Photo by DC Connoisseur for TalkNats
Maybe yesterday’s game, with multiple pitching changes during innings, will be more indicative of the length of a real baseball game at 2 hours and 30 minutes. Maybe ESPN slowed things down a little. Or maybe it was the injury timeouts. Starting pitcher Cory Abbott
was nailed by a 112 mph shot off of his leg from Giancarlo Stanton
then there were three HBPs on Washington Nationals’ batters, and a pulled hammy by Derek Hill
that could end his spring. All-in-all, the Nats left Tampa with lots of bumps and bruises as well as Gerardo Carrillo
‘s bruised ego after he surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to career minor leaguer, Carlos Narvaez
, who has never played above High-A ball. On one-pitch, it’s the highs and lows of baseball.
The 2-3 Nats take on the Marlins today in The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. No TV coverage today, and fortunately the Marlins are sending a radio crew to the Nats’ facility. So we will get to hear about MacKenzie Gore
‘s start today. He will try to go at least two innings as the team is in stretch-out mode. Fortunately we got to see Gore’s first start of one inning six days ago, and it was televised.
Speaking of stretch-out mode, there have been media reports of concern over at least two Nats pitchers’ fastball velo in the spring. Particularly, it’s been put out there regarding both Abbott and Matt Cronin
. The first few appearances in Spring will sometimes show a decreased velo as pitchers ramp up. Why even bother worrying if it is less than 5 percent from their norm? Pitchers are building up arm strength and when it is a finesse pitcher, who cares? Throwing 88 or 91 is not what is important. Location and movement are the two most important factors, and getting strikes and outs. Of course, health and building up arm strength are also very important, not trying to max-out velo at the beginning to spring training. Rant over.
The other thing about spring training is accepting the bad with the good. This will separate the players in the fight for roster spots. They used to refer to this crudely as separating the wheat from the chaff. We have seen that process every year in Grapefruit League play. Carrillo did not have a good shot at making the roster anyway. But we also have to take small sample size results and evaluate on process. Jordan Weems
pitched well. Probably very well. Not sure why he started a second inning since he is a reliever and really did not need to be stretched out to 37 pitches. What was Dave Martinez
and Jim Hickey thinking? A flyball not caught with two outs in his second inning of work resulted in two runs. Victor Robles
routinely makes that catch. Luis Garcia
hits a can of corn flyball that does not get caught gave him a gift double. His 1-for-3 day pumped up his stats. This is Spring Training in a nut shell.
Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals
The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches; West Palm Beach, Florida
1:05 pm EDT
Marlins Radio and the MLB app
Line-up subject to change (without notice):