- There was only one steal attempted against Carlos Santana who has made a name for himself as an offensive catcher in the Indians/ChiSox series. That was Brent Morel in the 6th inning of the Apr. 2nd contest and I had Santana at 1.94. Not great, but not awful either. His throw was high and went into center but it wouldn't have mattered as Carlos Carrasco's pitch gave him almost 0 chance.
- I had Royals rookie Aaron Crow at 91-93 on his fastball with good late sink. Also showed a hard slider at 85-86 that was legit plus. Pitch was always good but consistency was the issue. Control was good not great.
Fellow Royals rookie Tim Collins, the diminutive 5'7" lefty (I'm pretty much obligated to mention his stature every time I mention him...) also looked good. Fastball 91-93 but his lack of height hurts his plane and the pitch is fairly straight. Loved his changeup at 81-82 with good sink and he showed good feel for his 11/5 curve at 73-74. Hitters struggle to pick him up with his funky delivery and his stuff is legitimate plus. Started two batters with the curve and another with the FB, so he'll throw anything at any time.
He pitched the final three innings against the Angels last night, allowing just two hits and racking up 5Ks. It was a dominant performance from any bullpen pitcher, let alone a rookie, and it gave his team time to finish the comeback with yet another walk-off win. A must-see outing for any fan of the Central.
- Alex Gordon's bat looks quicker than the last couple years. Too early to read into the results (which have been good) but you wonder if he might be truly healthy for the first time in a long time.
- Edwin Jackson's slider looked really sharp, but his command was as spotty as ever. I wrote about him quite a bit this off season and I'm far from sold on his Chicago makeover, but if he can miss bats at the rate he did tonight, he can play up from his previous numbers.
- Scott Kazmir hasn't had it for a couple years, and it may have gotten worse. FB at 85 with no command, fringy changeup are all that remain.
- Fausto Carmona's mechanics were a mess in his first start. He was opening up way too fast and left everything up. Anyone in Cleveland or Chicago saw the results. The Sox cleaned his clock. Stuff-wise though he looked fine. Hopefully a bullpen session can get him back on track.
- The Royals ran a TON in spring training and they've taken it into the season. Today they abused Jeff Mathis, a plus defender by stealing successfully five times despite Mathis showing solid pop times in the 1.80-1.85 range. Pitchers we're responsible for a lot of that.
- Francisco Liriano doesn't look right. Slider is still very sharp at 84-87 and legitimate ++ pitch, but his fastball velocity was down to 89-93 and he threw the pitch just 37 times, even though it was the only pitch he had even passable control over. Really went heavy to the slider/changeup. Stuff is still great, command isn't there right now. Be interesting to see how he progresses.
- Joe Nathan doesn't have his velocity (FB at 89-92) or his command. Got the save but threw 31 pitches to get through the inning. His best out pitch, his slider (86-88 tonight), just wasn't there at all either in movement or location. Went to his curve (80-81) more than we saw in the past.
- Travis Snider's 'stache is all kinds of dirty.
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka's range is 60-65 (very good) especially to his left. Made a couple errors but I think that's more nerves than anything. Should be a legit + defender and definitely has the range for short.
- J.P. Arencibia has a nice short, quick swing and quiet stride - can drive the ball well. But we all knew that. Looked better behind the plate than advertised.
- Miguel Cabrera let some scoopable balls not find the mitt, but the bat is still terrifying. The big question I have is will he stay back like he did last year and use the whole field. He really started keeping that front shoulder in last year and he became a whole other kind of hitter.
- Max Scherzer had some of the same issues as Liriano. A fastball that wasn't all there at 89-92 and command that kept the ball in the dangerous part of the plate. Mechanics are a mess. Seems to be the case with a lot of pitchers this spring.