Tag:Spring Training Battles
Posted on: February 14, 2009 8:34 pm

Rays ST Battles

4th OF: Gabe Gross vs. Gabe Kapler vs. Justin Ruggiano vs. Fernando Perez    All of these guys are vauble options. I think they'll choose one of the veterans and keep the younger guys in the minors. Gross is the choice.

Utility IF: Morgan Ensberg vs. Willy Aybar vs. Ben Zorbist vs. Elliot Johnson   Aybar should win this job, but Zorbist is still a viable option for 25th man.

Backup catcher: John Jaso vs. Shawn Riggans vs. Michael HErnandez. It's good to have JAso in the minors. Right now Riggans is my man.

25th man: John Jaso vs. Gabe Kapler vs. Justin Ruggiano vs. Fernando Perez vs. Elliot Johnson vs. Ben Zorbist   I go with Ben Zorbist here because the pen is so set that every player in the pen already knows what position they hold. The OFs will wait in the minors for now. Elliot Johnson can, too. Jaso is a catcher and I do not see a team carrying 3 catcher when the starter doesn't have an injury problem.

Notable players not on roster: John Jaso, Gabe Kapler, Justin Ruggiano, Fernando Perez, Elliot Johnson, Morgan Ensberg, Jeff Niemann, Michael Hernandez, Randy Choate, Lance Cormier, Julio DePaula, Chad Orvella, Mitch Talbott, and first rounder Timothy Beckham

Dioner Navarro, Carlos Pena, Akinora Iwamura, Jason Bartlett, Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Pat Burrell, B. J. Upton, Matt Joyce,   Willy Aybar, Ben Zorbist, Shawn Riggans, Gabe Gross.

David Price, Andy Sonnastine, Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza, Jamie Shields                    Troy Percival, Dan Wheeler, Grant Balfour, J. P. Howell, Brian Shouse, Jason Hammel, Joe Nelson 


One argument that can be made for another OF is that in my other anlysis, I wanted a player that had the ability to play centerfield other than the starter. I am banking that Crawford can in emergency for less than 9 innings. PErez or Kapler would get the call up in an Upton injury next day.

I see the Rays doing extremely well this year.  They have an extremely strong bench, rotation, and hitters. The pen is above average.

Posted on: February 14, 2009 5:31 pm

Tigers ST Battles

I am really skeptical of Carlos Guillen in LF, but I will give this a shot.

Utility IF: Ryan Raburn vs. Ramon Santiago. I really have to give this to Raburn. He played a bit more last year than Santiago. Raburn's bat is much worse, but I think he will be just a smidge ahead.

5th SP: Dontrelle Willis vs. Nate Robertson vs. Zach Miner. Willis will get this if he shows anything in spring. Too bad he won't so I am giving it to Robertson.

Closer: Fernando Rodney vs. Brandon Lyon. I absolutely love Lyon and have the utmost confidence in him. It is his job to lose.

5th, 6th, 7th relief pitchers: Dontrelle Willis vs. Zach Miner vs. Freddy Dolsi vs. Scott Williamson vs. Clay Rapada vs. Juan Rincon      Seriously do you think Williamson is going to ever make an MLB team let alone an AAA team. Willis has to find a spot even though he is beyond repair. The Tigers gave up Cameron Maybin for this guy. Juan Rincon and Zach Miner could get the other spots I guess. Eventually Dolsi will beat out Rincon.

25th Man: Clete Thomas vs. Juan Rincon vs. Ramon Santiago vs. Jeff Larish vs. Scott Williamson vs. Clay Rapada vs. Mike Hessman vs. Timo Perez vs. Bronson Sardinha (Yes the last two have ZERO CHANCE) Larish really could get this job. HE is really good, but I think Clete Thomas will get it b/c Guillen, Ordonez, Thames, and Sheffield cannot play center in an emergency.

Notable players not on roster: Juan Rincon, Ramon Santiago, JEff Larish, Scott Williamson, Clay Rapada, Mike Hessman, Bronson Sardinha, Timo Perez


Gerald Laird, Miguel Cabrera, Placido Polanco, Adam Everett, Brandon Inge, Curtis Granderson, Magglio Ordonez, Gary Sheffield  Marcus Thames, Matt Treanor, Ryan Raburn, Clete Thomas

Jeremy Bonderman, NAte Robertson, Justin Verlander, Andreas Gallarga, Edwin Jackson        Brandon Lyon, Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya, Bobby Seay, Freddy Dolsi, Dontrelle Willis, Zach Miner


This Tiger team has many ranging expectations from 1st to last in their division. I do not think they have a chance at first, but any other spot is possible. Their offense will be really good and so will their bench, but they have questions in the bullpen and some rotation questions where injuries are possible and where players are bound to struggle. The defensive alignment is spotty, but I guess I'll just have to trust Leyland with that. There is a huge drop off after the first 5 spots inthe Batting order. I don't trust Laird. Everett is not a very offensive player. I would put Guillen at short and start Thames. Sheffield and Inge have a low AVG.

Posted on: February 7, 2009 12:57 pm

Twins ST Battles

The Twins are looking to be a very good team, and they only have a couple of battles.

Utility IF: Brian Buscher vs. Matt Tolbert vs. Matt Macri   Like every team, utility IF is a battle. Macri is the most versatile, but Buscher is the best of them so he gets the nod.

5th, 6th, and 7th bullpen men:  Boof Bonser vs. Phillip Humber vs. Kevin Mulvey vs. Jason Jones vs. Bobby Korecky vs. Brian Duensing vs. Ben Julianel vs. R.A. Dickey vs. Sean Henn vs. Mike Gosling     I would bet anything Bonser would be here if he is not traded. Phillip Humber is major league ready, but I cannot see him getting this job. Kevin Mulvey is not on the 40 man roster so will not get it. Jason Jones likely could, but would have to return to the Yankees if he doesn't. Could very well be the long reliever. Bobby Korecky has some exp. in the pen so he would also get in. R.A. Dickey has the knuckleball so for him to be a reliever than they'd have to have Mauer be able to catch it. Julianel probably won't get in. Henn is a good lefty, but I don't know if he is in the top 7 based on Jones being forced to leave.

Last Man on roster: Sean Henn vs. Jason Pridie vs. Luis Matos vs. Matt Tolbert vs. Matt Macri vs. Kevin Mulvey vs. Phillip Humber vs. Brian Duesning vs. R.A. Dickey vs. Mike Gosling vs. Ben Julianel    I gave all the explanations for people not getting in on other battles so I am just going to give this to Henn ober Pridie.

Notable players not on team: Jason Pridie, Luis Matos, Matt Tolbert, Matt Macri, Kevin Mulvey, Phillip Humber, Brian Duesning, R.A. Dickey, Mike Gosling, Ben Julianel

Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Brendan Harris, Nick Punto, Alexi Casilla, Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel  Mike Redmon, Brian Buscher, Denard Span

Francisco Liriano, Glenn Perkins, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn          Joe Nathan, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, Craig Breslow, Bobby Korecky, Jason Jones, Boof Bonser, Sean Henn

Out for year: Pat Neshek

This is all assuming Mauer is ready for opening day


Posted on: February 1, 2009 9:02 am

Indians ST Battles

The Indians are a team w/o many battles going on this spring. In the few that they have, the choice will affect how well they can do in this deep division.

Utility IF: Jamey Carroll vs. Josh Barfield vs. Andy Marte      I would give this to Barfield, but last year was not one to remember with him. Carroll is more versatile than Marte so this job goes to him.

3rd/4th/5th SP   Carl Pavano vs. Aaron Laffey vs. Jeremy Sowers vs. Tomo Okha vs. Zach Jackson vs. Anthony Reyes vs. Scott Lewis   Lewis pitched well last year. Laffey is more of a reliever. Pavano needs not to be injured. I do not think Lewis really has a chance at this job even with how he pitched. Okha has had too many chances. Anthony Reyes will get a spot with Pavano and Laffey. Jake Westbrook will eventually be back for one spot.

8th RP/4th Bench Player: Andy Marte vs. Josh Barfield vs. Vinnie Chulk vs. Kirk Saarloos vs. Greg Aquino vs. Edward Mujica vs. Jeremy Sowers    I have to gowith Marte here unless Chulk/Saarloos has an amazing spring.

Notable players not on team: Tomo Okha, Josh Barfield, Vinnie Chulk, Kirk Saarloos, Greg Aquino, Edward Mujica, Jeremy Sowers, Zach Jackson, Scott Lewis

Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, Mark DeRosa, Ryan Garko, Asdrubal Cabrera, Johnny Peralta, Ben Francisco, Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo                  Dave Dellucci, Kelly Shoppach, Andy Marte, Jamey Carroll

Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona, Carl Pavano, Aaron Laffey, Anthony Reyes           Kerry Wood, Jensen Lewis, Rafael Perez, Joe Smith, Rafael Betancourt, Masahide Kobyashi, Matt Herges

Posted on: January 31, 2009 10:56 am

Mariners spring training battles

The Mariners are a really struggling team right now with nothing to look forward to. Their position battles are plenty (and insignificant).

CF: Franklin Gutierrez vs. Endy Chavez   I really think Chavez should win this, but he probably won't. Last year his BA was much higher even though he does not him for power or drive in many runs. Last year he was a defensive replacement a lot. His defense is really good. Gutierrez will probably get the nod.

Back up catcher: Rob Johnson vs. Jamie Burke   If the winner would also get a pitching spot then Jamie Burke would win hands down. However, neither player played well last season, but in much more playing time Jamie Burke played significantly better. He is not on the 40 man roster currently though.

5th Starter: Carlos Silva vs. Miguel Batista vs. Jason Vargas vs. Garrett Olson vs, Jarrod Washburn       Yikes!! The 5th start role is terrible compared to the rest of the young rotation of King Felix, Erik Bedard, Bradon Morrow, and Ryan Rowland-Smith. If Silva Washburn and Batista are dumped so they can some salary room then is will be Garrett Olson. As of right now Washburn has it. CBS reports Washburn out for season like Jeff Clement, but I have see ntrade rumors with them leading me to believe this was unupdated info.

1st base: Russell Branyan vs. Chris Shelton vs. Mike Sweeney vs. Bryan LaHair   Mike Sweeney looks like he'll get the job. Shelton had one good week and Branyan is a good back up. Hopefully Sweeney can be healthy.

6th and 7th relief pitcher Carlos Silva vs. Miguel Batista vs. Jason Vargas vs. Sean White vs. Garrett Olson vs. Luis Munoz vs. Randy Messenger   Again if Silva and Batista are not traded then it will be them. If they are I give it to Sean White and Garrett Olson.

Last roster spot: Chris Woodward vs. Mike Morse vs. Garrett Olson vs. Jason Vargas vs. Russell Branyan vs. Reegie Corona vs. Luis Munoz vs. Randy Messenger vs. Bryan LaHair vs. Matt Tuiaspsopo vs. Chris Shelton     A lot of these guys could be seeing time depending on injuries to the starting rotation and OF/IF and if Silva/Washburn/Clement/Batista/Morr
ow/Balentin are traded and if Abreu is signed. Right now I give it to Russell Branyan. Reegie Corona will be headed to the Yankees if he doesn't get the spot. Chris Woodward would have to be placed in AAA and I don't know if the M's really want to do that

Wladamir Balentin, Ichiro Suzuki, Franklin Gutierrez, Adrian Beltre, Yunieksy Betancourt, Jose Lopez, Mike Sweeney, Kenji Johjima, Jeff Clement                    Jamie Burke, Russell Branyan, Ronny Cedano, Endy Chavez

Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Brandon Morrow, Jarrod Washburn

Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista, Tyler Walker, Davis Aardsma, Mark Lowe, Roy Corcoran, Cesar Jimenez


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com