They’ve made it from the kids’ table together at Thanksgiving to the big league field together in Colorado. Third base is a lock for Nolan Arenado pending his retention, and Josh Fuentes may be approaching an Opening Day roster invite himself.
The 27-year-old Fuentes praises his 28-year-old cousin: “He’s trying to help me all he can. And I thank him for that.”
It’s reassuring to hear Arenado’s clubhouse presence is noted from a person like Fuentes, setting out this spring knowing he has something to prove. Sure, family ties can earn Fuentes preferential treatment, but when Fuentes has gone 8-for-17 so far this spring, he’s on pace for high placement this April regardless of who takes the credit.
“I definitely find myself taking dry swings and I’m like, ‘Ah, man, I’m turning into Nolan,’” Fuentes said. “People are on me about it all the time. They’re like, ‘You’re trying to be like Nolan. You look like Nolan.’ But it’s habit. I’m around him all the time.”
The evaluative process of a team during Spring Training is an arduous one. Jeff Bridich will undoubtedly have plenty to do with it. He will also be aiding in the decision on where Fuentes will be placed at the start of the season, perhaps leaving him no choice but to make room in the big leagues for the cousin of one Bridich feuds with.
Arenado spoke in an interview Monday about having a “good feeling” when “29 teams are watching,” in regards to current performance and potential interest he can garner up. He’s still found a way to assist a teammate “all he can” amidst it. Helping family is an understandable priority, but no matter the ties, a collective approach toward team success is what Arenado is fighting for—and Fuentes is attaining those successes right now for all to see.
Fuentes played the bookends of the 2019 season with the Rockies, only for April and September. MLB.com’s Thomas Harding suggests Fuentes could be a backup corner infielder or a late inning pinch hitter. The performance of Chris Owings this March could crowd up the infield space, too, although Owings comes with a more expensive price tag. Harding says Bud Black is likely to “test the potential bench players in pinch-hit situations” during the Cactus League schedule.
Here’s a link to that Arenado interview published on Monday. It doesn't really tell us anything new, but seeing excitement from his perspective counts for something.
Four home runs. McMahon in the first, Hilliard in the fourth, Dahl in the fifth and Butera in the sixth—and the Rockies beat the Mariners in Peoria, Arizona, 9-6.
Old friend Carlos Gonzalez manned Seattle’s right field for two at-bats on Monday, recording a 6-3 groundout and a flyout to center. His second at-bat came against former teammate Ubaldo Jimenez.
While broadcasting rights have seldom seen a positive light recently, at least one telecast hit the nail right on the head. The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant were mic’d up on Monday, along with former Cubs/current Angels manager Joe Maddon. All three talked to each other on the field at one point.
Such a broadcast like the ESPN one on Monday will not be the case this afternoon. The Cubs will still head to Salt River Fields, and they will meet Ashton Goudeau as today’s starter. Goudeau is no stranger to Cactus League stadiums after suiting up for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League a few months ago. He pitched 13 shutout innings over the fall schedule; he’s given up one earned over four frames this spring. He’s pitched a 0.53 ERA in the 2019 Fall League and 2020 Spring Training combined.
(Another interesting bit: all of the announced starters for today on the MLB At Bat app have their respective big league cap on, except for Goudeau, rocking the light teal Rafters cap.)
Eight of the Cubs’ nine runs on Monday came after the fifth inning, when several of their regulars were subbed out. Nolan Arenado did not play on the ‘road’ in Peoria yesterday, reasoning him more likely to play at ‘home’ this afternoon.
Today’s game between the Cubs and Rockies kicks off at 1:10 p.m. Mountain time. Next week is the start of daylight saving time and Arizona doesn’t observe it, meaning we’re a week from today’s start turning into 2:10 p.m. in Denver,
Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports hits this one right on the head: “If I were a kid growing up today in a household where the people who pay the bills weren’t invested in chasing local broadcasts across platforms year-to-year, probably I wouldn’t become a baseball fan at all.”
Streaming restrictions clearly decrease MLB viewership. It negatively impacts youthful exuberance toward this game we love, and that is clearly worse.
Legend has it that on a 1940’s summer night in Brooklyn, you could walk a city street and hear every detail of a Dodger game from radio sets through windows and in front of buildings. It was so simple: power it on, turn the dial to the station, and adjust the volume.
We now live in an era of waning attention spans, thanks to modern technology. A key facet of media development over the years has been to enhance the practice of informing or entertaining the public. It happened when the television outdated the radio. It happened when the internet outdated the newspaper.
It definitely didn’t happen when the A’s decided to take their games off the AM waves this year. It’s not creative destruction when access gets more difficult.
(Purple Row readers don’t need to be bored with my author remarks—disclaimer—but I proofread my writing in the voice of radio greats like Vin Scully, Jon Miller, Bob Uecker, etcetera because of how great they present a story. Jack Corrigan narrated summertime growing up; it expanded my passion. The idea of those iconic voices going by the wayside seems nightmarish when the storytelling can make the most basic plays sound magical. Those guys make the game special, and their gift helps to make people more passionate.)