A few quick thoughts on Wednesday's game against the Indians:
**Thom is already annoying me. I understand announcers can't know all the young talent in these games, but do a bit of homework on the more obvious ones. Also, avoid the jarring overstatements. Kevin Gregg has had a "great" career? Really?
**On the other hand, nice bit of insight from Brantley about the seams on the baseball, including how the college game is intentionally lowering the seams to increase offense and how MLB's baseball already has reduced seams.
**DeSclafani looked solid, but I'm still not seeing anything electric in his repertoire.
**Holmberg was Holmberg. He's always going to flirt with trouble due to high contact rates. So, it's tough to get a read on how he actually performed when the hitters he faced were less likely to produce damaging contact. Still, an encouraging first step.
**Billy Hamilton drove two balls solidly and dropped down a fairly decent bunt. He talked about wanting to hit the ball on the ground more and how he lowered his hand position to accomplish that, but he drove both of those balls well.
**Devin Mesoraco wants to catch "9 out of 10" games, which works out to 145 games behind the dish. That's a helluva of a workload, Yadier-esq.
**I still don't get Brandon Phillips' personality, but, whatever, he evidently lost 15 lbs this offseason. Finally, deciding that his declining offense and footspeed were problematic.
**Brayan Pena talked about the Latos' recent comments, providing more evidence that the team is unifying to fend off an external threat.
**I still like Tucker Barnhart behind the dish, very strong receiving skills. Chad Wallach looked solid back there, but at times his footwork looked shaky and once or twice he seemed to struggle, as a taller catcher, getting low enough. There weren't any basestealers, but I'd like to get a live look at Wallach's catch-and-throw ability.
**Neftali Soto is such a disappointment. There's really no compelling reason for him to be in the organization any longer.
**Kyle Waldrop looks the part, but had a rough day at the plate. Still, pitchers are ahead of hitters.
**Raisel Iglesias wasn't great. But nothing too discouraging. The Soto error didn't help. Iglesias showed good arm-side run on his fastball. Fastball command was spotty, missing up consistently for stretches.
**Interesting point by Brantley on how Iglesias changed his arm slot on one particular pitch, going more over the top on a fastball. Brantley talked about it as an advantage, though I've heard other organizations wanting to eliminate the common Cuban pitcher tendency of using multiple arm slots because it eliminates deception on the pitches. If you believe in the idea of pitch-tunneling, then multiple arm slots would be a disadvantage.