Spring Training Recap: Pirates vs. Cincy
If you missed the game, you can read my live blog here. Dejan has a summary up at that Post-Gazette, and the mothership posted a story, too.
My take on the performances:
1. Luis Matos, Pittsburgh
Matos hit two homers (one wind-aided, one not) in the first game of Grapefruit League play. He started in the outfield along with Andrew McCutchen and Chris Aguila as the regulars (Bay, Duffy, Nady) had the day off. Matos has a legitimate shot at earning a spot on the Opening Day roster, especially if Xavier Nady’s intestinal ailment (rumored to be Crohn’s disease) forces him to miss time.
2. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh
You can’t ask for much more from a top prospect. He led off for the Pirates and hit a homer on the third pitch he saw. In his next at bat, he doubled into the gap. Cutch finished the day at 2 for 4, and will get a long look this spring before opening the year with Double A Altoona.
3. Kirk Saarloos, Cincinnati
The utility pitcher (he’ll either be the Reds’ fifth starter or long reliever) threw two no-hit innings, setting down the likes of Bautista, Hernandez and McCutchen. Kevin Grybowski threw a perfect ninth inning against Cincinnati’s backups, and Zach Duke had a decent start after allowing an Adam Dunn moonshot.
1. Javier Guzman, Pittsburgh
Third on the organizational depth chart at shortstop, seemingly, behind Jack Wilson (MLB) and Brian Bixler (AAA), Guzman had a terrible day. He didn’t do much at the plate, and when he did reach on a Todd Coffey throwing error, he got caught napping off second base. He booted a ball in the field, and the game ended as he was thrown out at the plate; the radio report had him slowing down as he rounded third and getting nailed by a considerable margin. The Pirates’ announcers reported that he came into camp 15 to 20 pounds overweight.
2. Salomon Torres, Pittsburgh
Sully got roughed up to the tune of two homers and four earned runs in one inning of work. Mark Bellhorn took him deep, for crying out loud. It’s still early–not time to panic yet–but that type of performance isn’t making me feel good about our bullpen.
3. Eric Milton, Cincinnati
The Reds’ starter gave up six hits (including two homers) in two innings of work. Altogether not a terrible outing, but definitely not what Cincinnati needs from its #3 starter. Milton’s the best of the worst after Arroyo and Harang.