Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stars of the Spring

In Spring Training, the results of the games matter much less than the performances of the participants. The youngsters, in particular, have a great opportunity to stand out in front of the Tribe brass. The two biggest standout performers thus far this Spring among the boys?

Prized prospect Atom Miller (like Radioactive Man’s “Up and Atom”) has now posted 9 shutout innings this Spring with a WHIP of 0.78 and an opponents’ Batting Average of .206. While it’s still likely that Carmona steps into the spot open due to Cliff Lee’s oblique, the Indians have to be happy with Miller’s performance this Spring. Seeing that he just turned 22 last November, he’s well ahead of schedule to hit Cleveland – possibly even at some point this year.

Since we already touched on the success that Ben Francisco has had, there’s only one remaining question: Should he be heretofore referred to as “The Frisco Kid” or “The Ben Francisco Treat”? Seriously, this is like a guy being named Stan Diego, Dan Antonio, Mel Paso, Stu Orleans, or Mort Lauderdale.
With all due respect to Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford, the Player by the Bay gets “The Frisco Kid”.
Obviously neither of these players has done enough to merit a spot on the 25-man roster as proven MLB players are already in play, but Miller and Francisco are slotting themselves nicely to make meaningful contributions if called upon at some point in 2007.

Just as big as anything (maybe bigger) than anything happening on the field this year is news just as important as signing the likes of Jake, C.C., and Pronk.

Nice to see that Shapiro will still be the captain of this ship when he brings it into Port World Championship.


Anonymous said...

Do try to work the phrase "performances of the participants" into an everyday sentence and bedazzle your listener with all that multi-syllabic alliteration.

What I can't tell about any of the outfield prospects right now is what job is available for them. Assuming good health on the ML 25-man, and that Casey Blake's utility keeps him employed, what job is available for them? As far as I can tell, they have to outhit Jason Michaels (or, in Choo's case, Dellucci or Nixon).

On one hand, of course you'd like for a guy to have to outproduce a major-leaguer to become a major-leaguer...probably the point of all those signings. On the other, it's hard to get excited about guys vying for a job that may never materialize this season.

Then again, maybe it's totally nerdy to "get excited" about minor league baseball players in the first place and I should spend less time thinking about baseball? Nah, couldn't be.

Mevs said...

Personally, this is starting to remind me of the early 90s tribe when they began gearing up for that big run that would last nearly a decade. They signed all their young stars, their GM (John Hart), and the manager was basically in place (Hargrove).

Man I hope this brings the same kind of run. I really have a feeling this group will at least get to a World Series.

Cy Slapnicka said...

"with that hope that springs eternal from within the human breast"

btw, i got my XM radio unit yesterday. For those of you interested in listening to Hammy call the games, XM's Pioneer Inno and Samsung Helix (same device, different colors) are the only XM receivers that don't require an external antenna. Neat little devices. The Samsung can be had for under $100 through crutchfield. If anyone is interested, i'll let you know how well it works.

Now if in-demand would just match DirecTV's offer.

Also, how great would it be to see Bennie go yard and hear the fans at the Jake errupt with "Rice-A-Roni, the Ben Francisco treat!" Except of course we need to replace "Rice-A-Roni" with something that makes sense. PC, when he finally gets to the show and hits one, you are fully responsible for getting the mezzanine section to start this.