It’s official, folks, baseball is back. We are all excited about Spring Training games, but sure enough, in two weeks we will be longing for real, meaningful baseball games. Spring Training is fun for a few days, but at the end of the day, it is meaningless. Luckily for baseball fans, the first game of Spring Training is fun, and the Pittsburgh Pirates won their first game against the New York Yankees.
There was no video for this game, so we were forced to sit and listen to it on the radio. I don’t know about you guys, but I am not old-school. Listening to baseball games on the radio is almost impossible for me. I will go through stretches where I lose focus for minutes at a time and lose track of what inning it is.
It’s a good thing we have box scores to look at for Spring Training games, because there are way too many players involved to keep track of. One hitter and one pitcher stood out for me today for the Pirates — catcher Tony Sanchez and pitcher Edinson Volquez.
The two stood out for different reasons, however, as Sanchez was impressive. Volquez, well, he pretty much just did what we all expected him to do. Sanchez went 2-2 with a three-run home run as he continued his impressive spring. In camp, Sanchez has been raising eyebrows the entire time with his improved approach at the plate. Volquez pitched just one inning — the second inning — allowing a hit, a walk and a two-run blast.
Seeing Sanchez continue to develop is a great sign for the Pirates. The former fourth-overall draft pick has been bordering on “bust” status for a few years, and he is quickly shedding that label. The chances of him making the 25-man roster out of Spring Training are basically zero percent barring an injury to Russell Martin or Chris Stewart. However, he will be needed at some point in 2014.
I think most of us share the same feelings regarding Volquez. He is terrible at pitching baseballs and the Pirates were idiots to give him $5 million for one year. There isn’t much else that needs to be said about him. He hasn’t ever shown the ability to limit walks, and he has had one decent season, but it was way back in 2008. Unfortunately, his $5 million deal probably gives him the inside-track on the fifth spot in the rotation.
Even though it is just the first game of Spring Training, you can still raise that Jolly Roger, Pirates fans.