Giants 10, Dodgers 8

One day after Blake DeWitt and Chin-lung Hu had big games to state their cases for the two utility-infield spots that remain open, Doug Mientkiewicz and Juan Castro had big games to state their cases for the same two spots. Each of them homered today. There are still four games to go before opening day, but it sounds like the decision is going to be made in the next 24-48 hours, and my money for now is on Castro and Mientkiewicz because they are veterans, with DeWitt and Hu going to the minors because they need regular ABs. Castro went 2 for 5 with a double and a tow-run homer and is hitting .415 for the spring. Mientkiewicz went 1 for 4 with a two-run homer and a walk. It appears the competition is this: Mientkiewicz vs. DeWitt for one spot, Castro vs. Hu for the other, the thinking being that both Mientkiewicz and DeWitt are LH hitters who can pinch hit. …
Hiroki Kuroda gave up a run on four hits over three innings in his final tuneup before taking the ball on opening day. He was limited to three innings, but Torre said that is normal for a pitcher’s final start of the spring and that Kuroda should be ready to throw 100 against the Pods on Monday. …
Eric Milton appeared to pitch himself out of his last glimmer of hope for the fifth spot in the rotation or for a bullpen spot — he gave up eight earned runs in 2 1/3 innings — but it turns out he had already been told he won’t be on the opening-day roster. After discussing it with Joe Torre over the past 10 days or so, he has agreed NOT to exercise the April 4 escape clause in his minor-league contract and will instead go to Triple-A and continue to try to get his arm back into game shape. You have to remember, it has still been less than two years since this guy had Tommy John surgery, and he hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since. If he can get back to form, there is still a good chance we’ll see him in Los Angeles sometime this summer. …
Dodgers fall to 15-19. Vs. the Angels at Dodger Stadium tomorrow night.
Los Angeles or bust.

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  • Marcel

    Tony, let’s be realistic here – a gopher ball pitcher heading to MILE HIGH altitude and you say there’s a chance he’ll pitch for the Dodgers this summer?! If that happens, this will be a looooong year.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com Registered User

    Tony, why would your money be on both veterans making the team over the two guys who are ON the roster already? Wouldn’t it make more sense to take one of the NRI guys, say Mientkiewicz, and one of the guys on the roster, Hu or DeWitt? Isn’t it going to be harder for them if they have to find space for them on the roster?

    I know they cleared one space with the release of Ardoin. But they have to make room for Ohman, and probably Weaver, too. I predict Minky makes it and Hu. DeWitt sent down for more playing time. And Castro gets released or makes it down to AAA. Just mho.

  • neoncactus

    Sounds like Pierre has quieted down a bit. To draw interest tonight, they should have a pre-game cage match of overpaid bench outfielders: Pierre vs. Matthews, winner gets to start opening day.

    It really would be easy for Pierre to get a starting job, if that’s what he really wants. Just walk into Colletti’s office and say forget about the rest of the contract, just make me a free agent. Colletti would rip that sucker up in a heartbeat. I’m sure the union would have something to say about that.

    But seriously that starting position isn’t as important as other considerations…

  • Buddy

    To prevent Torre and Colletti from an unnecessary sleepless night. Here’s the opening day roster.

    Lineup:
    Furcal
    Hudson
    Martinez
    Ethier
    Kemp (better slugging % than Martin at this spot)
    Loney
    Martin (secondary leadoff guy with good OBP)
    Blake

    Bench
    Ausmus
    Loretta
    Mientkiewicz
    Pierre (for base running situations only, no plate appearances)
    Castro

    Rotation
    Kuruda
    Wolf
    Billingsley
    Kershaw (future ace)
    McDonald (no more than 150 innings, save that arm)

    Pen
    Broxton
    Mota
    Wade
    Weaver (for significant run deficits only)
    Ohman
    Troncoso
    Hu

    Starting Rotation is a little suspect health wise, but it’s almost assured Roy Halladay will be a trade target this summer). Dodgers should go all out and get him.

  • Marcel

    ‘Martinez’ batting 3rd?

    And why is Hu in the pen?

  • Buddy

    Yes,
    My bad, Ramirez hitting third. Kuo in pen.