Sunday, March 08, 2009
As regular readers know El Guapo’s Ghost has become essentially a weekly post/column this winter. The Sox cold stove season and my intolerance for redundancy - isn’t their like a million blogs now - has caused fewer posts. But this current lack of activity is no more than being on holiday. Anyway…
It was a pleasant surprise to see Dan Bard throw two breaking balls for swinging strikes and one called in today’s spring game. Of course, he was hitting upper 90’s on the gun and was around the plate. Bard has been doing that since college. If he can just keep hitters honest, so they do not cheat on the fastball, he could be a dominate reliever.
Lars Anderson also looked good. As advertised, he had patient plate appearances and went the other way. Even Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus is softening on Lars, his “…low-end projection would still make Anderson a .275/.360/.500.” An 860 OPS would make Anderson a league average first baseman last year, which just fine.
Junichi Tazawa looked okay in my first impression. He has a hitch or delay in his delivery. Tazawa’s fastball was in the low 90’s with little movement and command. He showed a nice curveball a few times. Tazawa struck out Evan Longoria on a change that dropped off the table. The next batter after a fastball, he threw back-to-back ones for another strike out. The change was clearly his best pitch today.
Josh Reddick and Mike Bowden also made appearances. They both mirrored their scouting reports. Reddick reminds me of a poor man’s Shea Hillenbrand and Bowden - a back of the rotation starter on a playoff team. Both could be pieces that get moved if necessary this summer.