Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Daily Dish March 26th, 2002

This was the windiest spring in Arizona in recent memory. Earned run averages were very high, fly balls turned into home runs almost every day.The White Sox hit the ball very well even without the help of the elements. Paul Konerko looks healthy and ready to fulfill the promise the Dodgers expected before they dealt him to the Reds during the middle of a game in Candlestick Park. Frank Thomas is happy and now calls himself “California Frank”, as a sign of his good humor.

If only the White Sox had some pitching. Other than Mark Buehrle and Todd Ritchie, who is no overpowering righthander to begin with, the Sox have little in the rotation. Dan Wright, Jon Garland, and Jon Rauch will have major struggles this season as they try to fill out the roation. But this team can hit.

Cub phenom pitcher Mark Prior was optioned to AA this week. He can throw, consistently hitting 93, 94 on the gun which was outstanding for the Cactus League. He needs command of his slider and curve to make the jump. He can hit, knocking one half way up the scoreboard in centerfield in Mesa with the bags full. Watch for him and this Cub pitching staff in July.

The A’s Carlos Pena had a very tough spring. He didn’t show the ability to hit in Arizona with any authority. His fielding also suffered making many rookie mistakes around the bag. Will the A’s send him out for more seasoning?

Even with good springs, the A’s sent Tim Hudson, Terrance Long, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder back to AAA to start their rookie seasons. Scott Hatteberg, the hottest spring hitter and a slimmer Olmedo Saenz or Luis Lopez will be fine at first base if Pena opens in Sacramento.

Long has struggled returning to centerfield. Devon White would look very good in an A’s uniform if they wanted to sign the available veteran.

When healthy, I’m convinced Jermaine Dye will have a monster season. The ball jumps off his bat with tremendous power. Long high shots to all parts of the park. He will start the season on the DL as his recovery is just not quite there.

Kevin Jarvis opens as the Padres opening day pitcher. One scout told me that the biggest surprise of the spring was the fact that no starting pitcher on the Padres staff throws over 85 MPH. They better have good control.

Padre rookie, Sean Burroughs will be a major impact player in the NL. He is a potential batting champion in a few years. He doesn’t hit for power now, but has great bat control and he reminds me of Wade Boggs the way he can inside out the ball.


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