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Monday, February 06, 2017

Truckin’ Along

So with the truck (or The Truck) having left Boston for its glorious reappearing in Fort Myers today I thought it might be time to start thinking about spring training.  Because I know you are all worried I leave in 32 days for the Sunshine State.  With that in mind I was thinking about what I am looking forward to at the four games I am going to be attending;

Pablo Sandoval – Hey why mess around?  My father was at the house Saturday night and he said “I want a picture of Sandoval as soon as you arrive.”  I can’t argue.  There aren’t a lot of unknowns heading into 2017 but exactly what the Panda can give us is one of the bigger ones.  I look forward to seeing whether or not those December photos of a slimmed down Sandoval remain accurate or if his New Year’s resolution was to put the weight back on.

Blake Swihart’s Glove  - I expect I will get plenty of opportunity to see Swihart behind the plate as catchers get rotated pretty regularly.  After a lost year of development (grrrrr…) Swihart is going to be back behind the plate in 2017 and I still believe he has the ability to be a good regular catcher.  He won’t be Christian Vazquez back there but if he can be adequate and hit the way most people think he can then the Sox will have a very good player.

Rafael Devers – Devers is on the same vein as Sandoval.  The kid is a heck of a young player but there is some real risk that weight is going to be an issue here.  By all accounts (and photos) he has slimmed down over the years and that is something that has translated into improved defense.  I have seen him only in BP situations in the past but even there the power was impressive regularly hitting the ball noticeably further than others in his age group.  I look forward to seeing him in game action which I have not had the chance to do yet.

Chandler Shepherd – I have been beating the Shepherd drum for a bit but I am hopeful that there is a future reliever here.  He is not overpowering but he is said to come from a bit of an awkward angle that you would expect to be tough on righties but in his three minor league seasons he has had a reverse split. He throws a lot of strikes and I can see him being a solid, steady Eddie out of the bullpen.

Jason Groome – I always enjoy seeing the big draft pick from the previous year in person and Groome was a bigger name than most.  I rarely get to see the minor league pitchers in action as they are on strict throwing programs but it can be telling to compare size of some of these guys.  Groome is a big fella and at just 18 I am curious to see if he looks like a guy who may struggle to keep weight off or if he looks comfortable in his body.

The Guy I Haven’t Thought Of Yet – Every year I go down and every year someone emerges as a guy that impresses me or depresses me for one reason or another.  I do not yet know who that player is but inevitably there will be someone I see that causes a reaction.

Baseball is coming!!!

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: February 06, 2017 at 04:34 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: February 06, 2017 at 07:43 PM (#5396855)
The Guy I Haven’t Thought Of Yet – Every year I go down and every year someone emerges as a guy that impresses me or depresses me for one reason or another.  I do not yet know who that player is but inevitably there will be someone I see that causes a reaction.


I assume it will be some nobody like Chris Sale.
   2. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: February 06, 2017 at 09:09 PM (#5396917)
If Darren checks in this is where he will remind me of how excited I was about Ramon Ramirez. Hmmm....let me think of guys who stuck out;

Clay Buchholz (bad) and Will Middlebrooks (good in minor league camp). Ramon Ramirez the year he got released. John Lackey the year he was historically awful both looked good to me. I remember being not exactly impressed but not horrified at Hanley's defense last year ( I was pessimistic before I saw him). I remember thinking Quintana was a disaster at first base back in 1990.
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 06, 2017 at 09:32 PM (#5396923)
Well you named 5 guys and for 3 of them you mention a possible weight issue. I'm thinking that maybe Dunkin donuts is probably not the best choice of sponsors for our Boston Red Sox...

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