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Spring Training Game #15: Soreness as Strategy?

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Randy Johnson's first real game work this Spring is what's drawing the headlines, but don't look for his two innings to tell us anything about how strong he'll be come the regular season. What's more, it's too short a look for our starting position players to get a really good idea of what to expect. Let's hope we bat around both innings just to maximize their preparation.

Last Spring, we talked about how the Diamondbacks would deliberately shift their pitchers via "B" games and split squad contests to avoid over-exposure to the three other NL West clubs that play in the Cactus League. Who knows, maybe the strategy helped the Snakes to that half game edge they had for the division title last year. At any rate, so far this Spring, the only D-back pitcher with more than five innings pitched is Brandon Webb, who has nine, all against AL opponents. The Rockies have six pitchers over five, but that includes a few relievers and our most veteran starters aren't among them. It seems nobody's getting a lot of legit exposure yet, with the exception of today's starter for the Rockies, Josh Towers, who already has eight Cactus League innings under his belt. A solid start today pushes him easily into the Rockies lead in that category, and I would suggest it would give him a little separation in the quest for fifth starterdom.

Speaking of RJ, Lisa Winston at milb.com looks into the quirks of "B" Games, and includes one of the more awkward looking pictures of the young Big Unit that I have seen. Maybe too many embarrassing photos like this are the real reason the Expos had to leave Montreal.