Not as much of any significance out there today as usual, which makes some sense. With the time change, we'd expect about 4.2% less news today than the average day, and sure enough, math never fails.
- Felix got into his first game of the spring, as the team is taking a cautious approach and putting as little unnecessary stress on his body as possible. It wasn't very pretty, as he needed 53 pitches to get through 2.2 innings, but according to Ryan Divish, his velocity was fine, and the home plate umpire had a funny zone, for whatever that's worth. It probably didn't help. Felix was a little wild, but with normal velocity, some strikeouts, and twice as many grounders as air balls, the take-home message here is "he's not injured," which is about all we need to know. It's nice to see that name in a box score again, even if the box score itself is stupid and I hate it.
- Pitching in relief of Felix today was Mike Koplove, who threw to one batter - in the third inning - before getting replaced. Presumably he was just serving as an emergency bridge, as Felix ran up against his pitch count and Jason Vargas was scheduled to begin the fourth inning. Spring training is pretty much the only place you'll ever see a relief specialist called in in the third inning. Spring training and St. Louis.
- Another three reasonably effective frames from Jason Vargas, and he's now allowed all of one unearned run in 8.2 innings. Doug Fister, meanwhile, has allowed ten runs in seven innings, while Garrett Olson has allowed eight in 3.1. Luke French has helped his cause with zero in four. What does it all mean? Very little, but you figure a successful appearance can't hurt a man's chances, so Vargas once again probably takes a little step forward. He's been the favorite all along, and nothing that's happened so far has done anything to force a re-evaluation.
Of course, with Erik Bedard presently on track to return in good time (one notices that several other teams have already placed players on the 60-day DL, while the have not), the winner of this competition only gets to look ahead to competing with Ian Snell and Ryan Rowland-Smith once the season begins. Jason Vargas is a lot of things, but Jason Vargas probably isn't real comfortable with his job situation.
- I just found out that Target sells movie theater popcorn for a dollar. I just found out. What has two thumbs and just had the best Sunday ever? This guy.
Brandon League didn't look so hot today, but it doesn't matter.
- Another multi-hit game for Matt Tuiasosopo. Remember, what matters isn't how many hits he picks up. What matters is how he looks when he's hitting, and based on all reports to date, he's looked terrific. Whether that's just because he's been picking up a bunch of hits and people can't separate process from results, I don't know, but this is one of those areas where you have to defer to the coaching staff. Tui's making a real, real strong impression, and even though he played third base today instead of shortstop, he's drawing attention again. Remember that he made a lot of waves a year ago after hitting .404. There have been a few points in Tui's career where his Major League future looked doubtful, but at this point you have to think it's only a matter of time.
- Tim Redding intentionally walked Brad Nelson in the seventh.