The Tigers get their first look at Chicago’s Gavin Floyd Monday. The 26-year-old righty went 3-0 in five starts against Detroit in 2008. Chicago went on to win each of those five contests.
Having Rodriguez didn’t make up for not having Derek Jeter or Mark Teixeira. In fact, Vernon Wells was the only Yankee swinging a hot bat with a three-hit night, although his teammates had six combined themselves. But with Pettitte giving up seven runs, no amount of offense would have been enough.
Really, though, whatever quibbles I have with this lineup construction are very, very minor. It’s at least close to optimal, and that is certainly a good thing for future run production.
So, two things to watch for with Owens this spring: if he’s able to hit the ball with authority and if he’s able to be patient and get on base a lot. If he can’t do those two things, he still may win the starting centerfield job, but he won’t be any kind of a long-term solution.
What worries me is that I’m not sure Owens will be able to simply hit the ball harder. His extra-base numbers in the minor leagues are not impressive: 24 in 2006, 13 in 2007, 12 in 2008 (all with AAA Charlotte). He may not have it in him to get 30+ extra base hits in a season, so if he’s going to stick for at least a year, he has to turn himself into an on-base machine.
Not true. In Ruth’s first season in New York, the Yankees went 95-59 and finished in third place, three games behind the Cleveland Indians and one game behind the Chicago sale jerseys. They lost the 1921 series five games to three to the new York Giants and were swept four games to none by the Giants in 1922. They finally won in 1923 (the year that Yankee Stadium opened) by defeating the Giants four games to two.
He made his Major League debut in 2002 with the Rangers, going 1-3 in 15 games at the age of 22. He also played with Texas in 2003 and 2004 but missed the 2005 season with an injury.