Purgatory Online

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Yesterday's game featured Tim Salmon, Jose Guillen, Ramon Ortiz, and a whole lot of guys who will be playing minor-league baseball in 2004. A quick note on some relevant individual performances:

- Ortiz pitched well for two innings in his first outing of the spring, giving up no runs on one hit, no walks, and no strikeouts. Scioscia is quoted in the L.A. Times as saying that Ortiz is a little ahead of where he would expect him to be at this time of year, which is always nice; if Ortiz continues to pitch well in his next couple of outings I'd hope that Scioscia would keep him on a pretty tight leash until the season starts. It's pretty much universally accepted that spring training is about ten days too long, especially for pitchers.

- Tim Salmon went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Salmon will be an interesting case; for many years he was a notoriously slow starter who didn't really put up decent offensive numbers until June. Then, in 2003, he started strong, but was inconsistent throughout the year. At age 35, I don't expect him to suddenly put everything together and have a monster year, but a good spring training would definitely be a boost for him.

- Derek Turnbow made up for his godawful inning of work against the A's on Saturday (1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER) by chucking two innings of two-hit, scoreless ball yesterday.

So, with the first six games of spring training under their belt, we've had good appearances from Washburn, Lackey, Ortiz, Sele, and Escobar, and one craptacular game from Colon. Wash will likely get the start in today's game against Seattle, while Colon's chance to redeem himself comes tomorrow against Arizona.

One final note: why, on God's green earth, would ESPN arrange their scoreboard by National and American league, instead of by Grapefruit and Cactus League? Is there any sense in making me look through two sets of results for the game I want? I suppose their logic is that people don't know which teams play in Florida and which play in Arizona as much as they know which are in the National and American leagues, but their system means you have to know which is the home team to have any certainty about where to look on the page, which is much less likely than knowing which state they train in.