Just to get caught on things real quick...
- Felix rebounded well from a disappointing outing against Milwaukee in shutting out the Rangers for three innings. At just 20 years old, you have to think the guy has already ascended to the highest order of players, those being the ones about whom there are zero performance concerns (I'm sure I could have phrased that better. Clearly, I'm not in the highest order of writers). If Felix is healthy, there is absolutely no question that he'll be totally awesome. None. I can't express how giddy that makes me.
- Kevin Appier, meanwhile, really needs to go away before he forces Hargrove to make a bad decision. Julio Mateo having to leave camp indefinitely doesn't make the roster outlook any better, either.
- Texas catcher Nicholas Trzesniak's name is worth 35 Scrabble points.
- Were the season to begin right now, only a horrifyingly bad decision by Hargrove and Bavasi would result in Roberto Petagine being left off the roster. The guy couldn't be swinging any better right now. Having both him and Lawton sitting around will make for a pretty damn respectable bench. Finally.
- The WBC is fantastic. There are some kinks to work out - like filling out the Italian team with Italian players - but where I was previously skeptical, now I'm hooked. And if this is what it takes to get Adrian Beltre going, then that's just gravy. Four homers already, which is as many as he hit in May and June combined in 2005.
- More good news - by the looks of things, Corky Miller may be pulling ahead of Rene Rivera in the race for backup catcher. Miller's nothing special, but Rivera's only 22 years old, and pushing him into such a restrictive role at that young of an age isn't a good idea for either party. Let him try to learn how to hit AAA pitching and see where he stands in 2007.
- State of the community projections:
Gil Meche: 4.89 FIP, 120 IP, +/- 0.46, 25.2
Felix Hernandez: 3.10 FIP, 185.2 IP, +/- 0.28, 12
Raul Ibanez: .280/.351/.440, +/- .010/.012/.020
- Fernando Vina's timetable for appearing in a game has been pushed back to Wednesday. I'm telling you, the job is as good as Jose's...
Split-squad games today; Moyer, Jimenez, Bazardo, Gulin, and Carvajal against Texas, then Meche, Blackley, Burba, Harris, Atchison, and (sigh) Cortez against Anaheim.