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Springs Keepers

With the latest round of cuts complete, let's take a look at some of the guys who aren't going to be sent home.

  • At first base, Giambi has played the field in each of the five games he's played in. Duncan and Ensberg have basically split the remaining time; Wilson Betemit has played only one game at first, so he's obviously competing for the utility player spot on the roster.
  • Speaking of Shelley Duncan, he must have hated Scranton because he's doing all he can not to come back here: .500/.556/1.063. Which means Morgan Ensberg is having the quietest .429/.500/.714 spring in recent memory. I think both will make the team even though their presence is redundant.
  • Phil Hughes has looked dominant this spring because he's a week ahead of everyone else in his preparation. But man, has he looked good.
  • One of the reasons Melky collapsed at the plate last season was that he tried to much to be a hitter. In 2006 he walked in 10.9% of his ABs, but in 2007 that fell to 7.3%. Since his K% stayed the same this could be any combination of pitchers staying around the strike zone more while and Melky swinging at questionable pitches. I'm rooting for Melk to rebound big in 2008. I figure that if everything else stays the same and his walk rates increase to 9.2% he'll reach base an extra 14 times in 600 PA (since walks will replace balls in play, hits and outs, and his BABIP is around .300). That would lift his OBP from .327 to .337. Still a second-tier CF, but a big improvement.
  • Jon Albaladejo might be on his way to becoming this year's Chris Britton. Cashman traded for Jonny A. during the offseason and we all thought it was a steal since Tyler Clippard probably wouldn't have cleared waivers when he didn't make the team in spring and was out of options. In 3.2IP Jonny has surrendered 4 hits, 1 run, while striking out 5.
  • In the good news department, Mike A of RAB noted that all 6 of LaTroy Hawkins' outs have come on groundballs. A few weeks ago I broke down how Hawkins transformed himself into a groundball pitcher.
  • Jorge Posada has been sidelined for the last few days with a dead arm. It's nothing to worry- but he is hitless in 10 ABs. Should we start a "His contract made him lazy" open thread?
  • Another new contract, Robbie Cano drew his first walk of the season yesterday.
  • Finally, Billy Traber has pitched 3 innings, allowed no walks, no hits, no runs, and struck out 4. If that isn't enough to send Igawa and Henn to AAA then nothing can.