Kings in Spring (March 14)
This may be old news to some, but I was back home in Milwaukee and unable to post it until now. Right-hander Blake Beavan (’08) made his first Spring start as a Mariner on Saturday against Oakland and earned the win, limiting the Athletics to a run on three hits over 3.0 innings. Shortly thereafter, Beavan was re-assigned to Minor League camp. Right-hander Yoervis Medina (’10) also saw his time in big-league camp end as he was optioned to the High Desert spring roster.
In that Beavan start, a 10-2 win over the A’s, first-baseman Justin Smoak (’08) finally woke up his bat with a 2-for-2 game including a two-out two-run single in the fourth inning and a two-run homer to left-center in the sixth. The blast was Smoak’s first in Cactus League action.
The Mariners’ roster still includes Smoak, right-handers Josh Lueke (’07-’08) and Tom Wilhelmsen (’10) and catcher Steven Baron (’10) at this time. I have to say, I’m still surprised Baron is there.
Over in Surprise, the Texas Rangers sent outfielder Engel Beltre (’08), right-hander Fabio Castillo (’08) and left-hander Zach Phillips (’06-’07) back to Minor League camp on Saturday.
Continuing with Rangers camp, Ian Kinsler (’04) is hitting a healthy .367 with a .933 slugging percentage…the former Clinton infielder has a team-high five homers and nine RBI in 11 games. While Chris Davis continues to assert his value to the team as a corner infielder, Mitch Moreland (’08) keeps fighting to hold onto the first-base spot…he’s hitting .375 with a .719 slugging percentage, five doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in 12 games. Aside from catcher Jose Felix (’08), who is 5-for-5 with a double in big-league action, the group of former Kings that includes Chad Tracy (’07), Craig Gentry (’07), Marcus Lemon (’07) and others has been largely quiet offensively.
Left-hander Derek Holland (’08) is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA, no walks and six strikeouts in his two starts, totaling 5.0 innings. Right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08) has pitched just twice in camp, including one start…the flamethrower has not allowed an earned run over 5.0 innings, but has walked three and has hit a batter in that span. Lefty Michael Kirkman is carrying a 3.00 ERA in three outings and has struck out eight over 9.0 innings.
Scanning other camps, outfielder John Mayberry Jr. (’06) continues to look impressive in a bid for a roster spot with the Philadelphia Phillies…he’s hitting .324 with three doubles, four homers and nine RBI in 14 games. Right-hander Maikel Cleto (’09) has had two outings with the St. Louis Cardinals and is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA, one save, four walks, three strikeouts and a home run allowed over 4.0 innings. Right-hander Thomas Diamond (’04) is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA over four relief outings as he attemps to make the Chicago Cubs’ Opening Day roster. Catcher Manny Pina (’07) and outfielder Tim Smith (’08) have both seen minor action in Kansas City Royals’ camp…Pina is 4-for-16 (.250) with a home run and three RBI in 10 games, while Smith is hitless in two at-bats.
There’s plenty more players to track, but I’ll leave it at that for now.