They were an impressive two innings of work for Sale. With little to look forward to, he represented the city well. At the break, Sale is fifth in the American League in ERA and Strike outs. On the flip side is record is just 6-8 on the season. That is the result of little run support and a bad team supporting him.
Snodgrass is a 23-year old with a high upside. A 5th Round pick in 2011 out of Stanford, he too is off to a 4-1 start for the Barons and is ranked by Baseball America as the top lefty in the sale jerseys organization, second best pitching prospect behind Erik Johnson, a second rounder in the same draft. He is also 23 and is off to a 2-1 start with a 1.44 ERA in five games.
In addition to losing Crain, the Twins lost Matt Guerrier to the Dodgers, Brian Fuentes to the Athletics, and Jon Rauch to the blue Jays. Additionally, their former all-star closer Joe Nathan is coming back after missing all last season following Tommy John surgery. Also, a week into spring training Twins all-star first baseman Justin Morneau had yet to play and there was no timetable for his return as he continues to deal with a concussion, he suffered mid-way through last season. With the subtractions and uncertainty of key Twins, it seems that the Sox have overtaken Minnesota as they, along with the Detroit Tigers, battle for the division.
Peavy claims to be at 60-70 percent heading into spring training, so his velocity is likely to be lower than usual as his arm & shoulder regain strength. If he’s throwing 94 mph on his fastball by the end of spring, maybe there’s a chance he returns sooner than early May. But if his fastball is barely scraping 90 mph or is losing velocity early into outings, it’ll be a longer road back.
Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles finished strong and really aren’t that far from being back in postseason play, but they need to make several tweaks in the offseason.
- San Francisco Giants – San Francisco fans can relax about Matt Cain, who has put up numbers very similar to previous seasons but simply doesn’t have the wins or ERA to show for it.
“If the first week of the year is any indication, the Sox will have no problem shutting down games if a starter carries a lead past the sixth inning,” said Stankevich.