekend’s games, as well as highlighting things to watch for in today’s matchups. Monday was the last full day of Spring Training, so let’s see who’s leaving Florida with the good vibes!
- Shohei Ohtani was pulled from his Monday start versus the Dodgers in the 3rd inning with what is being described as a blister issue on his pitching hand. Uh-oh
- The White Sox sought out a second opinion on the pectoral injury suffered by Eloy Jimenez – and seemed to get the same opinion. He’s out until August at the earliest
- The Angels signed reliable veteran lefty Tony Watson and righty Steve Cishek to identical one year, $1 million contracts to work out of the bullpen
- Reports out of New York indicate that Francisco Lindor is asking the club for a few extra bucks on his extension – $325 Million over 10 years, to be more specific
- Dustin May was named the Dodgers fifth starter on Monday – a huge bit of news that, among other things, relegates David Price to the bullpen to start the year.
Top Hitting Performances
Willy Adames (SS, Tampa Bay Rays): 2-for-2, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI
Although the shadow of Wander Franco looms large in Tampa – and perhaps the largest over Adames – the young shortstop has shown plenty well for himself this Spring. He ends hitting .375 with 4 home runs and 7 RBI, along with a shiny 1.219 OPS. Look for him to start the year somewhere down the Rays lineup, but don’t expect him to stay there for long.
Willians Astudillo (C/1B, Minnesota Twins): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Get it, big boy! Astudillo has had an excellent Spring, fighting for a spot in a loaded Twins lineup. Rocco Baldelli had a brilliant quote about him on Monday, and there’s definite merit to him as the leading man. After going 15-for-39 with a 1.235 OPS and 4 home runs in Spring, he may well be worth a fun – and certainly enticing – flier late in your fantasy drafts.
Bryce Harper (OF, Philadelphia Phillies): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI,
— MLB (@MLB) March 29, 2021
Yes it is.
Santiago Espinal (SS, Toronto Blue Jays): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI
The Blue Jays have given the utility-man every chance to make the club this Spring, and he’s certainly given himself a fighting chance. He ends the pre-season hitting .382 over 34 at bats, with a 1.079 OPS. He is almost certainly going to break camp with the club as a versatile infield option, but I wouldn’t anticipate seeing him often, unless the club faces injury problems.
Miguel Cabrera (1B, Detroit Tigers): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
I don’t care who you are (where you’re from), you’ve gotta love seeing Miggy hit it over the wall. He hasn’t hit particularly well in the Spring (9-for-40, 2 HR, .650 OPS), but appreciate him while we’ve got him.
Willson Contreras (C, Chicago Cubs): 3-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 2B
The Cubs lineup has looked pretty good this Spring, and Contreras is a lynchpin of it. If they’re going to recapture some of the spark they have back in the mid-10’s, they’re going to need him to carry a heavy load. After a strong pre-season campaign (13-for-41, 4 HR, 1.196 OPS), he looks ready.
Adrian Houser (SP, Milwaukee Brewers): 5.2 IP, 2 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 0 ER, 77 P
This time last year, Adrian Houser was going inside the top 120 in fantasy drafts, and was considered a sleeper and a potential breakout candidate. This year, it’s likely that you may not have seen him take at all in your drafts, which speaks to just how disappointing he was in 2020. Still, he’s a pitcher with some potentially nasty stuff, and his Statcast data from Monday shows a 96.2 mph top-out on his Sinker. He’ll start the year as the club’s #3 starter, and has a lot to prove out of that spot
Julio Urias (SP, Los Angeles Dodgers): 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 K, 0 BB
Other than allowing a second inning home run to Phil Gosselin, the outing from Urias on Monday was mint. Dave Roberts was complimentary after the game, and there is a lot to like about Urias when consider his nailed-on #4 spot in that all-timer Dodgers rotation. After 5 strong starts this Spring, he is moving up draft boards – and is a pitcher to keep your eye on heading into April. The Dodgers are lucky ducks.
Brady Singer (SP, Kansas City Royals): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 5 K, 1 BB
What has been an excellent Spring from Singer came to a crescendo on Monday, as he put on an outstanding performance against Cleveland. In 17 Cactus League innings, he struck out 20 and walked just 5. At 24 years old, the 2018 first round pick is coming into his own in KC, and is one to keep an eye on heading into April.
Zach Plesac (SP, Cleveland): 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 HR, 7 K, 2 BB
It hasn’t been a Spring to remember for Zach Plesac, and it concluded with a roller coaster of a final outing on Monday. He ends with a messy 6.56 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 6 Spring starts, and surrendered 9 home runs. This is a guy who still has the stuff to be a top-end starter in the league, but efforts like this will not yield much confidence.
What to Watch for Today
SPs to watch on TV today (last one before opening day!):
Drew Smyly: Sitting 94?
Martin Perez: Good enough to start vs. BAL?
Foltynewicz: Good enough to start vs. KCR?
Civale: How's the repertoire? Four-seamer + Sinker + Cutter + Change + Curve
Dustin May: How long does he go?
— Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) March 30, 2021
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)