Spring Training Recap: April 5

News and notes from Tuesday's games.

Real, official, MLB games are so close with just one day until Opening Day now. April 5 marked the last full slate of Spring Training games and thus the last opportunity to see some of baseball’s biggest stars in action before the games actually count. So, let’s waste no time and jump into what happened around baseball on Tuesday.

 

News

 

  • Ryan Pressly and the Astros agreed on an extension that will keep the closer in Houston through at least the 2024 season with a vesting option for 2025. The 33-year-old has been a consistent stopper at the end of the Astros’ bullpen, posting a 2.45 ERA in his time there.
  • The Cardinals set their starting rotation to start the season, which will not feature Luke Weaver. One of the key pieces in the Paul Goldschmidt deal, Weaver will instead work out of the bullpen to begin 2022.

 

  • Tampa Bay will be seeing more of Manuel Margot in years to come as the Rays and the outfielder came to terms on an extension. Margot inked a two-year, $19 million deal that will kick into effect in 2023.
  • After failing to break camp with the major league club, the Reds have opted to release Shogo Akiyama. The 33-year-old had struggled with Cincinnati since coming over from NPB in 2020. Unless Akiyama is claimed off waiver, the Reds will owe the outfielder the $8 million on his contract for this year.

 

  • The Brewers will be without their backup catcher for the first half of the season after it was announced that Pedro Severino would be suspended 80 games for violating the league’s PED policy. Severino tested positive for Clomiphine.
  • Former Yankee relief ace Dellin Betances signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers. The 34-year-old reliever has struggled to stay on the field in the past three seasons.

 

  • 2015 Home Run Derby champion and two-time All-Star Todd Frazier announced his retirement on Tuesday. The third basemen hit 218 career home runs across his 11 MLB seasons with six different clubs.

 

Top Hitting Performances

 

Charlie Blackmon (OF, Colorado Rockies): 3-for-3, RBI, 2 R

Blackmon may be aging, but he isn’t over the hill. The longtime Rockies outfielder showed he still has plenty left in the tank with a 3-for-3 day at the plate. He’s slashing .355/.432/.581 this spring.

 

Miguel Cabrera (1B, Detroit Tigers): 3-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, R

Spencer Torkelson may have made the Opening Day roster, but the veteran Cabrera isn’t going anywhere. He highlighted his monster day at the plate with a big fly in the fourth inning that looked–and sounded–like vintage Miggy.

 

Nick Senzel (OF, Cincinnati Reds): 2-for-2, HR, 3 RBI, R

After the Reds dealt Jesse Winker, more attention focused on what Nick Senzel could deliver for the club. If Spring Training is anything to go off of, the Reds will forget all about Winker. Senzel is 11th in all of baseball in OPS this spring.

 

Keibert Ruiz (C, Washington Nationals): 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R

The centerpiece of a deal that sent Trea Turner to the Dodgers, there’s a lot of pressure for Ruiz to perform with the Nationals. So far, Nationals fans can be happy with the return Ruiz has provided, including a stellar 2-for-3 day with a home run on Tuesday.

 

Byron Buxton (OF, Minnesota Twins): 2-for-2, HR, RBI, R

Buxton continued what has been a blistering spring for the Twins outfielder. He put together a perfect 2-for-2 afternoon and went back to back with his new teammate, Carlos Correa. His OPS in Grapefruit League play is now north of 1.600.

 

Top Pitching Performances

 

Adrian Houser (SP, Milwaukee Brewers): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 K

Out of a deep Brewers pitching staff, Houser often goes overlooked behind some of the bigger names. Understandably there’s been some concern about Houser repeating his numbers from a year prior. But, in the righty’s final spring tune up he looked sharp, notably his breaking ball. In six innings, Houser allowed just two hits and no walks.

 

Steven Matz (SP, St. Louis Cardinals): 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 1 BB

Matz did nothing but impress on Tuesday, cruising through six innings of work. The Cardinal notched five strikeouts to only one walk, all while not allowing a run. If Matz can keep this up, the Cardinals rotation might stay afloat while Jack Flaherty recovers on the IL.

 

Alek Manoah (SP, Toronto Blue Jays): 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 K

The young Blue Jays starter has many fans excited and Tuesday he showed why. In 4 2/3 innings of work, Manoah fanned four and didn’t allow a run. This spring Manoah has been nearly untouchable with his ERA below 1.00.

 

Erick Fedde (SP, Washington Nationals): 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 1 BB

Erick Fedde has shown flashes of the stuff to be a quality MLB starter, and Tuesday was one of those flashes. His strikeout stuff looked strong as he fanned five Mets in his 4 2/3 innings and didn’t allow a run.

 

What to Watch for Today

 

 

Graphic by Michael Packard (@artbyMikeP on Twitter & IG)

Noah Bortle

Noah Bortle is a freelance writer from Massachusetts. When he isn't arguing the merits of Shelby Miller or discussing the yips, he can be found traveling, hiking, or playing video games. His writing can also be found at College Hockey News.

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