A week and a half into spring training, let’s check into the Cactus League standings. Just as you’d expect, the Royals (72 wins in 2012) and the Mariners (75 wins) are a combined 18-1. On the bottom, the Rangers (93 wins last year), Angels (89 wins), and Reds (97) are a combined 5-23.
Just as you’d expect, right? Spring training is great. I say this not to point out that spring training stats and records — especially this early — are pretty meaningless, because I know that you know that. Yet you’d be surprised by how many fans haven’t quite grasped that fact, at least judged by the quantity of those on Twitter and elsewhere asking me if I’ll admit I’m wrong yet about Luis Cruz because he’s hitting .444 or insisting the Dodgers are crazy for not announcing Yasiel Puig as the Opening Day cleanup hitter because he destroyed a pitch from terrible, terrible, Fernando Nieve.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be encouraged by Cruz or excited by Puig, because absolutely we should. In fact, let’s get excited by Puig’s dinger from yesterday right now:
Lord, that’s fun to watch. I just want to see how they — or anyone else, really — looks when real pitchers start throwing real curveballs, or when lineups aren’t full of Justin Sellerses & Matt Palmers.
With scouts from the Brewers and Orioles watching, Dodgers starter Aaron Harang threw three scoreless innings in a Minor League game Monday at Camelback Ranch.
This isn’t so much “news” as it is an acknowledgement that Harang is obviously available and teams who need pitching will be interested. Despite stories like this one from Mark Saxon indicating that Hyun-Jin Ryu‘s spot may be in jeopardy, I think it’s far too soon to worry about that after three innings. Besides, what’s Don Mattingly going to say, that Ryu has absolutely nothing to work for? Of course not.