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What happens in Scottsdale....

Spring stats don't mean a thing. Spring stats don't mean a thing. Spring stats don't mean a thing. Except, of course, for the encouraging performances of Todd Linden and Barry Bonds. Those guys are going to combine for 50 homers, no problem. But as to the first's starting to get to the point where bad spring stats can be worrisome. Noah Lowry is getting slapped around like an A-baller in his first look at the big camp. Matt Morris is getting slapped around like Matt Morris, only more so. Matt Cain is giving up walks and runs. Even St. Timothy -- blessed be his curveball -- has had a struggle or two. Don't forget to take a can opener down to the bunker with you.

After a while, it gets hard to accept the counterintuitive notion that spring performance doesn't matter. Whaddya mean, it doesn't matter? They're playing baseball, right? Pitchers are trying to get batters out; batters are trying not to make outs. How can that be useless? It's a valid set of questions, so allow me to present:

The McCovey Chronicles Guide to Making Yourself Feel Better About Poor Spring Performances:

  • Last March, Jason Schmidt led all of MLB with a 1.50 ERA. He had a good-not-great season. Right behind him was Dewon Brazelton, who had a 1.77 ERA and made the Padres' rotation based on his spring performance. Spring stats don't mean a thing.
  • Matt Cain was really, really roughed up last spring, with a 7.99 ERA. He turned out just fine, though. Other people who had tough springs: John Lackey, Barry Zito, Lyle Overbay, Brandon Webb, Andruw Jones and Edgardo Alfonzo. Spring stats don't mean a thing. Except maybe in that last case.
  • Sure, those were cherry-picked examples. Chris Carpenter had a great spring, and he went on to have a great season. Albert Pujols slugged .800 in March, and Ryan Howard had 11 spring homers. Tim Worrell was a disaster in March and he was a disaster in April. But if you can't tell the difference between the genuine and the pyrite, you have to throw the whole set out.
Alright, that hardly qualifies as a proper guide. It was more just a collection of a couple of obvious sentences to make up a post that insults your intelligence even more than usual. I just thought it was time for a refresher. Spring stats don't mean a thing. Spring stats don't mean a thing. Spring stats don't mean a thing.

Now onto stats for the spring thus far:

Doin' fine

Barry Bonds
Pedro Feliz...if you ignore the fact that his OBP is lower than his batting average, which takes real skill.
Jason Ellison, of course.
Todd Linden
Omar Vizquel
Randy Winn
Armando Benitez
Russ Ortiz

Guh. Mmrmrph.

The rest of the pitching staff
Ray Durham
Mark Sweeney
Benji Molina
Kevin Frandsen

Comment starter: Which spring performance from 2007 are you convinced will carry over to the regular season? It'd be a good time for the Morris-doubters to get boisterous, but I'm going to go down the optimist's road and choose Todd Linden. He isn't going to hit .413/.509/.630, but I think he'll force a lot more at-bats than expected, especially if his defense in center is passable.