Donnie, I'm Out of My Element

I am a sick, sick person when it comes to baseball. Ask anyone who works with me. I’m the sort of baseball writer who goes to baseball games on my day off. In fact, I did just that twice last week.

And if I had the time to go watch Minor League games, I’d do that too. At the risk of getting all sappy, "this is what the game is all about," yadda yadda yadda, Minor League Spring Training is just a great way to watch baseball. At times, there are four games going on at once, and you can stand in a spot where you can actually keep an eye on all of them.

Today, there were only three games on the Cards back fields, because Palm Beach and Quad Cities had road games. But I trekked out there for the first half-hour or so of Memphis vs. Las Vegas, Springfield vs. Jacksonville and the extended-spring-training guys against a traveling team of some flavor.

And it was fun. I stood right at the fence to watch Michael Parisi, then I’d duck over across the way to watch Memphis hitters who I wanted to see hit (Cody Haerther and Travis Hanson in particular). Parisi looked good as far as I could tell — he pitched at 91-92 with nice sink. He left one ball up that I saw (not coincidentally, it was at 93) and it was hit hard, but from what you can tell from two innings of Minor League Spring Training, I liked what I saw.

Other thoughts/observations/etc. from the Minors…

  • Colby Rasmus, listed at 6’2 and 185 pounds, doesn’t look that big to my eye at all. He does look like a ballplayer, though. In a game a few days ago I saw him hit a laser-beam double to straightaway center, and he moves well in the outfield.
  • Farm director Bruce Manno said that the Cardinals are going to be patient with Mark McCormick, just because the potential payoff is so high. McCormick is far from a guarantee, but his arm is extremely exciting, so there’s no reason to take any chances and rush him. Let him work, let him get innings, let him learn to repeat his delivery, and see what you’ve got. Some pitchers move extremely quickly; I don’t expect McCormick will be one of them.
  • Daryl Jones just looks like a ballplayer. (I know, we’re not selling jeans here.) He has a really impressive body for a guy who’s still only 18. Kevin Goldstein, formerly of Baseball America and now of Baseball Prospectus, likes Jones a lot, and he knows way more about this stuff than I do.

Currently playing on the iPod: more Modest Mouse, this time Good News for People Who Love Bad News.

Yep, two posts in one day, six in four days. I’m out of control. Till next time…

-M.

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