Sorry for my delay in posting extra notes everyone. There are some days down here at Spring Training that get a little hectic with stories and then the travel…especially when it’s close to an hour and a half drive each way like it was to Bradenton yesterday. I promise I’ll try to get better.
Anyway, here are some extra news nuggets from Wednesday that I didn’t get into the stories.
- Francisco Liriano looked much better in his second outing of the spring. After getting knocked around a little by the Yankees, Liriano pitched three scoreless innings against the Pirates and allowed just two hits with no walks and two strikeouts. It looked like Liriano was in much better command of the strike zone. His changeup continues to look better and better, and like everyone said it might just be his best pitch now.
- Matt Macri made his first start at third base and produced an impressive play in second inning. He made a diving lunge toward the shortstop hole to snag a ball and then got up on his feet and side-armed the ball to Brian Buscher at first base to get the out. But Macri then was charged with an error the very next inning when the first batter, Jack Wilson, hit a hard grounder to third. After fielding the ball, Macri’s throw sailed high to first base and allowed Wilson to reach base. Manager Ron Gardenhire talked to Macri about using his legs more on the second play, but he was still pretty impressed by the first snag Macri made…”That’s probably about as laid out as you are going to get on a ground ball,” Gardenhire said. “Then you get up and make a throw submarine and still get the guy. I don’t know how much better you can do. That’s one of the better ones I’ve seen this spring.”
- Memorable moment of the day: In the second inning, a white bird — likely a seagull– was seen sitting in the grass in right-center field. There was a debate in the press box as to whether the bird was dead or injured after Wilson Ramos hit a double close to the bird and it didn’t even move. Pirates center fielder Nate McLouth nearly stepped on the bird while trying to chase down the ball, but even then — nothing. So shortly after the next inning, a member of the grounds crew was sent to try and scoop up the bird with a shovel. But when he approached it with the shovel, the bird suddenly flew over the center field wall — miraculously fine.