Let's start with this headline, which popped up in my email box this morning and almost caused my head to explode.
Media Advisory: D-BACKS CATCHER TUFFY GOSEWISCH TO HAVE UNIFORM NUMBER RETIRED
Whaaaaat? First Luis Gonzalez, then Randy Johnson and now Tuffy? Shurely shome mishta... Oh, hang on: "D-backs catcher and Horizon High School/ASU alumnus Tuffy Gosewisch will have his uniform number retired at his high school prior to the game against Corona del Sol on Tuesday March 15 at 6:30 p.m." Well, that makes a lot more sense. If you want to attend, the event takes place at Horizon High School, which is at 5601 E. Greenway Rd. in Scottsdale. Right, now that I'm awake, what about the rest of the news?
[D-backs.com] Taking a look at possible outfielders - "Those guys getting nicked up and not able to play makes you start thinking out of the box," Chip Hale said. "What if this happened during the season and we started to get thin? Do we need to start giving guys who don't have much experience in the outfield or any experience in the outfield, do we need to stick them out there and see how they look?" The D-backs expect both Tomas and Pollock back in the next week, but it's possible they could give Phil Gosselin some more time on the corners or even experiment with the hot-hitting Brandon Drury.
[AZ Central] Extra at-bats help David Peralta play catch-up - The wrist injury he suffered late last season prevented him from playing winter ball, and so when Cactus League games began this month, Peralta felt an unusual sensation at the plate. "In the beginning, I was feeling really uncomfortable," Peralta said. "I wasn’t seeing the ball or picking it up well." Peralta says he’s fine now, in large part, he says, because he was able to play in five of the past six games entering Sunday after having asked manager Chip Hale for extra at-bats. That feeling he had at the plate – he didn’t like it, and he wanted to get rid of it as quickly as possible.
[D-backs.com] Daniel Hudson tweaks delivery - Pitching coach Mike Butcher talked with Hudson after he gave up a run on two hits and hit a batter on March 8 against the Angels. "It's something very subtle, where he thought I was not necessarily having a slow leg kick, but kind of taking my time with my leg kick, and it was causing me to float or coast down the mound," Hudson said. "So we worked on trying to have a little quicker tempo with that part. So that way I'm really loading up quick and it forces me to use the mound more to my advantage instead of just falling down it."
[Examiner.com] O'Brien's two HRs carries win - With potential use as a catcher, first baseman and outfielder, O’Brien’s versatility could give him an edge. Not in question is his bat. On Sunday, the native of Miami, Fla. homered twice, a three-run shot in the second, and a two-run blast in the third, both off John Danks, the Sox starter. "(O’Brien) has worked hard with (hitting coach Dave Magadan) to shorten his swing," Hale said after Sunday’s game. "The second one he hit was a high fast ball on an 0-2 count, and his short swing got all of it. He’s made great improvement."
[Washington Post] More wit and wisdom of Bryce Harper - This is now Trumpeseque levels of trolling. "I don’t care what people say, but it wasn’t like the game is tired, that I don’t like baseball, because I absolutely love baseball. But it’s the fans in the stands that get tired of watching a game that is very boring. ‘It’s a pitcher’s duel.’ Well, what’s fun about a pitcher’s duel unless it’s Max Scherzer and Matt Harvey, guys who play with emotion? That’s fun." Let me repeat that: we fans now apparently must consider pitcher's duels "very boring", unless punctuated with theatrical displays of emotions. Guess it must be just "old white men:" who can appreciate the skill otherwise...
[FanGraphs] A Reminder About Spring-Training Records - "If a team is very successful during spring training (like winning ~70% or more of their games), there are examples that tell us they might be more likely to be a good team. However, if you don’t finish on one extreme or the other, there is almost no predictive value in this data." Oooh... Right now, counting the tied game as one-half we have a 75% win percentage. The other NL teams over 70%? The Dodgers (ok), Nationals (makes sense) and... er, the Phillies. And it was going so well, too...
[SI.com] The strike zone remains unchanged—for now. - And Brad Ziegler breathes a sigh of relief... "After considering in January a plan to raise the bottom of the strike zone from mid-knee to the top of the knee, MLB does not anticipate any change by Opening Day this year, according to an industry source familiar with those plans. The idea was under consideration because of two reasons: the decline in offense over the past decade and the way pitchers are pounding the bottom of the strike zone with velocity while getting called strikes."
[USA Today] Nightengale: MLB ready to welcome first openly gay active player - "I think the time is coming for a team to have an active gay player,’’ said Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall, who has the most diverse front office staff in baseball, consisting of 35% minorities. "I’m confident there are players playing now that are gay. I’m looking forward to that day when we can point to one or many players, and say, there’s an example of our inclusion, openness and acceptance. I think in this day and age, it’s accepted.’’