Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Two Days

The first week of the season is always the toughest to figure out for a real analysis. I'd like to say that Jack Wilson is off to a good start, but 3-for-6 with 2 walks isn't exactly indicative of anything. I'd like to say Sean Casey is hitting the ball hard, but a double and a homer in 8 ABs doesn't prove much. I'd like to welcome the 2004 Oliver Perez back, but we need to see more than 5 and 1/3 on Opening Day to do that. On the same hand, Joe Randa and Jason Bay being hitless means equally little, as do the back to back bullpen meltdowns. But what trends might we see continue? Well, I have some guesses, so here goes nothing.

  • In the past two seasons, Jack Wilson's starts have more or less been predictors for his whole season. He killed the ball in the Grapefruit League and he seems to be seeing the ball well in Milwaukee (two walks in two games... who is this guy?). It doesn't mean anything yet, but it's certainly encouraging.
  • Similarly, the most encouraging thing from Perez was how he got stronger as the game went on. In his first inning of work he couldn't get a fastball over 90. By the 6th inning, it was routinely around 91 or 92. That's not quite the 95+ of '04, but he certainly seems to be getting stronger as he gets more work. Damn you, World Baseball Classic!
  • As for the bullpen, I'd look for Torres to be fine. I'm more worried about Vogelsong. He was given a millionth chance this spring and pitched miserably, then was inserted into a game that was actually close yesterday and couldn't get the job done. I realize Colborn has done a lot of work with him and I'm still hoping to see the fruits of that labor, but a couple more outings like that and I think even I will stop defending the guy.
Tonight we get to see if Zach Duke spent the spring fooling around with some new stuff and trying not to give batters too much to look at, or if we should be genuinely concerned. No matter how small the sample size is, I'm not looking forward to seeing the brooms out in full force for the first series of the year.