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Spring Training Newsbeat

Monday, April 01, 2019

Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia to debut for Greenville Drive on Thursday

Dustin Pedroia wasn’t quite ready to start the 2019 MLB season. Either that or the Red Sox were scared to put him on the roster. Whatever the case, Pedroia isn’t yet on the team’s major league roster, and the Sox are currently operating without him.

However, Pedroia is seemingly making progress. He played eight innings in an extended spring training game and he will soon be suiting up for the Red Sox’ Single-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive.

Alex Cora said that Pedroia will be with the Drive for their Opening Day on Thursday. That should be a step in the right direction as he looks to return to the Red Sox’ big-league club.

Are we sure that the Greenville Drive aren’t some fusion act from the early 1970s?

 

QLE Posted: April 01, 2019 at 08:10 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, spring training

Monday, March 25, 2019

Miniature stadia, plentiful peanuts and dirty diapers: The joy of baseball spring training

Baseball might look gentle but it is also relentless. The season begins on Thursday and will stretch into October, with every team playing 162 games each. For the first time two will take place in London this year, with the Boston Red Sox facing the New York Yankees at West Ham’s stadium in June.

For now, all 30 teams migrate south to either Florida or Arizona to guarantee appropriate weather for pre-season, or spring training. Florida takes spring training seriously. The stands are full and the excitement is real, but no-one really cares about the score.

“From a results standpoint, no. I don’t think there’s ever been a correlation between what you do down here and the season,” says Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “The one thing I always say is we’re not in spring training to win games, we’re here to get individuals ready for the season.”

The Sox have a vast campus dedicated to that aim known as Fenway South. JetBlue Park, its 10,823-capacity stadium, shares identical dimensions to their normal home Fenway Park, complete with a modified version of the Green Monster outfield wall. There’s no point hitting home runs easily here then finding it twice as hard when it matters.

Spring training, as described for a British audience.

 

QLE Posted: March 25, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

MLB spring training roundup: Cabrera continues torrid spring

Miguel Cabrera continued his resurgent spring Sunday, hitting a two-run homer and two-run double as the Detroit Tigers walloped the Toronto Blue Jays 18-6 in Lakeland, Fla.

Cabrera, who turns 36 on April 18, is coming off an injury-shortened 2018 season in which he hit .299 with only three home runs and 22 RBIs in 38 games. He has only 19 home runs and 82 RBIs in the last two seasons.

But Sunday’s performance now gives the two-time American League MVP five home runs and 15 RBIs this spring, while sporting a .348 batting average and 1.165 OPS.

Here’s hoping that this continues into the regular season- it would be nice to see Cabrera recover after the last two seasons he’s had….

 

QLE Posted: March 25, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, miguel cabrera, spring training

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Legend of Pedey appears to be back for Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Sometimes it seems The Legend of Pedey is greater than the man himself, which is saying something and, also, how legends—and love affairs—work, except that Pedey himself is still, you know, right here.

Dustin Pedroia is 35, has played in three baseball games since the fall of ‘17, stood with his chin on the rail as the Boston Red Sox put another championship on the wall, and otherwise, until lately, has dragged his bum left knee to and from the ballpark. As it is undeniably hard for him to watch a baseball game, it is perhaps harder still to watch him watch a baseball game, like watching a greyhound shiver in a starting gate. That never opens.

Having the Red Sox win with Pedroia in a hoodie, and with them barely breaking a sweat in October, still has a one-arm-tied-behind-their-back vibe to it, if only in part because of The Legend of Pedey. (And, also, because Red Sox second basemen ranked 14th in the American League in OPS.)

“Pedey”?

 

QLE Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:23 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, nicknames, red sox, spring training

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Angel Hernandez seriously ejected Astros manager A.J. Hinch in a spring training game

The baseball season hasn’t even started yet, and Angel Hernandez is already trending for the wrong reasons.

Hernandez, the home plate umpire during a spring training game on Friday between the Astros and Cardinals, tossed Astros manager A.J. Hinch one pitch into the bottom of the first inning.

Hinch grew irritated after a 1-2 pitch by Astros starter Forrest Whitley to the Cardinals’ Harrison Bader in the top of the first was called a ball. Bader later reached on an error.

So, how long before one or the other starts beating up marshmallow salesmen in their spare time?

QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, angel hernandez, ejection, spring training

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Alex Bregman still remembers the one ball that didn’t drop

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Yes, yes, yes, that ball drops and maybe everything’s different.

That ball drops and maybe the cold and drizzly morning in December is unchallenged, and the last rep goes undone, and then in the middle of March when everybody else has had enough swings he doesn’t ask for five more pitches. And then five more. And doesn’t hit that last one to the horizon.

That ball drops and when he wakes up from surgery maybe he doesn’t shout “Goggins!” into the phone, Goggins being David, the Navy SEAL who writes about “taking souls” and being “willing to suffer,” the guy on the other end of the phone being the bemused Houston Astros trainer.

Worse still, the ball doesn’t remember him at all….

 

QLE Posted: March 13, 2019 at 07:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, spring training, the one that got away

Monday, March 11, 2019

The long, rewarding road back for Yankees’ Troy Tulowitzki

TAMPA, Fla.—A slow-played Sunday morning found half the New York Yankees boarding a bus bound for Lakeland, many with a paper coffee cup in one hand, a paper plate of eggs in the other, a bat bag slung over one shoulder. The rest stayed behind to play the Pittsburgh Pirates.

An hour’s an hour, and the disappearance of just the one served to heighten gravity’s devilish pull on another day like the one before and the one before that.

Reggie Jackson, he’s 72 now, padded into the clubhouse, nodded good morning and, on the fly, paged through a print edition of the New York Post. Ron Guidry, 68, unhurriedly chased wisps of steam from his black coffee. Willie Randolph, 64, stopped, said his oldest grandchild is 10 now and that he lives near enough to them all to see them grow, then smiled at wherever the years go.

A spring training slice-of-life, and a reminder that this is the season where hope springs forever eternal.

QLE Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, spring training, troy tulowitzki, yankees

Friday, March 08, 2019

Even in nice weather, spring training can be a grind

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Earlier this week, Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire left several of his top players out of the starting lineup. It was a rainy morning, but that wasn’t the only reason. Gardenhire said some were dealing with aches and pains.

“I talked to a number of our guys,” Gardenhire said Tuesday. “Because of these hard fields in spring training, they get little hips and groin soreness, and I just said — weather, hips and groin, that’s not good. So I just changed the whole lineup.”

It may look like a few weeks of relaxed fun in the sun, but make no mistake: Spring training can be a grind. Pitchers need to build up their arms slowly, and position players face their own challenges. At this time of year, Florida and Arizona climates obviously are better for baseball than many others, but the warm, sunny weather does have a few drawbacks.

Those of us who have been faced with lousy weather for weeks (and with no end in sight) aren’t exactly that sympathetic….

 

QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 04:14 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training, weather

A look at some spring training standouts

The item in this article that caught my eye:

ALBERT PUJOLS, LOS ANGELES ANGELS, DH/1B

The three-time Most Valuable Player started with seven hits in 12 at-bats, including a double and a home run. The 39-year-old’s production has declined over the past several seasons and he hit .245 with 19 homers in 117 games last year, a season cut short by knee surgery in August.

Small sample size at play, or a possible dead-cat bounce?

 

QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 04:10 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

All eyes on Kikuchi during his spring debut for Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Yusei Kikuchi felt the nerves Monday that would normally accompany taking the mound in front of tens of thousands of fans in a major ballpark, not the few thousand who showed up for a spring training game in the desert.

“I’ve been pitching in Japan for the last nine years and I wanted to test what I was doing in Japan against major league hitters and I wanted to see how they reacted,” Kikuchi said through an interpreter. “So I was really kind of excited and also nervous about that.”

Kikuchi made his debut for the Seattle Mariners throwing two innings against the Cincinnati Reds in a start that featured a little bit of everything, from moments of dominance to Kikuchi working out of a jam.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:41 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, spring training, yusei kikuchi

Spring training roundup: Tulowitzki relishes HR against Jays

Troy Tulowitzki homered in his first spring at-bat with the New York Yankees, the blast coming against the team that released him as part of a 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday at Tampa, Fla.

Tulowitzki was let go by Toronto in December and is trying to revive his once-standout career with the Yankees. He delivered a message to the Blue Jays with his shot off right-hander Marcus Stroman as his first-inning swing sent the ball over the wall in the right-field corner.

“No doubt about it, it was definitely extra special,” Tulowitzki told reporters afterward. “It was a team that basically told me I couldn’t play anymore. It is spring training. It is what it is. But it was a big day for myself.”

REVENGE!!!!!

 

QLE Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:41 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: revenge, spring training, troy tulowitzki

Monday, February 25, 2019

Bradfo: Are They Really In The Best Shapes Of Their Lives?

“I’m a machine,” said a smiling (Sam) Travis.

Then there is everyone else.

Brock Holt: “I’m sure I’ve been in better shape, but I’m going to say, ‘Yes, I’m in the best shape of my life,’ because that’s what we’re supposed to say.”

Matt Barnes: “No. We had a month less to train and I went on my honeymoon.”

Ryan Brasier: “I’ve never been in the best shape of my life.”

villageidiom Posted: February 25, 2019 at 04:29 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, boston, boston red sox, red sox, spring training

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Astros’ Hinch: Early split squads ‘worst possible scenario’

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A quirk in Houston’s early spring training schedule will force manager A. J. Hinch to use veteran stars such as outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley earlier than he’d like.

Hinch isn’t pleased that his Astros will play split-squad games — at the New York Mets, home vs. Atlanta — on Sunday, the second day of their Grapefruit League play.

“Tomorrow we have a split squad, which is probably the worst possible scenario for the beginning of camp because I don’t really love playing guys this early,” Hinch said. “As we push the season earlier — into March now — spring training games, now it feels like mid-February, and we’re revving guys up. The position players don’t need as long a time to get ready for a season.”

On the bright side, imagine how strong the Astros would be if splitting them led to their reproducing by budding.

 

QLE Posted: February 24, 2019 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. hinch, astros, spring training

Mariners’ Hernandez gets off to shaky spring start

Felix Hernandez says he’s all set for a bounce-back season.

Now pitching entirely from the stretch, King Felix made his spring training debut Saturday, giving up four runs in 1 1/3 innings as the Seattle Mariners lost to the San Diego Padres 6-4.

The six-time All-Star allowed four hits, only one of them solid. He didn’t walk anyone, but hit a batter and threw just 23 strikes in 42 pitches.

The King hopes that this is small sample size in action….

 

QLE Posted: February 24, 2019 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners, spring training

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Suzuki starts likely last spring opener with a hit for M’s

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki still felt the nerves of competition at age 45.

Suzuki started what may be his final spring training with a two-run, two-out single in the third inning Friday of the Seattle Mariners’ opening 8-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Batting seventh and playing left field, Suzuki fouled out in the second inning against Liam Hendriks and singled in the third off left-hander Ryan Buchter. Suzuki then was replaced by a pinch runner. He did not have any chances in the field.

Ichiro could appear in another twenty or thirty spring trainings- if he wanted to….

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:12 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, mariners, retirement tour, spring training

Spring training roundup: Franco leads Phils over Rays

Regrettably, this isn’t Julio, trying to prove that, indeed, he will keep playing forever….

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:01 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: maikel franco, phillies, spring training

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw dealing with arm injury early in spring training

The start to spring training in Arizona has mainly consisted of rain and grey skies. For the Dodgers, it’s been even worse than the weather.

Clayton Kershaw is shutting it down after not feeling right in his latest live bullpen session on Monday. There is currently no timetable for when the Dodgers ace will continue throwing.

Regarding the extent of the injury, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called Kershaw not throwing more of a “re-set” than anything else on Friday.

And so it begins….

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 04:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: arm injuries, clayton kershaw, spring training

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Giants encouraged by Jeff Samardzija’s progress to begin spring training

Jeff Samardzija said he has eight hurdles to hit this spring: Bullpen session, “heavy” bullpen session, live BP session, and then five Cactus League starts. He got through his live BP on Tuesday and said it felt good. Samardzija threw all his pitches while facing players on a back field.

“No pain, no restrictions,” he said. “I just need more work.”

He’ll get it. Samardzija, coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, will be in the rotation when the Giants kick off spring action this weekend. The Giants are encouraged by how he feels, and anticipate Samardzija being ready to start the season.

“I thought he threw really well,” Bochy said. “He had a nice day out there.”

Assorted notes, concerning spring training for the Giants.

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:40 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeff samardzija, spring training

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Mets, St. Lucie County reportedly near agreement for stadium renovations

The Mets and St. Lucie (Florida) County are reportedly nearing an agreement to renovate First Data Field, where the Mets spend spring training, and keep the team there until 2042, according to the TC Palm’s Keona Gardner.

Amid a report last week that indicated the Mets could have “blown up” their stadium renovation deal, the two sides will bring forth a contract to county commissioners on Tuesday that outlines the renovation project, according to Gardner.

The project would cost $57 million, and the Mets will contribute $2 million, according to county documents obtained by Gardner.

Your periodic reminder that the stadium shakedown game extends to spring-training parks as well.

 

QLE Posted: February 19, 2019 at 04:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, spring training, stadium deals

Monday, February 18, 2019

Rob Manfred: MLB will use pitch clock during spring training

Like it or not, a pitch clock is coming to an MLB spring training game near you.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters Sunday that the league would be making use of a pitch clock during spring training, though it will pretty much only be a cosmetic change as it won’t carry penalties.

This change comes as MLB officials reportedly push to use a pitch clock during the 2019 season in negotiations with the MLB Players Association, though it doesn’t mean an agreement has been reached either way.

“Like it or not”? Who, exactly, likes the do-si-do of pitchers and batters- Mike Hargrove?

 

QLE Posted: February 18, 2019 at 07:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: manfred is thinking about it, pitch clock, spring training

Friday, February 15, 2019

Tigers pitcher Mize, majors’ No. 1 pick, trying to fit in

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — The Detroit Tigers issued jersey No. 74 to Casey Mize and for the next few days, he will be just one of 31 pitchers in camp, trying to get his arm and body ready for a long baseball season.

But the 21-year-old right-hander was the No. 1 pick in the Major League Baseball draft last June, and as Detroit’s No. 1 hope for the future, he was bound to attract more than his share of attention, even while just trying to fit in.

“When you’re a draft pick like that, everybody’s staring at you anyway,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You’ve got your name on your back and everybody’s paying attention and you can put more pressure on yourself.”

Has he given any thought to calling himself The Slightly Bigger Cat?

 

QLE Posted: February 15, 2019 at 06:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: casey mize, spring training, tigers

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

5 spring training storylines you’re going to be real sick of in a month

Look, I don’t blame anyone in Chicago for getting excited about baseball this week. It’s been 20 degrees every day since early October. We’re getting our third ice storm of the year this week.

If you want to put all your eggs into the baseball-starts-this-week basket, go right ahead. There are probably worse ways to spend winter’s last leg than living vicariously through 15-pitch outings and ranking non-roster invitees based on their baserunning skills.

With that said, any professional sports pre-season is objectively torture; the Cubs’ first home game is still eight weeks away. Pitchers and catchers report on Wednesday, and the first game isn’t for 10 days *after* that. There’s a LOT of time between now and then to hammer the same half-dozen narratives into the ground. What narratives, you wonder? Glad you asked! Let’s dive in

These are all Cubs-related- feel free to add other ones in the comments.

 

QLE Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, spring training

Garth Brooks in spring training with Pittsburgh Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Garth Brooks has come out of baseball retirement.

The country music legend will spend just over a week participating in spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates, reporting Monday with the pitchers and catchers.

The 57-year-old has previously been in the camps of the San Diego Padres (1999), New York Mets (2000) and Kansas City Royals (2004). His workouts start Thursday.

Mr. Brooks later admitted that he considered trying this for the Marlins, but decided not to when he realized he had an alarmingly high possibility of making it on their opening-day roster.

 

QLE Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: garth brooks, pirates, spring training

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Long-suffering Padres fans can’t wait to see Tatis Jr.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — With a mighty bat flip and joyous home run trot in winter ball, Fernando Tatis Jr. stirred a frenzy among long-suffering San Diego Padres fans eager to see the hotshot shortstop prospect make it to the big leagues.

Tatis’ bat flip after hitting a walk-off homer in a Dominican Winter League playoff game in early January went viral on social media. Fans envision the 20-year-old doing it at Petco Park, perhaps with fewer theatrics than players can get away with in winter ball.

Tatis’ eagerly awaited major league debut most likely will come this year, if not on opening day then after he gets some time in Triple-A.

Hope they don’t mind waiting a few weeks….

 

 

QLE Posted: February 09, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: fernando tatis jr., padres, spring training

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Here’s when your favorite MLB team reports for spring training

The Super Bowl is over, Tom Brady has another ring and your sports calendar should have turned over a new page — it’s baseball season, folks.

Even though the two biggest free agents this offseason — Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — are still set on the open market, the spring training machine won’t be stopped. Pitchers and catchers report next week, with the full squads coming in a few days later.

The Oakland Athletics are the first team to open camp, on Feb. 10, while most of the league gets started on Feb. 12. Dates for each team vary, so we’re doing you a solid. Here’s a rundown of every team’s spring training report dates.

Well, now is as good a time as any to set up a spring training thread….

 

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

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