We are one day away from the season opener, and I can truly say that despite spring training being such a bore, it has been a good one. Just think about the decisions that were made, and the team that was built. Hughes having a strong final outing, Chamberlain going to the bullpen, Ohlendorf making the team, Ensberg playing the bench, a new rivalry with the basement floor of the AL East, Shelley Duncan, Giambi's comeback, Jeter's gangster, and Mussina's knucklecurve. They all make for an exciting start to the season.
The one decision I am upset with is starting Scott Patterson in triple A. I certainly don't disagree with the pitchers they chose. Ohlendorf is very promising, and Bruney really came prepared. I wasn't as impressed with Albaladejo, but his stats look decent. Despite all this, Patterson came out of double A ball and pitched 7.2 shut out innings, giving up one hit and no walks while striking out 7. This doesn't include the two outs he got in the rain shortened game when Albaladejo was only able to record one out in the first. All told, 8.1 shutout innings no walks and one hit, and that wasn't enough? And its not like he was getting out some back alley chumps either. Among his outs were Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., Edwin Encarnacion, Victor Martinez, Johnny Peralta, Casey Blake, Carl Crawford, and Xavier Nady. Some of his strikeouts include Carlos Pena, Adam Dunn, and Ryan Garko. Those lists include some legitimate big league hitters, and at the very least every day players on major league rosters. Some time ago, Girardi had said: "I'm not a big believer that you have to have big league experience to be successful." When Patterson was cut, Girardi stated his inexperience was a factor. So which is it? Again, I don't question the people they took, I just don't see how you can tell someone to compete for a roster spot, have them pitch perfectly, and then tell them they don't make the roster. What kind of message does that send?
Either way, I'm excited for the season to start. I hope to see Patterson at some point in the season, and hope he continues to pitch well in triple A. If anyone gets called up before this guy, Girardi and Cashman both need to get kicked in the junk.