Spring Training Report #2

Today, I made a solo trip out to Hammond for the B game – which considering who stayed behind to play the Red Sox instead of going to Port Charlotte, you might call it the A game and the Orioles the B game but who’s being technical…

The hard part of a “B” game is that they don’t do anything on the board for scoring and of course you have all the young guys that you aren’t as familiar with. So this is the first time that I didn’t have my score book that I really wished I was scoring the game. I still didn’t track the hitting lineup too well because I was wandering around a lot trying to get pictures but the highlights are that the big boys were mostly in play.

I’m not going to walk you through the game or anything but I enjoyed seeing how people were doing. Blackburn started things off very well. Mauer played 1B with Casilla at 2B and Morneau was DH’ing I think. That was about the end of the REALLY familiar – I still recognized most of the young guys since we saw half of them up in the bigs at the end of last year – Trevor Plouffe, Joe Benson, Rene Rivera… A couple I had to actually go look up. Our 3B for the whole game was a kid named Michael Hollimon. Not too bad actually. I was a little less impressed with two outfield invitees – Wilkin Ramirez & Matt Carson. It was also fun to see Paul Moliter coaching 1B since Jerry was on the road.

The sight that shocked me the most was watching Morneau come up to bat. He walked once, hit a really fun stand up double but.. you know how people have been saying he’s thinner?? HOLY CRAP, HE’S SKINNY! He still has the big shoulders but his lower body muscle mass is just gone. The tree-trunk thighs are very normal looking now for a guy of his height. Do I think it’s a problem that he looks normal? Not precisely but when you lose that much of your leg muscle mass, he is going to have to do things differently. The sad part is that he’s still wearing his pants from last year and they are super huge on him – like Liriano oversized style.

What hasn’t changed at all is Mauer’s ability to stand in the batters box and watch a pitch go by… LOL I don’t even know if the ump called this a strike or a ball but it just made me laugh anyway. As it was, Mauer was 0-2 but Chris Parmelee came out and replaced him after his two AB’s so it was just a light day at the park for him. He seems pretty comfortable at 1B now though.  It gave Rene Rivera a chance to get a little more time at catcher. I was kind of hoping to see one of the invitee or younger guys, like Towles or Herrmann but I am never really going to complain when I am getting to watch baseball. Besides, I never even looked to see who was in the lineup for the “A” game.

Even Dick Bremer preferred the B game! For the record, he’s looking skinnier too. ;)

PS. Tomorrow, I’m bringing the hubby along & we’re hitting the Rays game at home.

One thought on “Spring Training Report #2

  1. Michael Hollimon, turns 30 in June, had a cup of coffee with Detroit in 2008, played a utility role with New Britain and Rochester last year while hitting .257/.375/.455 (his best line since 2007 at AA).

    Wilkin Ramirez, age 26, hit .247/.308/.423 in 1,094 PA over 4 seasons at AAA with the Detroit and Atlanta organizations, hasn’t appeared in the majors.

    Matt Carson, age 30 (turns 31 on July 1), hit .280/.343/.515 in 1,603 PA over 4 seasons in AAA with the Yankees, A’s, and Rays organizations, hasn’t appeared in the majors.

    None of them are likely ever to play in Minnesota, but now all of them can at least tell their kids and grandkids that they played with Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau! :)