Cactus League observations

For those of us who may be attending some Cactus League games, I thought this would be a good place for us to pass on some observations, particularly observations that may not show up in the box score.  I had that Grant like this idea.  I am particularly interested in prospects who fans have seldom had the chance to see on TV.

I attended the Giants at Cubs game on Saturday 3/5.  Here are some observations.

  1. I didn't think Jerome Williams looked anywhere near as bad as the 5-run 1st innings stats might look.  The Cubs had some well-placed hits, as opposed to just well-hit balls.
  2. LHP Brian Burres broke several bats.  Was that his cutter working well?
  3. RHP Merkin Valdez looked pretty good.  No radar gun reading, but I think he was throwing mid-90s.
  4. I got to see RHP Scott Munter for the first time since June 2003.  He got 4 ground balls.  Two were outs, and the other two were hits, the first of which rolled 40 feet up the third base line, the second of which rolled about 90 feet.  Second baseman Donaldo Mendez tried to flip it from his glove to first base, but the ball said way, way high, and a run scored on the error.  The other out was a strikeout looking.  One of the questions about Munter is whether he misses enough bats (low K/IP and high H/IP), so I just wanted to note that the strikeout came looking, not swinging.  Muster seemed to work very deliberately with the runner on base, and the baserunner stole second off him very easily.  If Munter can make it to the majors, I believe he would be the first 47th round pick to play in the majors.
  5. LHP Erick Threets looked to be throwing harder than Valdez.  But Threets had control issues.  A handful of pitches were not close to the strike zone, while a couple other pitches caught too much strike zone.
  6. CF Clay Timpner is rated the Giants best defensive outfielder, but I thought he got a bad break on one fly ball.  On the plus side, I thought he had the Giants' most solid hit.  The ball did not come close to reaching the wall in left-center, but he had enough speed to make it a double nonetheless.
  7. The next best "hit" by the Giants was Moises Alou's liner in the 1st, but it went into the glove of Neifi Perez and ended in a double play that killed the bases-loaded, no-out rally.

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