The Morning Ninefrom Surprise….Night Game Version
Waiting on the night game in Scottsdale…
1. Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart made a terrific backhanded diving stop on Craig Gentry’s grounder on Thursday afternoon. He then threw out Gentry from his knees and the play was ranked No. 3 on the highlight show last night. Said Stewart, “[Cubs coach Pat] Listach told me before the game that [Gentry] was in [Las Vegas] on that trip and he’d beat out a couple balls in the infield,” Stewart said. “[Listach] said, ‘Hey, be ready for a bunt and if you get it, get rid of it.’ That’s what I as thinking on that play was get it out as quick as I could and luckily I got enough air to get it under there.”
2. Orioles pitcher Darren O’Day had a groin issue in Spring Training, a setback that will probably keep him from being on the Orioles roster. Looks like catcher Taylor Teagarden will open on the disabled list as well. But Pedro Strop appears to be in the Orioles bullpen, Tommy Hunter is in their rotation and Chris Davis will be starting at first base.
3. The Tigers claimed Kelvin de la Cruz off waivers from the Indians today. He has gone from the Indians to the Rangers, back to the Indians and now to the Tigers all in the course of one Spring Training.
4. Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak told MLB.Com’s Greg Johns this week, “It’s day and night this year from where it was last year. There are a lot of young guys here, but there are some pretty darn good young guys. We’re not going to back down from anybody and that’s the thing we’ve got going now. We have some young guys, but we know what we’re capable of doing and if we put it all together at once, we’re going to shock some people.”
5. C.J. Wilson won’t pitch against the Rangers on Sunday but his 0.64 ERA is still the lowest in the Cactus League. Mike Napoli is tied for the Cactus League with nine walks. That’s something they can both tweet about.
6. The Rangers have committed just 11 errors this spring. That’s the lowest in the Cactus League. But their team ERA of 5.43 is the third highest. It’s also the highest for any American League team this spring.
7. Elvis Andrus is seventh in the Cactus League with a .417 batting average and ninth with a .450 on-base percentage.
8. Today’s pitching in camp: Derek Holland in a Minor League Game, Alexi Ogando against the Giants in Scottsdale and Neftali Feliz tests his shoulder again by throwing long-toss.
9. By the way, it was on this date in 1775 that Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech.