Welcome to the Spring Training recap for February 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 things to watch for in today’s matchups. Let’s dive into it.
- Griffin Canning‘s MRI revealed “chronic changes” to his UCL as well as acute joint irritation. Canning downplayed the severity of the issue, but he is undergoing additional testing
- Evan White has been held out of the Mariners lineup with groin soreness
- The Rays’ Brent Honeywell threw a bullpen session. He is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery
- Carlos Carrasco threw a bullpen session. He is currently recovering from a hip injury
- Stephen Piscotty will begin the season on the IL with an intercostal injury
- Andrew McCutchen will miss Opening Day as he continues his recovery from ACL surgery
- Salvador Perez caught four innings. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery
- Aaron Judge took batting practice. He is recovering from shoulder soreness
Top Hitting Performances
Keston Hiura (2B, Milwaukee Brewers): 2-for-3, 2 R, HR, RBI
Hiura batted second in this game and went yard for his first homer of the spring. The power is legit, but a spot at the top of the Brewers’ lineup would bode well for his stolen base output this year as well.
Brandon Belt (1B, San Francisco Giants): 2-for-2, HR, BB
Belt reached base in all three at-bats in this game, batting third. Belt has always posted above-average barrel rates, and should settle into a premium spot in the San Francisco lineup this season, potentially making him a decent late-round option in deep and NL-only leagues.
Trent Grisham (OF, San Diego Padres): 3-for-3, HR
Alex Fast, er, I mean Trent Grisham continued his torrid spring, singling twice and smacking a home run. He batted second in this game and raised his average to .455. He’s been flashing his speed thus far as well–one single was of the infield variety, and he has one stolen base under his belt already.
Franmil Reyes (OF, Cleveland Indians): 1-for-2, HR, BB
Reyes launched his second home run of the spring, and considering his elite quality-of-contact metrics from last season, should be an excellent source of power this season, splitting time in the outfield and at designated hitter with the Indians.
Alec Bohm (3B, Philadelphia Phillies): 2-for-2, R
Top prospect Alec Bohm continues to make a name for himself this spring. Once again he entered the game as a replacement, and once again he tallied multiple hits. His average this spring is up to .583, and he’ll likely be the first man up this year in the event of an injury to a Phillies infielder.
Michael Brantley (OF, Houston Astros): 1-for-2, 2 R, HR, BB
Michael Brantley continued to do what Michael Brantley does: hit. He hit second again in this game, and it seems increasingly likely that he’ll be entrenched in that spot entering the year, which should bode very well for his run output.
Here was our list of starters to watch from yesterday’s games:
SPs to watch on TV today:
Brandon Bailey – Orioles Prospect, exciting!
Stras – dope dope
Anthony Kay – good enough for rotation?
Stroman – SL usage up?
Kershaw – 91mph velo?
Woodruff – 95+?
Lynn – still 94?
Heaney – good CH & CB?
Cueto – locked in?
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) February 28, 2020
And here’s how some of them fared:
Brandon Bailey (SP, Baltimore Orioles): 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 BBs
This was a solid outing for Bailey, though considering his reputation for having nasty stuff, it was a little disappointing to not see him rack up any strikeouts against the hapless Pirates. Though to be fair, Pittsburgh practically ran their Opening Day lineup out against him in this one.
Clayton Kershaw (SP, Los Angeles Dodgers): 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BB, 4 K
Kershaw’s curve looked sharp in this one, eliciting some ugly swings from Keston Hiura. Perhaps more encouraging than the four strikeouts was that his fastball velocity hit 93 mph–an uptick compared to last year, and possibly a sign that his time spent at Driveline this offseason is paying off.
Stephen Strasburg (SP, Washington Nationals): 1.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BB, 3 K
Strasburg struggled to keep the ball on the ground in this one, and was hit hard, though he did rack up a healthy amount of strikeouts and avoid the long ball.
Anthony Kay (SP, Toronto Blue Jays): 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 3 K
The former Mets prospect looked sharp in this game, generating three strikeouts, albeit against the Detroit Tigers. He has a shot at securing a rotation spot with a strong spring, and this outing certainly helped his case.
Brandon Woodruff (SP, Milwaukee Brewers): 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 K
Woodruff was hit around a bit in this one, though perhaps he can be given a pass considering he was coming up against the Dodgers, and did limit the damage to just one run. Woodruff continues to top out at 98 mph with his fastball, and sit 95, which is a good sign that a repeat of his promising 2019 campaign is in store.
Marcus Stroman (SP, New York Mets): 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BB, 1 K
Stroman faced off against the Cardinals for the second time this spring, and limited the damage to a solo home run for the second time this spring. The two home runs he’s given up so far is a little troubling for someone who makes their living by generating grounders, but it’s still very early.
Lance Lynn (SP, Texas Rangers): 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BB, 3 Ks
Lynn wasn’t too sharp in this one, giving up two runs in the first inning on base hits to Jo Adell and Shohei Ohtani. He settled down though, and managed to pitch into the third–an encouraging sign this early in the spring.
Andrew Heaney (SP, Los Angeles Angels): 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 0 BBs, 2 Ks
Heaney gave up an unearned run in this game but was otherwise fantastic, striking out two. The question with Heaney will continue to be durability, so hopefully he can make his way through the spring with his elbow intact.
What to Watch for Today
SPs to watch today:
CarMart: 94mph + good 2ndary?
Jordan Montgomery: 92+ mph?!
Erod: SL/CT good?
Boyd: CH usage up? 92+?
Bundy: increased CH/SL usage?
Smyly: Is he good?
Peralta: New SL?!?!
Darvish: Fb cmd?
Strip: Good CH?
Lamet: FB cmd?
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) February 29, 2020
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)