Feb 16, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) warms up during camp at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Recently I had the good fortune to go down to Arizona and take in some Cactus League baseball. Well, it wasn’t just me. A lot of us here at Around the Foghorn made the trip. I’m sure everyone has great takes about what we saw down in Scottsdale.
I took in 3 games and a couple workouts while there and here’s what I saw. I wanted to break this down to things I liked, things that worried me, and things I’m still not sure about. As you’ll see, there were a lot of things I liked.
Pablo Sandoval was everything he claimed to be during the offseason. He played in all 3 games I attended and got at least one hit in each. In the field he looked quicker as well. Last Sunday he made a nice play to get Puig on a nubber towards third. His footwork looks great.
He’s said that he’s healthy and now I believe Jeremy Affeldt. Against Seattle he had a quick, precise inning. The ball stayed low in the zone with good late action.
Andrew Susac delivered in a run scoring opportunity. With runners on 2nd and 3rd against Seattle he drove one down the line like an old pro. I was impressed overall by the plate discipline he displayed.
Ehire Adrianza looks like a ballplayer coming in to his own. He’s hitting .250 but 5 of his 6 hits are for extra bases. He’s also driven in 6 runs. Out in the field he covered a lot of ground at both 2B and SS. I didn’t realize how strong of an arm he has. With Scutaro ailing, I expect Adrianza on the big club come Opening Day.
From a production standpoint I didn’t see much of Buster Posey. It’s not like he didn’t hit, it just wasn’t stand out. I did see him throw out Chone Figgins of the Dodgers attempting a stolen base. He looks just as strong as everyone has been saying.
Matt Cain was perfect in 5 innings of work when I saw him. Chris Corbett and I watched his bullpen session before the game as well and he really had his stuff. It was a good sign that he can bounce back in 2014.
It was not a good day for pitchers when I saw the Mariners tee off on both Ryan Vogelsong and Yusmeiro Petit. The rest of the rotation has shown improvement during Cactus League play so it’s a bit concerning. Vogey pitches tonight against the Rangers so I’m curious to see how he bounces back.
Poor Tony Abreu. You’d think he’d have a shot at a roster spot with Scutaro uncertain, but it’s like he’s trying to give it away. In the span of 1 inning I saw him mis-judge a line drive, miss touching 2nd base, and get thrown out at second because he hesitated before breaking for the bag. I really liked how he played last year when healthy, but with Adrianza breathing down his neck he didn’t do much to improve any trade value he might have.
I was absolutely thrilled that I got to take in an Edwin Escobar start. It was even better that Clayton Kershaw threw that day for the Dodgers. Kershaw looked good, I’ll leave that for another time. On the other hand Escobar looked shaky at times. I give the man credit, he pitched around a lot of runners, but 4 of them were walks in 3 innings of work. I’d like to see that go down before he starts throwing to Major League hitters.
Michael Morse looks like a great addition to the lineup. His health is going to be addressed all season long. While I was in town he only played in one game so I’m sure if I should be worried, or chalk it up to Spring Training. I caught batting practice the day after he did play and he looked healthy to me as he kept launching moon shots to the top of the hill at Scottsdale Stadium.
It’s been said that Sergio Romo has not been throwing much of his slider. I didn’t see it from him either. With that being said, everything else stayed up in the zone. Whatever it is he’s working on, I hope he finds it before Opening Day.
It was a great trip that i highly recommend any Giants fan takes at least once in their lifetime.