Friday, March 11, 2005

Apathy and the Family Man 

Javier Vazquez pitched 4 innings yesterday… oh well, whatever, nevermind. It's just Spring Training. The stats themselves don't matter. The amount and order of that playing time does.

KJZZ is running some audio journals from major league journeyman Adam Hyzdu, who was part of the Red Sox last year as a September call-up and is trying to make the squad once again. The journal describes the difficulties for the families of those "replacement level" ballplayers. (And Hyzdu was a 1st round draft choice.)

The journal makes you think differently about Juan Acevedo, who had a miserable outing yesterday. In a camp with 31 pitchers (and with essentially 24 of those pitchers competing for 4 slots), 5-run innings are definitely a Bad Thing if you're a non-roster invitee struggling to make the squad. I wonder how important spring training game performance is relative to performance outside those games.

Looking at that non-roster invitee list, I'm now wondering exactly how the D-Backs will find room for Kelly Stinnett and possibly Quentin McCracken, let alone anyone else, on the 40-man roster. I haven't heard of any injuries on the 40-man that would lend themselves to a stint on the disabled list (and I'm probably getting confused about DL rules here), and there's nobody who I would immediately peg as a guy to get rid of.

So I think what this means is that the players are playing as much to stay on the 40-man roster as they are to make the 25-man roster. Jason Bulger isn't competing against, say, Brandon Lyon to make the Opening Day roster; he's competing against, say, Justin Weschler to stay on the 40-man roster.

And seeing as Bulger and Weschler each have a grand total of 2 innings of Spring Training game experience thus far, I have no idea how to make that decision.

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