• AJ Puk only works with the bullpen.
Puk, 25, will work out of the bullpen helping a depleted auxiliary corps that have staged 16 2/3 innings against Houston in the past four days. The situation was so bad that the A’s even had to call rookie outfielder Ka’ai Tom to place the ninth inning on Sunday.
I’m just not sure if Puk will be fantasy relevant this season.
• Andrés Giménez is expected to be the full-time shortstop …
“Giménez, he’ll be right back,” said Francona. “I just want to keep Amed in the lineup today. We’re going to mix and match something. Amed will move back and forth a bit. He’s certainly not just a train player. We’ll make sure everyone stays at a point where they can be productive. “
… While Amed Rosorio dives into his outfield role.
If the team expects to play against Giménez on a regular basis, it means that Rosario’s time in midfield could come soon.
• The team blames Bobby Dalbec’s fights for jumping training.
However, Cora made it a two-day affair when Dalbec was again out of the line-up against Ray ace Tyler Glasnow.
“I mean, he didn’t swing the club well at the end of spring training after it was hit [by a pitch]”Cora said.” And he feels like there are a few things he’s working on and he needs to make adjustments. Maybe we’ll use him late in the game and tomorrow he’ll be back on first base. “
You can wait until his hand is 100% before playing him every day.
• Andrew Benintendi’s struggles resulted from contact in the strike zone.
One of the most worrying elements of Andrew Benintendi’s struggles in 2019-20 was his decline in exposure to pitches in the strike zone. In 2018, he contacted 83.9 percent of the parking spaces in the zone. The number fell to 78.7 percent in 2019 and 76.7 percent in 2020. In three games with the Royals, his contact percentage in the zone was 70.6 percent.
A few weeks ago during spring training, scouts discovered Benintendi’s breath on the pitches in the zone. Perhaps, they wondered if it was a by-product of his continued work to get his bat trail back to the way it was in 2018.
It’s not a good sign that he’s in contact with Miguel Sano and Joey Gallo.
• Nicky Lopez was working on a mechanical adjustment when he was promoted.
Spring training this season was no different. Lopez fought mightily so the royals chose him. The plan was for him to make mechanical adjustments and then test them out in co-op games in the fields in Surprise, Arizona. When shortstop Adalberto Mondesi was added to the list of injured, that plan was crumpled and thrown in the trash.
On the day it was selected as an option, Lopez and Royals, director of stroke development Alec Zumwalt, among others, took a detailed look at Lopez’s 2018 video and compared it to the video of his swing in spring training 2021. Lopez noticed the differences. The lack of rhythm in his pre-pitch setup.
His .866 OPS is by far the best he has met with the majors.
• Carlos Rodón added a curveball.
A curveball has never been featured on Rodón’s scouting report, and at least at this point he has eluded Statcast’s otherwise detailed tracking of his career. A Baseball Savant score sheet would have the impression that its slider was between 72 and 89 mph, a huge difference between two fields of play, let alone within one. The sharp wipeout slider depicting the latter was Rodón’s salvation when his command and speed missed him and was amply exhibited on Monday. The curveball is the former and just this spring it turned out to be something that could be ready to use right out of the box.
While he only tossed it five times, he got a swing and miss.
• Zack Collins is said to be Lucas Giolito’s catcher.
That confidence and comfort fueled the coaching staff’s willingness to match Collins with Giolito, who had praised the insights Collins gave in spring practice and encouraged him to be louder.
This move shows the priority of the Sox with the catcher. Right now, it’s not Yermín Mercedes who is unlikely to win a major league game and remain a utility-only player.
• Trevor Williams is working with a new pitch mix.
This isn’t the same thing Williams teams have seen in the past two years. This guy had left his sinker to go north to south with his four-seater and his corner. If his pitch distribution and effectiveness on Monday are a sign of the future, this version should look very different.
The results so far have been good with six rashes and two earned runs in six innings.
• Aaron Sanchez didn’t see his 2020 speed pace and it fell on his last start.
The 28-year-old from Barstow, Calif. Held up the Padres’ strong line-up for six singles – three of whom never left the infield – and crowned his Giants debut by pulling out the last seven batters he faced. Sanchez’s speed began to slow towards the end of his 74-pitch effort, but he managed to dig deep and end his night by hitting Tommy Pham with a fastball of 89 mph.
After reporting to Scottsdale, Arizona for spring training, Sanchez did most of his job in the controlled environment on the backcourts, appearing in only two Cactus League games prior to the start of the regular season. He has not stepped up his premium speed yet, hitting an average speed of 91.5 mph on his two-stitched fastball on Tuesday, but said he was confident that if he kept his arm strength up, he would see an increase builds up.
Sanchez’s final results were okay (a run over five innings) but the pace values are worrying. Here, all of his pitches are plotted in the order that the top points (fastballs) drop 3 miles per hour.
• Nick Neidert was still grappling with the impact of COVID-19 when he returned to the team last season.
“Nick is a guy who got hurt by 2.0 [Summer Camp] and COVID last year, “Marlin’s manager Don Mattingly said during a Zoom call. “He never seemed to recover after contracting COVID.
With Elieser Hernandez and Sixto Sánchez injured, Neidert will join the rotation and its owners may want to ignore his 2020 results (5.40 ERA, 1.44 WHIP).
• The team plans to take a step closer, and right now that person is Mark Melancon.
However, Tingler has also indicated that he prefers to have a specific seamstress rather than a committee-by-committee approach. All four of those assistants are experienced in the role, but no more than Melancon, who worked a 2-3 ninth on seven fields to record his 206th career in the 8-7 win over Arizona on opening day in San Diego. In Friday’s 4-2 win, the right-hander threw another goalless ninth place, working on a mistake and a single, both of which came out with a mistake, to secure his second save of ’21.
“He’s been doing it for a long time,” said Tingler. “He’s done it more than 200 times. Experience plays a role, personality plays a role. He can control his heart rate. He’s a pitch maker. He’s got guns. And even on the days when his stuff isn’t particularly good, he has an attitude of being able to get outs and get it done. “
Well, no savings for Emilio Pagán or Drew Pomeranz unless it’s one-off or Melancon bouts.
• The last time Joey Votto hit the ball that hard was six years ago.
Votto’s RBI single in Martinez’s fourth inning was measured at 113.6 mph from the bat, only his second ball at an exit speed of more than 110 mph since 2015. The other was also against the Cardinals, a home runner last season with 113.2 mph against Adam Wainwright (and also scored Castellanos) on September 11th.
These are the only two hits Votto has had with an exit speed greater than 110 mph since 2015, according to StatCast.
Fantasy managers have been disappointed with Votto’s power for the past few seasons. It looks like its strength is back with a new approach.