Cactus League record: 6-2-1.
Randall Delgado hasn't really received much consideration in terms of a job in the starting rotation this year. In some ways, that's understandable, as he botched things pretty badly in the role at the beginning of 2015. But he has been among the most impressive of Arizona's spring pitchers, and certainly raised his profile with an excellent performance this afternoon at Salt River Fields: three perfect innings, with five strikeouts, finishing off by fanning Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and David Freese consecutively. That's now five scoreless, with two hits, no walks and seven strkeouts for Delgado. The pitching rotation battle may not be over.
Robbie Ray didn't do himself any favors, with a couple of shaky innings which allowed Anaheim to take a three-run lead after two innings. He wasn't helped by a throwing error from Tuffy Gosewisch, but an overall line of three hits, a walk, one strikeout and three runs (two earned) in three innings won't move him up the depth charts. Braden Shipley allowed one run on four hits and a walk, with one strikeout, in the seventh and eighth, and Jake Barrett almost blew the save. Two walks, a wild pitch and an RBI double (Nick Buss losing the ball in the sun there) put the tying on third with one out, but Barrett regrouped to get a shallow fly ball and pop-out for the save.
The offense did a good job of digging themselves out of the early hole. A.J. Pollock had two hits and drove in three, most notably a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth that scored the tying and go-ahead runs. Ender Inciarte and Yasmany Tomas also had a pair of hits apiece, with David Peralta and Brandon Drury each getting a hit and a walk. Drury's hit was a long one., a solo HR, his second of spring. a solo shot against Jered Weaver to lead off the fourth inning. Inciarte stole a pair of bases too, and there were other SB by Paul Goldschmidt, Peralta and Pollock.
As Stephen mentioned in our new #SnakeStrikes section, we've lost Rule 5 Draft Pick Oscar Hernandez to a broken bone in his hand. Surgery will be required, and that means 6-8 weeks recovery. He will need to be placed back on the 25-man roster when recovered. It does mean both catcher's spots are now fully open to competition between now and Opening Day. Tomorrow, it's back at Salt River, with a slightly later first pitch - 2:10pm - in order to accommodate Will Ferrell and MLB, who's playing all the positions across half the Cactus League tomorrow, as part of a stunt for cancer awareness, being filmed by HBO. Should be.... interesting!