Rockpile Rumblings Spring Training- Game One Play Ball!
Play Ball! Today was game one of our exhibition season. We traveled to Goodyear to face theCincinnaticlub.Ashevillecame out on top today by a score of 8-6. TheModestoclub, combined of mostly last yearsAshevilleclub won 10-8. After a slow start in the first inning, Peter Tago settled down and pitched better in the 2nd inning. In the first, control problems ran his pitch count up but got out of a bases loaded jam with a ground ball 4-6-3 double play performed by Jose Rivera, Trevor Story (2011 2nd pick) to Harold Riggins (former NC State product). The Tourists scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning on a RBI double by Dylon Thomas and Riggins. In the very next inning, Julian Yan hits a grand slam HR to put us up 6-1. Yan was the only player to have 2 hits.
We were pleased with what we saw today. Tago, Geoff Parker,KyleRoliard, Brook Hart and Russel Brewer all got work on the mound today. Brewer looked very good closing out the last 2 innings of scoreless ball.
In these exhibition games, first and foremost we try to get everyone as much work as possible. As for the lineup, it is a mix and match of 18 position players. Today 15 saw action. 3 different catchers worked 3 innings each. As the games go on, we try to evaluate to the best of our knowledge, formulating an opinion of who and where players will play during the season. Yes players are auditioning for jobs. Although some jobs have already been secured by performances of last season, there are still positions that need to be filled. One thing to remember and this is what I told the team today, even if you don’t make this club coming out of spring, you have a chance to impress us to when we need a player in a month or so, or it could be a couple of weeks, the impression you leave with us will be important in the future.
Also in these games, we try to let the players play and showcase what they can and can’t do. I will let them freelance if you may, in order to be creative and aggressive to show us what type of player they are. From allowing them to perform in this manner, we get a better understanding of what direction we need to go with the player in a specific area. What I really find out is if the player can lead, think outside the box or is he passive and reluctant to think on his own. We play in a very low pressure arena in spring training. Although many peers watch and cast out opinions, there are not many fans, music, no scoreboards and National Anthems. Mostly, all players get to a point in spring when they all are curious where they will be headed out of camp. A saying around camp is when you hear the National Anthem on opening day, you know you’re not inScottsdale.
Tomorrow is a fun day, intra squad against theModestoclub, yes the team I had last year and then we have our annual staff Golf Tournament. My team consists of Dave Hajek, Bill Swanson, Scott Muryama and myself. We always look forward to this outing.
Until then, take time to help someone today and don’t take any day for granted!!!
May God Bless and Never Surrender!!!