Spring training hasn’t gotten off to a great start for the New York Mets and Edwin Diaz.
The pitcher had a 2019 that was weaker than expected, and the Mets thought that 2020 would see a different player. When the team took to the field on Wednesday, though, and met the Houston Astros, the same old Diaz was on the mound. Granted, his fastball, at 98mph, is still pretty impressive, but his overall performance – two runs on three hits and just one strikeout – left something to be desired. He admits he was a little anxious, so maybe it’s just butterflies in his gut.
No Mets Diaz Butterflies For Schmidt
Clarke Schmidt doesn’t have any butterflies. The New York Yankees pitcher made his second appearance in spring training yesterday when the Yankees took on the Tampa Bay Rays, and everyone seemed to like what he saw as he provided two scoreless innings, struck out three players and didn’t gift anyone with a base. Schmidt doesn’t have a lot of experience in the majors, having spent most of his time in minor league games, but his name continues to be on the radar.
It looks like his persistence has paid off, as one scout said of his ability yesterday, “It was his [second] big league game and it’s spring training, but when you can throw the breaking ball behind in the count for strikes, you have a chance to be really good. You can see him as a keeper.” Still, picking up one of the spots opened by the injuries to Luis Severino and James Paxton is a longshot, mostly due to his lack of experience in anything above Double-A ball.
The Baltimore Orioles want Chris Davis to earn his nickname, and he seems to be ready to deliver. The first baseman has a keen eye for the ball that led to someone calling him “Crush Davis,” and the Silver Slugger award winner is getting off to a good start after a previous season where the only thing he crushed was his reputation. This spring training, he has been at bat eight times, picking up three walks and four hits, including two home runs. Davis should be a player worth watching this year to see if he picks up his third season as the MLB homerun leader, a feat he last achieved in 2015.
The Orioles met the Pittsburgh Pirates in Sarasota, FL yesterday, and the Pirates are most likely wishing they could turn back the clock. By the time the game ran its course, and the Pirates ran threw eight pitchers, the Orioles won 13-0. Pittsburgh has yet to win a game in spring training, but have a chance for revenge today. The two teams face off once again, and Pittsburgh has the opportunity to switch up its strategy to at least try to put one run on the board.
More From Spring Training
Bubba Starling is getting the KC Royals all worked up. He’s appeared in four games in spring training and has gotten on base in over half of his at-bats. In the mix are two homeruns and a double, but his skills don’t end at the plate. Trying to explain his rocket of a right arm isn’t easy, but the fact that he can throw the ball from deep center field and connect with home plate says it all. If he can be more consistent when it comes to hitting, he could be a major force for the Royals this year.
Competition to be part of the Detroit Tigers pitching rotation is becoming more heated than a high school beauty pageant. There are only six bullpen spots still available, but 14 pitchers looking to be part of the team. Without naming them all, Hector Santiago, Alex Wilson and Zack Godley are on the outside, looking in, hoping to make the final selection. Matthew Boyd, Jordan Zimmerman and Ivan Nova, as well as a few others, are already guaranteed a spot, and there’s less than a month to go until Opening Day. It’s now or never.