Spring Training Recap 2022: March 28

Everything you need to know about Monday's Spring Training games.

Welcome to the Spring Training recap for March 28! Every day throughout Spring Training, we’ll be providing a rundown of the top news and performances from the previous day’s games and highlighting players to watch in today’s matchups. We had 12 games on the schedule yesterday, so let’s get to it!

 

News

 

  • Albert Pujols is home! The St. Louis Cardinals signed the 1B/DH to a one-year, $2.5 million contract; Pujols confirmed this would be the final year of his career, which has included two World Series rings and three NL MVP awards.
  • Andrew Vaughn is confirmed to be out for the next few weeks with a hip pointer injury. He will likely open the regular season on the 10-day injured list.

 

  • Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell confirmed that both Mike Minor and Luis Castillo will start the regular season on the IL and was non-committal on when both would be ready to return.
  • Evan Longoria will be undergoing surgery to repair a ligament in his right index figure and will be out for a minimum of 10 days. He injured the finger last season and it has been preventing him from participating in any game action during Spring Training.

 

  • Pete Fairbanks underwent an MRI today, according to Marc Topkin at the Tampa Bay Times. He was recommended to not throw for six weeks and could be out until midseason. Fairbanks left the Rays’ game on Sunday and had been diagnosed with tightness in his right lat muscle. The Rays were initially optimistic about a quick recovery, but it certainly looks like they’ll need to look at other options to fill out their bullpen in the next few months.
  • The Twins and Chris Archer agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with a $10 million mutual option for 2023. Archer has dealt with injuries the past two seasons, but the Twins clearly think he’s healthy enough to fill the open spot in their rotation. It’s important to note that the Twins are familiar with Archer, as current manager Rocco Baldelli was a coach with the Rays during Archer’s two All-Star seasons in Tampa Bay, and Josh Kalk, who works in the Twins’ front office, also was previously with the Rays.

 

  • LaMonte Wade Jr. suffered a knee injury in the Giants’ game on Monday and was reported to be walking gingerly and requiring assistance walking up stairs. While no official news has come from the Giants regarding Wade’s condition, it would be quite a blow to the team to lose one of their breakout contributors from the 2021 campaign.
  • Brent Honeywell Jr. was officially shut down after an MRI/CT scan revealed a stress reaction in his right elbow. Honeywell was traded from the Rays to the A’s during the offseason and was hoping to make the Opening Day rotation.

 

  • Sam Coonrod was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain and will be shut down for the next five to seven days. Coonrod debuted last year with a 4.04 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 42 appearances, but now will likely not make the Opening Day roster.
  • Cristian Javier will be starting the season in the bullpen, according to Astros’ manager Dusty Baker. This confirms that Jake Odorizzi will likely be the No. 5 starter for the Astros, although Javier will certainly be expected to contribute early in the season as the Houston starters continue to get stretched out.

 

  • The Dodgers traded Matt Beaty to their in-division rivals, the Padres, for River Ryan. The INF/OF had been designated for assignment last week, but now will compete with Jurickson Profar to start in left field.

 

Top Hitting Performances

 

Andrew Benintendi (OF, Kansas City Royals): 2-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R

Any game when your team scores 19 runs in a win is a good game. Any game where you also get to hit two homers is a great game. Benintendi hit two dingers off Adam Scott, leading the Royals to a 19-9 win over the Guardians.

 

Jorge Alfaro (C, San Diego Padres): 2-for-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R

Alfaro continued his hot spring with his fourth homer of the preseason, taking Garrett Crochet deep in the 6th inning. The former Marlin has slashed .400/.438/1.267 in 6 games for the Padres while hitting as many homers this Spring Training as he did all of last season. While this power is certainly not sustainable once Opening Day comes, the Padres might have found a pretty good backup catcher.

 

 

Ozzie Albies (2B, Atlanta): 2-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R

Albies hit a double in the third inning and followed that with a solo home run in the 5th inning. The All-Star Silver Slugger has had a relatively quiet spring, going 4-for-15 with one HR and 2 RBI.

 

 

Nick Castellanos (OF, Philadelphia Phillies): 2-for-3, 1 HR, 2, RBI, 1 R

Castellanos crushed a pitch from Dean Kremer in the first inning into deep left field for a home run, the first step in validating the $100 million contract that the Phillies gave the former Red this offseason. He followed that up with a double in the 5th inning. Castellanos has batted cleanup in the two games he’s appeared in this preseason, possibly signaling that the Phillies intend to leave him there to start the season and move J.T. Realmuto to the second spot on the lineup card.

 

 

Ronald Guzmán (1B, New York Yankees): 3-for-4, 5 RBI, 2 R

Guzmán had a nice afternoon, hitting a double and bringing in 5 runs, helping the Yankees to an 11-7 win over the Tigers. The non-roster-invitee had been looking to potentially fill the vacancy at first base before Anthony Rizzo signed with New York, but still might be a good occasional defensive fill-in.

 

Pitching Round-Up

 

Corbin Burnes (SP, Milwaukee Brewers): 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

It was business as usual for the reigning NL Cy Young winner, going five innings, striking out 8 and giving up one run. He gave up a leadoff hit to LaMonte Wade Jr., and then proceeded to shut down the Giants for the rest of the afternoon.

 

 

Clayton Kershaw (SP, Los Angeles Dodgers): 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Kershaw threw four innings of one-hit ball, looking sharper than his previous two outings this spring. The 34-year old veteran looks to be ready for another quality season — let’s just hope the health is quality as well.

 

Noah Syndergaard (SP, Los Angeles Angels): 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Thor pitched in his first major league Spring Training game of the season, going almost four innings with one unearned run and four strikeouts. After signing a one-year, $21 million deal with the Angels in the offseason after struggling with injuries, Syndergaard hopes to regain the form that made him a premier pitcher for the Mets.

 

 

Jordan Hicks (RP, St. Louis Cardinals): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Hicks was throwing heat today in his first appearance of Spring Training, with six sinkers over 100 mph. While he had a fairly dismal 17% CSW on the sinker, with zero whiffs, he still managed to get two strikeouts. The Cardinals are still waffling between stretching Hicks out to be a starter or keeping him as a high-leverage reliever, so he may be stuck as a middle reliever for the time being while the Cardinals make their decision. Regardless, it’s fun to see all that red in pitch velocity again.

 

 

Spencer Strider (SP, Atlanta): 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Strider pitched two and a third innings of no-hit ball. Hot on the news that Atlanta intends to use a six-man rotation to start the season, Strider certainly gave a performance worth considering for that sixth spot (as well as prompting Lord of the Rings memes in the PL+ Discord). The former Clemson Tiger spent most of 2021 in Double-A, but did have two relief appearances for Atlanta during the last two games of the regular season. In Double-A, Strider was a strikeout machine, with 94 Ks in 63 innings. He did struggle with command, with a 10.9% walk rate.

 

 

What to Watch for Today

 

 

Graphic by Michael Packard (@artbyMikeP on Twitter and Instagram)

John Ke

John is a longsuffering Twins fan and still gets triggered by the mention of "rally monkeys". You can also catch him on the "This Week in Fantasy Baseball" podcast.

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