Thomas Harding checks in with an article that paints Manny Corpas in the light of being "no longer [a] lock to make big league roster." Kind of a strange thought, isn't it? Corpas was quoted as recognizing his minor-league options available still, and realizing that he has to actually make the team, he's not just a mainstay.
"I know I have a contract, but to make the team I have to work hard," Corpas said. "I know I have options [can be sent to the Minors without being exposed to other teams through waivers]. I don't want to go back to Triple-A. Nobody wants to go back to Triple-A."
However, his former dominance has not been forgotten, especially by manager Jim Tracy.
"To get a 2007 version of Manny Corpas back, let's face it, only makes us better"
Not many people will disagree with that statement, but the fact is that it's 2010 now, and 2007 Manny Corpas may be just there: 2007.
The reason for this concern came from his first spring outing, where he walked two showed poor command and a lack of velocity on his fastball, but got an inning-ending double play to get out of the jam. Well, really, the concern came from the past 2 years of baseball, but you see the point. However, we must not try to draw too much from one inning of Spring Training baseball, especially following up injury. Tracy commended Corpas for his composure, and general pitch location (if you're gonna miss, miss low), and Corpas owned up to his poor showing:
...Corpas told pitching coach Bob Apodaca he was disappointed and felt he could be better if he controlled his body better.
It's really a shame how this unfolded for Manny. Young kid, awesome stuff, promising future...all somewhat lost while shifting into cruise control. I won't even address ball-doctoring allegations, but we know that whether it's true or just bitter accusation, it's somewhat hanging on him anyway.'
The good news, before we move on, is that Corpas' second outing showed improved velocity over a rain-shortened 2 innings. His slider had regained some of its downward movement, leading to the strikeouts of 3 Diamondbacks batters.
"It's a little difficult because those two years were not good," Corpas said. "But I'm a professional player because I'm good. I have to think that. I just have to do my job and think about 2007 again."
In good news, Huston Street was pleasantly surprised by a bullpen session on Sunday, after which his shoulder felt "surprisingly good". Given the poor performance of Corpas and the poor health of Betancourt, it's good to hear that at least one of our highly-paid relievers is making some improvement. Remember also that last spring, Street was limited in action by a minor hip injury, leading to limited numbers of innings pitched and yet a very good season. I know that a tweaked hip and sore shoulder are two very different things, but it seems like Street's the guy who just needs to tighten all the loose nuts and bolts in spring. It's also important to note that Street hasn't reported any pain, just tightness.
More links after the jump.
Thomas Harding has all the news from yesterday. Aaron Cook, while only scheduled for 2 innings of work, mowed through some light rain to turn in a scoreless 3IP outing, throwing 30 of his 45 pitches for strikes. Perhaps Cook will be showing up in Workhorse Cook mode this year.
Jim Armstrong touches on Cook again - less about the rain, and more about how Cook is down around 200lbs this spring, and according to Cook, he's having trouble putting it back on. Not in a unhealthy sort of way, but just that he normally notices a 5-10lb gain during the spring, and so far, nothing. Conclusion: Aaron Cook is in shape. Bear Fact.
What's more interesting from Armstrong though are the notes on Sammy Deduno.
...they weren't the only ones who noticed Deduno's lights-out curveball...he has a plus-fastball and devastating curveball...
from Aaron Cook:
Deduno . . . filthy
from Jim Tracy:
...Those were paralyzing-type curveballs...
I think this guy has some stuff. Word is from Armstrong that Deduno is working on a changeup that's considered a work in progress, but that's all pretty positive stuff about Deduno. Another feather in his cap is the fact that he's willing to shift his role around:
It's OK. I like being a reliever, a starter, everything. Doesn't matter...
WHAT A GUY.
Not too much that we haven't already seen here, but Betancourt's shoulder issues are being diagnosed as just inflammation, and he's taking some medication for that. He seems relieved that at least they've diagnosed it. Me too.
Also, Street will be scheduled for a more intense 25-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday, and he hopes to work his way up to 2 consecutive innings in game.
Andrew Johnston, who made his debut on Saturday, will be competing for a job in AAA Colorado Springs this spring. He'll be 26 next month, but could still be a depth option for the Rockies. Tracy likens Johnston to Paul Quantrill, a noteworthy groundballer. Funny note, but in Quantrill's last season, he was traded by the Yankees to the Padres Darrell May and Tim Redding.
Tim Redding recognizes his slow spring, and he isn't terribly pleased with his performance thus far. He doesn't feel as if he has anything to prove, though, and feels his veteran presence will win him a spot. Click into the article, check out Redding's comments, give us your take on them.
Pulled groin, says Dodgers' manager Joe Torre. It sounds like the Dodgers will stay in-house to replace Russell Martin's playing time, and rather than just dumping everything onto Brad Ausmus, it sounds as if A.J. Ellis will be getting a good chunk of the time.
Martin apparently put on 25 pounds of muscle this offseason, and despite the claims that his new physique didn't contribute to the injury, I wonder. Martin still isn't convinced that he'll have to miss Opening Day.
His replacement, Ellis, is 29 very soon after Opening Day, and has posted 2 .800+ OPS seasons in AAA, showing excellent plate discipline and good average. This will be his chance to prove to the Dodgers that he deserves to be backin up - or even stealing playing time from - Russell Martin.