Royals pitchers and catchers reported to spring training this morning and general manager Dayton Moore had this to say about the team’s offseason moves:
I love the moves that we’ve made this offseason. We wanted to get more athletic, and we wanted more team speed. Guys who could play better defense. And for a little over $8 million, we’ve added Chris Getz, Josh Fields, Rick [Ankiel], Scott Podsednik, Jason Kendall, Noel Arguelles and Brian Anderson.
All of those guys are very athletic and defensive-oriented players. They’re baseball players in the sense that they come to play. They’re winners. They’ve got great reputations in the game of being competitors. We like the moves a great deal.
I’m certainly not going to fault a GM for saying that he likes his own offseason moves, but all that other stuff is mostly nonsense and similar to what we’ve heard from Moore each spring since he got the job in 2006.
– “We wanted to get more athletic, and we wanted more team speed.”
– “They’re baseball players in the sense that they come to play.”
– “They’re winners.”
– “They’ve got great reputations in the game of being competitors.”
Just to be clear, he’s talking about Jason Kendall, Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, Chris Getz, Brian Anderson, and Josh Fields. Meanwhile, he seems not to care a whole lot about getting on base or hitting for power, and doesn’t seem to realize that all those cliches about supposed intangibles don’t really matter when the team is terrible.
Kansas City has averaged 99 losses per season since their last winning record in 2003, and I can assure you that not having enough speedy, athletic winners who come to play and are competitors hasn’t been the problem.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.