Spring Training can be a little bit of a let down in the blog writing world. You bop around for a few months trying to stretch from the playoffs (if your team is lucky) to the start of spring training, throwing off every speculative non-story subject you can think of just waiting for ST to start. And then you realize that ST is a much too long period of time (as confirmed by Manager A.J. Hinch the other day) with almost as much speculation and non-story subjects.
The games don’t mean a whole lot. Most of the spots in the 25 man are decided. You can speculate on whether a good start by fill in the blank helps him to get a leg up on the competition, but there is not a lot of meat here. So…. it is time to just let the mind wander and hit on some subjects that might keep the reading horde mildly interested.
- Is the next J.D. Martinez sitting around here? I was watching Derek Fisher hitting on Sunday (and no, I don’t think he is JDM-lite or anything), but it made me wonder, which of the players who may never get a good shot at the majors with such a set Astros lineup will eventually move on and become a success elsewhere. Guys like Fisher, A.J. Reed, Brady Rodgers, or even a Jake Marisnick or a Francis Martes may never quite get there with a loaded Astros club. But could they be the next big thing elsewhere?
- To quote, Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles “What in the wide wide world of sports is going on here” relative to the length of Spring Training? Counting split squad games the Astros play 33 games before the games start to count. I guess they all paid big money (or the local municipality did) for these wonderful spring training stadiums and need to justify them and pay for them, but wow that is just a lot of opportunities to hurt players. And there are oodles of people paying to watch games where there is no one who is making this team playing after the 4th inning.
- Last Spring Training, there was no real thought that the two prospects who would make the biggest splash during 2019 would be Josh James and Framber Valdez. Who might be an under the radar player who gives the Astros a boost during the season? This is often driven by injury, which drives opportunity. And starting pitching often is hit with more injuries – many times minor, sometimes major – that affords the opportunity. So, might a Rogelio Armenteros or Alaskan hunter, Cy Sneed come out of nowhere to be somewhere?
- If you were giving a “Looking over their shoulder” award for the 2019, season, who would you give it to? This would seem to be Josh Reddick. If he does not hit well, he knows that the Astros would like to ship him and at least part of his salary elsewhere, while giving playing time to a Kyle Tucker, Myles Straw or even a Yordan Alvarez.
So, any thoughts on these thoughts or any thoughts of your own???