HomeTrending MLB NewsBernie’s Baseball World - More Observations From The Arizona Cactus League

Bernie’s Baseball World – More Observations From The Arizona Cactus League

Every day since spring training began, I have been in a press box watching every team playing games in the Arizona Cactus League.

My thoughts below are designed to share opinions about several of the more competitive teams.

Cubs- Much of their season depends upon how Cody Bellinger returns after his outstanding comeback season. Who’s the real Bellinger? Was it the guy that was on again… off again for the Dodger$, or was it last year’s Cubs Bellinger?

I think the Cubs lineup is weak. I like Christopher Morel, but I’m not sure about his defensive ability at third base.

Seiya Suzuki is credible. And I’m clearly not sold at all on Dansby Swanson. He may have the greatest financial free agent heist in history.

The rotation? Justin Steele is outstanding, and should carry the starting five. But Hendricks, Taillon, Imanaga, Wicks? All very, very Mediocre, with a capital M. But I like Wicks.

Alzolay and Neris are a good combination at the back-end of games.

Rangers- Their rotation is very, very thin. And very, very weak. They need Jordan Montgomery.

The greatness of BrucE Bochy may be put to the ultimate test.

Offensively, the Rangers have a juggernaut. Semien, Seager, Carter, Garcia, and yes…Wyatt Langford. Langford is strong. Very strong. He’ll be fine, but he may not find his groove until later in the season. Pitchers will try to keep him off balance with breaking balls. He’ll have to adjust to how pitchers adjustment to him.

The outfielders-Wow! Evan Carter, Leody Taveras, Adolis Garcia, and Langford. Outstanding.

Jonah Heim is an underrated, good hitting catcher.

The Rangers need pitching. Badly.

Reds- i wish i could properly evaluate the future of Elly De la Cruz. I have seen a combination of tremendous power, blazing speed, and lots and lots of strikeouts. There are times he looks to be All World. There are others when he looks to be All Confused. He can be fooled easily. But he’s an amazing athlete.

The Reds are loaded with big, strong, broad shouldered hitters.

The Reds are banged up. Matt McLain has a shoulder issue. TJ Friedl is dealing with a fractured wrist. And starter Nick Lodolo is sidelined with a stress reaction in his leg.

Make no mistake, the Reds can rake. Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Will Benson have all impressed this spring. Jonathan India will get plenty of playing time due to McLain’s injury.

It is very tough to pitch at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. That’s why I can’t pick the Reds to win the Central. But they are one very good hitting club. The park has a negative impact on a fly ball pitcher like Hunter Greene.

Padres- This is the weakest Padres team i’ve scouted in quite a while. Clearly, Bogaerts, Machado, and Tatis Jr. are a formidable nucleus for the team. But they have lost some true thunder by trading Soto.

Once a pitcher navigates to the lower part of the Padres lineup, I think it will be a real challenge to score runs.

Trading for Dylan Cease was a great move, but the rotation is far too shallow to compete with the Dodger$, the Dbacks, and perhaps the Giants. If they experience an injury or poor performance from a starter, I think they’ll be toast.

Jackson Merrill, who is on the opening day roster, has earned the respect of analysts. He can play. I also like outfield prospect Jakob Marsee, who is waiting in the wings.

Giants- Without a doubt, the Giants rotation is much better with the addition of Blake Snell. But I don’t think Jordan Hicks is a starter. And I think they’ll find that out.

For me, lefty Kyle Harrison is a very good starting pitcher. He’s reliable, and will only get better. I look for big things from Harrison.

I’m not at all bullish on the Giants in a division that has the Dodger$ and the Diamondbacks. Padres and Giants will fight it out for third, and I don’t think either makes the playoffs.

I think the Giants will struggle to score runs.

I have no confidence in Marco Luciano as a defensive shortstop. He can hit, but he’s still below major league average on defense.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here