With a Grain of Salt: Reacting to Spring Training, Part 1

On Monday I got to watch my first Spring Training game, between the Giants and the Brewers. I only caught the game partway through, and then stopped to watch a movie about someone pretending to be Shakespeare, or pretending not to be Shakespeare, or something. There was an earl, who was secretly the son of another guy, who may or may not have secretly been the son of someone else, and they all wore those frilly things around their necks.

So I DVRed the game, and started it fresh. Damn, I missed baseball.

Some quick thoughts:

1) Even while I was watching the game, I totally forgot Matt Cain was pitching, because Matt Cain is awesome. I looked down at my dinner, looked back up a second later, and Matt Cain was through two scoreless. Matt Cain.

2) Pablo Sandoval looks great. He’s very stocky, but he’s moving well and looks comfortable in his body. He’s never going to be a skinny guy, but if he says he put on 20 pounds of muscle, I believe it more now than I did before seeing him.

3) Aubrey Huff hit a home run. Then again, as I recall, Huff had a great 2011 Spring Training, so I’m not jumping for joy just yet. However, Kruk and Kuip said that Huff looks night and day better, which speaks volumes. Fingers crossed.

4) Gregor Blanco has one of the strangest MiLB batting lines I’ve ever seen:

Year BA OBP
2002 .271 .392
2003 .271 .357
2004 .266 .339
2005 .252 .367
2006 .290 .403
2006 .287 .397
2006 .294 .408
2007 .282 .369
2009 .228 .326
2010 .286 .382
2011 .201 .350
2011 .203 .335
2011 .196 .384
9 Seasons .265 .367

Blanco’s career OBP is more than 100 points higher than his average. Since 2009 (in AAA), Blanco has 200 hits and 161 walks. For someone with Blanco’s speed and utter lack of power, it’s strange to see him walk so much, but I’ll take it. For a fifth outfielder, a high OBP and excellent speed ain’t a bad combination.

5) I want the Giants to sign Matt Cain until my unborn children are old enough to root for Matt Cain.

6) Jeremy Affeldt will never, ever live down the Hamburger Malfunction. Nor should he.

7) Sergio Romo looks like he’s bulked up a little bit. He still looked effective as all hell, but he’s not quite the same little guy he was last year.

8) Brett Pill is taking drills at third base. This can only be a good thing. He’s too old to be a prospect, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be useful. He shouldn’t be in consideration for the starting first baseman job, but if he can be a bat off the bench, having competence at multiple positions makes him significantly more valuable.

9) I hope Travis Ishikawa gets a job somewhere.

10) Bees.

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