Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thoughts From Spring Training: Phil Hughes Sharp

Phil Hughes pitched 4 sharp innings of shutout ball today. Igawa? Two shutout innings, though he walked 3 in the process. He really needs to get that ball under control. Let's be honest, despite what Girardi may have said, Igawa has no shot at starting this season and his only shot at being on the roster is as a left-handed reliever. Considering that Billy Traber and Heath Phillips both have pitched 3 innings with 4 strikeouts and no runs thus far, I think Igawa may be slowly pitching himself off the roster. The team leaders in strikeouts are Mike Mussina and Jonathan Albaladejo with 5. Who would've thought? But that's how spring training is.

Igawa is such a mystery to me. He can strike guys out, but he gives up too many walks. I think he realized he couldn't pitch up in the strike zone so he started nibbling at it, but since he's not a finesse pitcher, he keeps missing his spots and therefore either gives up a homerun or gives up a walk. Either way its not helping the team. I don't know how he spent his off season, but I hope he spent some of it figuring out ways to keep the ball in the park.

In other news, Shelley Duncan proves he can control his bat. He had one hit with two walks. If he can continue to show patience at the plate, I think he'll prove that he earns that first base spot. Sorry Ensberg. Meanwhile, Tabata has 2 RBI's and a single today. Alan Horne and Jeff Marquez both had shaky outings. Horne gave up 2 walks and a hit, but no runs. Marquez gave up 2 hits and a walk with 2 runs, 1 earned. The only other thing I can say is that Chris Woodward seems to be ahead for that utility spot, and Nick Green might need to prepare himself for another season in the minors. He's made a career out of it thus far, so I don't think he'll be too disappointed.

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