Okay, so with several roster battles afoot, I thought it would be fun to read too much into the results of meaningless Spring exhibitions. Today we start trying to determine who's getting hand over their competition, and who's falling behind:
Aaron Cook - Cook's bid to earn opening day honors took a step forward Wednesday when his four seam fastball seemed to be integrated effectively with his sinker. Aaron only recorded one K in his two innings of work, catching Jim Thome off guard with the four seamer, but I'm wondering if he might raise his K/9 rates this year as he gets more comfortable with when he should use the pitch.
Javy Lopez - The two doubles, two runs and two RBI were nice indeed, but the three SB's he allowed on defense show the decline he's had behind the plate still could represent trouble.
Taylor Buchholz - It's just one game, but with Denny Bautista, LaTroy Hawkins and Brian Fuentes all pitching well when Buchholz couldn't keep his pitches down adds to Taylor's pressure to turn it around next time.
Others of note:
Clint Barmes went one for two with a double and a walk, and his defense was solid particularly considering it was his first game action this Spring. Tulo will have his work cut otu for him. Jeff Baker's two K's against White Sox prospects and fringe bullpen candidates didn't leave a solid impression -particularly in contrast to the corner starters' eight for twelve day, but he'll heat up as the Spring goes forward. Ian Stewart and Jayson Nix also chipped in extra base hits against their B squad counterparts.