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Bernie’s Baseball World – Observations From Spring Training In Arizona

I have spent every day since February 22 at spring training games in Arizona.

I saw every team in the Cactus League. 

The League includes the Angels, Giants, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers, White Sox, Guardians, Reds, Brewers. Rockies, Royals, and Rangers, 

Here are some thoughts about a few of those teams.

I will share take aways on other teams later this week.

Diamondbacks- While I don’t think any team can catch the Dodgers in the NL West, the addition of Eduardo Rodriguez to the rotation is a great move. He is, however, dealing with injury now.

Adding third baseman Eugenio Suarez, and DH Joc Pederson really help an already good quality offense. They looked solid this spring.

There is no question Corbin Carroll is among MLBs finest, most complete players. He can lead the team to a 2nd place finish in the NL West, and entry to the playoffs.

Brewers- A once mighty pitching staff has crumbled. Burnes is gone. Woodruff has shoulder issues. Devin Williams has a barking back. Yikes!

The offense has promise.

Christian Yelich hasn’t barreled balls like this spring since his early days in Milwaukee. He’s been fantastic.

I think Rhys Hoskins will hit, and hit for power. He’s been mediocre, but he missed all last year with the Phillies. He’ll heat up…with the weather.

Willy Adames is in his walk year, and playing for a contract. He looked good in the three games I saw. Could be a sleeper.

My jury is still out on Jackson Chourio. He’s a great prospect, but I think they are rushing him. And I don’t agree with that aggressive approach to a young hitter like Chourio.

Freddy Peralta is a solid No. 1 starter. After him? Not Much. Miley, Rea, Ashby, Hall. But yes, Hall has promise. Just not yet.

Mariners- This is a complete team, and should give the Astros a run for their money in the American League West.

The heart of the club is the pitching. The rotation of Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller, and Bran Woo come as solid as advertised.

To beat the Mariners, teams have to win games pitched by Miller and Woo. The other three guys are tough as nails.

Offensively, Julio Rodriguez could end up running away with MVP honors. He’s that good.

Cal Raleigh is an under the radar player. He has solid pop, and could hit a surprising number of home runs. Especially for a catcher.

Dodger$-The best team money can buy! Three potential Hall of Famers leading off with Betts, Ohtani, and Freeman. 

But…I don’t like Betts playing shortstop. He shouldn’t have to worry about defense. And SS is a defensive priority for a team. Get him back to SB or RF.

Will Smith gets to knock in runs by the ton, as the cleanup hitter for an ALL WORLD Dodger$ team.

The issue for me will be the Dodger$ defense. It has to be a concern.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow and Bobby Miller will be joined in the rotation at some point this season by Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. Not a slouch among them.

Yes, i have concerns about Yamamoto’s first start-in Korea. But patience is required with a player in transition from Korea to America.

The Shohei Ohtani mess is…a mess. i want to hope Ohtani was just naive. I want to hope he will be cleared of any wrong doing. The facts should be easy to determine. Quickly.

The Dodger$ are the team baseball fans love to hate. They’re taking that title from the Houston Astros.

Guardians-This will be a different team once they finally promote Chase DeLauter and Kyle Manzardo. The future is much brighter than the present.

The Guardians have trouble scoring runs. 

Daniel Schneemann is a player on the rise.

Rocchio won the SS competition over Arias. Rocchio is a better hitter. Arias a world class defender.

The pitching is solid with Bieber, Bibee, McKenzie, and Allen in the rotation. Gavin Williams is hurt.

The Guardians have some nice young players, but they still lack power bat. Actually, they still lack any consistent power bat on the team that will break camp.

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