Thursday, April 03, 2008

Four Days, Four Surprises

The baseball season is four days old, so let's answer some of the questions that are out there.

What to make of the Red Sox and the A's series? David Beckham just scored for the Galaxy so all is still right in the world. But the Red Sox are just flat out better than the A's. Oakland could have won both games in Japan, and they were close games at the Coliseum. Obviously, its a strange way to start the season. But I don't really expect the A's to be very good. And if the Red Sox get that type of pitching they are going to be tough to beat. But they won't have the top guys starting every night.

What to make of the big time prospects who are starting the year in the minors?
The game is changing. Really changing. And teams are very concerned about contracts and when they have to pay players. So when teams have the opportunity to send guys down at the start of the year, they are going to. That is why you see guys like Colby Rasmus, Chase Headley, Evan Longoria, Cameron Maybin and Jay Bruce down on the farm. Maybin might need some time, he was definitely rushed to get there last year. But he did homer for Carolina tonight. Rasmus is 3-for-5 tonight and will be in the St. Louis outfield before too long. I think Cincy made the decision that Bruce might need some more seasoning so they signed Corey Patterson. If he plays well, I'm sure when you'll see Bruce. Longoria should up soon, like today. But we'll wait. Headley is learning a new position. He might be better than Kouzmanoff right now, but the Friars have made the decision that they are better off with Headley in the outfield and Kouz at third longterm.

What did you think of the Dodgers and Giants both starting their bullpen last night? Obviously it was because of the weather. But they really blew it didn't they. The idea was to avoid having the starters have to sit during the rain delay. Didn't work. Tim Lincecum and Chad Billingsley had both thrown before the rain came. Lincecum, who might need a haircut pretty soon, did earn the win with four decent innings of relief work but he was never sharp.

Do the Tigers really have the best lineup in baseball? Not without a leadoff hitter. Curtis Granderson is one, Edgar Renteria isn't. A lot has been made of the Tigers and all the offseason acquisitions and the great lineup and solid pitching. But they've still got some things to prove to me. Especially with the way things have started. Kansas City though will be a surprise this year and is better than most would expect. They are not the soft Royals that some remember. And I will win a double cheeseburger because of it.

Is Clayton Kershaw the best pitching prospect in the minors? I think he's the best pitcher who is semi-close and maybe the best overall. If he's still in Jacksonville in August, I may be tempted to try to take a look. But I doubt he'll be there that long, and I doubt my wife would allow it. However, it wouldn't shock me if they left him in AA for the season and then promoted him to LA for September if the Dodgers are in the race to help out of the bullpen. But yeah, I think he's a keeper.

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