Spring Training Update: March 29, 2012

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics split their two game series in Japan, with the Mariners winning the first game 3-1 and the Athletics winning the second game 4-1.

Ichiro Suzuki is leading the majors with his .444 batting average. Yoenis Cespedes, the Cuban defector signed by the Athletics is second with a .333 batting average. Cespedes is in a five way tie, for the lead in home runs. He is also tied for RBI lead with Dustin Ackley of the Mariners, with both players having driven in two runs each.

MLB has the worst start to a season ever this year. For example, the Athletics played two games in Japan and two days later they play the Sacramento Rivercats on Saturday in an exhibition game.  So they played two regular season games, then play a few exhibition games, then start playing regular season games again later next week. They play two games that mean something, a few that mean nothing, then back to playing meaningful games again.

Batting Leaders This Spring

Freddie Freeman, Ryan Raburn, Alfonso Soriano and Dan Uggla are in a four-way tie, for home run leader this spring with 6 each. Eric Hosmer leads all players this spring in RBI with 23, with Delmon Young second with 19.

Adam Dunn and Mike Napoli lead in walks with 13 each….Jason Heyward and Adam Loewen lead in strikeouts with 20 each. Heyward is hitting .209 this spring with a .264 OBP….Alex Liddi, 23, is leading the majors in batting average with a .429 mark. The native Italian hit 30 home runs and drove in 104 for Tacoma of the AAA Pacific Coast League in 2011, so should be major league ready in 2012.

Chris Young leads in OBP this spring with a .518 mark with Liddi next at .500…. Lorenzo Cain is leading all players with a .870 slugging percentage….Lorenzo Cain leads in OPS with a 1.345 mark….Cain also leads in extra base hits with 14, with Andre Ethier close behind with 13….Cain leads in total bases with 47, teammates Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler are next with 43 and 40.

Pitching Leaders This Spring

Luis Mendoza leads in wins and ERA with a 4-0 record and a 0.54 ERA….Josh Tomlin has allowed the most hits this spring with 41 in 22 innings. Tomlin has shown great control with only two walks….Bruce Chen leads in earned runs allowed with 23 in 18 innings….Julio Teheran leads in home runs allowed with nine, but six of those came in his first appearance of the spring.

Carlos Zambrano leads in walks allowed with 14 in 17.2 innings….Zack Greinke leads in strikeouts with 28 in 19.1 innings….Josh Beckett is allowing the lowest batting average at .117….Wade LeBlanc leads in lowest WHIP with a 0.58 mark….Josh Beckett has also induced the most ground ball outs with 32.

Zack Greinke is notching 13.03 K’s per 9 innings, while Jeff Samardzija is averaging 0.45 walks per 9 innings….His former teammate Carlos Zambrano is averaging 7.13 BB’s per 9 innings for the worst mark….Josh Beckett is averaging allowing 3.32 hits per 9 innings, while Carlos Zambrano is the worst averaging an even 17 hits  per 9 innings. It is not a good sign for Zambrano that he is allowing both the most walks and most hits per 9 innings.

Around the Bases

Scott Linebrink has earned a spot in the Cardinals bullpen….Lorenzo Cain who came over to the Royals in the Zack Greinke trade a year ago seems ready to have a breakout season in 2012….Omar Vizquel has made the opening day roster of the Toronto Blue Jays.

MLB.com lists the stats of 200 hitters and No.200 is Bobby Abreu who has been talking about wanting to play regularly, but has done nothing to show he deserves a starting job. He is 4 for 46 this spring and is hitting .087. …. No.99 is Raul Ibanez, who was picked up by the Yankees this offseason. He has done nothing to justify their faith in him, by hitting .089 with a 4 for 45 spring…. No. 97 Aaron Rowand is not likely to be signed by the Marlins after his disastrous spring average of .128 with a 6 for 47 spring.

The Padres are the worst fielding team this spring with 29 errors in 29 games. The best fielding team has been the Astros with only 10 errors in 25 games….Randy Wells was sent to the minors by the Cubs, despite not allowing a run this spring and holding opposing hitters to a .174 average and posted an amazing WHIP of 0.55

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