Five questions for the spring:
- Can Barry Zito throw strikes?
Zito's biggest asset is that he can stay healthy, but that would mean a lot more if he could throw strikes.
- Can Noah Lowry throw strikes?
Lowry used to throw strikes. Wha' happened?
- Can Brian Wilson throw strikes?
He was given the closer's job based on a couple of dozen nice innings last season, but he's had command issues throughout the minor leagues.
- Can Jonathan Sanchez throw strikes?
Sanchez is competing for the fifth-starter's role on the White Sox. He needs to throw strikes to be taken seriously.
- Can every other pitcher not named above throw strikes?
The McCovey Chronicles Theory of Spring Performances: It's never appropriate to worry about spring performances.
The Zito-Lowry Corollary to my answer: At some point, performances can be wretched enough to negate the McC ToSP. The key, though, is that "performances" is plural. One wretched spring start is little more than a curiosity at this point, but if they keep averaging five-to-fifteen walks per inning, it's perfectly okay to panic.
The Lincecum Clause: Spring training stats mean nothing unless they support your preconceived notions of optimism. Scoreless spring innings for Tim Lincecum are obviously a precursor to a Cy Young.
Comment starter: When is it okay to make a big deal out of spring stats or performances?