I'm here in Arizona now, watching the Royals. Saw both ends of the DH yesterday. Here are some observations:
1. Alex Gordon was hitting in the batting cages during the 1st SS game, I'd say for about an hour. I'm predicting a HUGE year for Gordon...nobody works harder at his game.
2. Chris Getz was also hitting in the cages during the first game. I predict Getz will win the 2B job. Both Gordon and Getz played in the night DH game and did well.
3. Johnny G will not win the spot unless he tears it up over the next 2 weeks. He is making errors in the field. The SS game I saw featured him missing a throw from the catcher to him at 2B on a steal attempt. The ball was thrown directly to him but tailed off at the end. He still should have caught it. That led to the Padres scoring 3 runs.
4. Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers is playing at another level than everyone else on the field, except for Alex Gordon. Puig drove an opposite field HR off a 98 MPH fastball from Yordano Ventura in the 2nd DH game. He also stole a base, added two more hits, and scored on a heads up play after a bobble in the OF after a bloop hit.
5. Luke Hochevar worked consistently at 94 MPH in relief in 2 innings with his FB. His offspeed stuff was 10 MPH less, keeping hitters off balance. The first two hitters against him tagged balls hard hitting his FB, but both lined out to Cain CF.
6. Billy Butler is still not "with us" yet...he's a tick behind. I have no doubt, however, that he will turn it on when we get closer to opening day.
7. Butler took a nasty fall into the Padres dugout trying to catch a foul ball. However, after falling down the steps, he popped up quickly and was OK to continue. By the way, there was a drunk guy in the stands calling him "Country Breakfast" and "Billy" very loudly every time he came up!
8. Christian Colon looks pretty good to me playing SS...hitting the ball good as well.
9. Sal Perez still is not with the team yet. I don't know why, but I hope he plays before I have to go home Tuesday. I also hope to see Hosmer at Monday's game, if he makes it back.
10. I see no difference in Jeff Franceour's approach at the plate. In addition, in the OF he sparked an early game outburst by the Dodger's Friday night be missing a very catchable ball in the gap. I've heard now that he said he lost it in the lights...I guess that is a possible explaining However, I also saw Alex Gordon not catch a gapper that he would usually dive for, so perhaps they are avoiding injury by not diving for balls in ST?
11. Brandon Wood was absolutely horrible at 3B Friday. I'd say he has virtually no shot at breaking with the team, and if Moose ever gets hurt, Wood will not be called up to replace him. He's really bad....really.
12. David Lough is absolutely raking. Every ball he hits is hard, including the few outs I have seen him make so far. He should beat out JF because he is a catalyst on offense. David trains hard and takes great care of
himself nutritionally and physically...I'm a big fan. At worst, he should platoon with JF, but I understand the roster constraints and options (and the fact that JF is owed millions of $$ and, of course, they have to get their money's worth out of him).
13. Wil Smith did not get beat up by the Padres on Friday. First, the defense behind him was AWFUL. Brandon Wood committed 3 errors and another that wasn't called an error. Smith gave up a 3 run HR to Nick Hundley that never should have happened has his defense behind him not sucked.
That's all for now...more to come as I watch the Sunday and Monday contests.