Lots of HRs, lots of walks
Likely fifth starter James McDonald issued five walks in 2 2/3 innings in his start last night.
First round of cuts
The first round of cuts happened yesterday. Jorge Soler is bound for Tennessee, while Alcantara, Watkins, and Szczur were sent to Iowa. Also cut were Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, Valez, Pimental, and Jokisch. All were sent to minor league gen-pop.
Edwin Jackson friction with coaching staff
The coaching staff was kind of surprised/pissed at Jackson in his last outing, when he got knocked around after throwing nothing but fastballs. Which shouldn't be a big deal, but the coaches claim he didn't tell them about it beforehand. He threw an intrasquad game yesterday and threw three different types of pitches, but the quotes from Jackson and the coaching staff sound like fences aren't completely mended.
"I told them before the game," Jackson said. "I don't know if they thought it was for real. I got tired of being asked about it. Eric Gagne would go through a whole Spring Training throwing changeups."
[Renteria] said he'd talk to the right-hander, but on Wednesday, the pitcher said they didn't.
"There's nothing to talk about," Jackson said.
Renteria said it was a private matter.
"He threw three pitches today," Renteria said. "It speaks for itself, I think."
So, no problem with the fastball-only outing?
"He was just doing what he wanted to do, which is work on his fastball command," Renteria said. "He had a purpose and a reason for doing what he was doing."
Renteria later said that he was happy with what he saw from Jackson's outing yesterday, so *shrug*. Maybe MLB network should send Kevin Millar out to have a sit-down with Jackson and explain to him that he should have told the coaching staff 8 months ago that he was going to throw fastballs in this start.
Is there a Cubs game today?
How is replay going so far in Spring Training?
Through Tuesday, there have been 21 challenges so far in spring training, and only one has been overturned. BP's Zachary Levine takes a look at the system which certainly looks like a clusterfuck so far (not surprisingly). The article is paywalled, but the gist is that the relative lack of deterrent for challenges means there's no reason not to challenge very low probability plays. I do like the idea of penalizing a team with an extra out, but I'm not sure if MLB will let something like that mess up its box scores. There are a few other ideas listed from an earlier study by Pizza Cutter, but in my opinion the best solution would be to penalize the losing team with an intentional walk to whomever their next opposing batter is.
One piece of good news is that on average the replay process has only taken three minutes per challenge, thus on average an extra 15 seconds per game in total.
Astros gotta Astro