Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mills, and the dreaded Cause For Concern

In Brian McTaggart's recap of today's loss to the Marlins, he has this quote from Brad Mills:

"The thing was they didn't miss too many balls. Is it a cause for concern? You never like it. You just don't like it, but Wandy is a guy that might not have been hitting his spots and they didn't miss them. The ball was coming out of his hands fine and he looks good and feels good. It's not a cause for concern. The guys stayed aggressive with the bats. The conditions aren't the best, but they [the Marlins] didn't miss too many balls offensively."

Okay, so there have been a lot of walks and a lot of runs given up - this being the second out of seven games in which the opposing team's offense has scored 15+ runs. When do we sound the alarm? Is it overreacting?

Right now, yes. This was Wandy's second start of the Spring, and he'll get stretched out more. Right now you have a group of hitters who are trying to distinguish themselves, and a group of pitchers who are trying not to get injured. Listen to Wandy (via Zach Levine):

Today I wanted to throw the ball down and throw my changeup and my breaking ball. I felt fine, I just missed my spot. I felt perfect, I wasn't sore. I need more innings. It's fine because next time, I've got four innings."

Pitchers are working on getting the feel for their pitches, and are missing spots. So at what point do we start to worry? A week? Two weeks? End of March? We can get all jazzed up about J.R. Towles hitting over .500, but in the same way that the pitchers will start to ramp up, hitters will do the same thing. But it's hard to justify giving a backup job to a guy hitting .111. So, yes, there's a double-standard, in that Wandy can get away with giving up four earned runs, but if Gary Majewski does the same thing - he might not survive Spring Training.