Wrapping up the week in Maryvale
Yesterday's game was washed out after just four innings but it gave Ron Roenicke a good look at pitcher Tyler Thornburg, who turned in a stellar three inning outing. Jean Segura flashed some speed even though he was caught stealing and was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Segura likely won't have the 100% green light like he had on Friday but he certainly will be a threat on the base path. Khris Davis was 0-1 with a fly out to center field, so unfortunately we were robbed of the chance to see a fourth home run in four days.
There's no doubt Davis was the MVP of the week. Along with Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl, the outfield pipeline is strong. The problem is Davis doesn't have a true position in the outfield and Schafer has a far better glove. But Davis will definitely be one of those guys in Nashville everyone keeps an eye on.
Along with Thornburg Chris Narveson and Mike Fiers pitched well. We had general manager Doug Melvin on the show and he pointed out that with the Brewers roster depleted by the World Baseball Classic opportunities have opened up for guys like Davis and Thornburg. If Ryan Braun was in Maryvale this week Davis wouldn't have had so many at-bats. And with Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada gone, Thornburg gets a good start under his belt. Roenicke indicated that he wants Thornburg to start, so that means Thornburg will likely begin the year in Nashville. Getting in a few innings against big league talent never hurt though.
As Greg Matzek & I have said throughout the week, if you're a fan you need to make the pilgrimage to the Cactus League at least once. The weather was great until Friday afternoon (and it's cloudy again today but sure beats snow.) Just the visual of a baseball diamond without a tarp or snow plowed up along the side is rejuvenating. A sure sign that the worst is over. It seemed like just about everywhere we went we could smell something on the grill. Another sensory signal that you only get when the weather is warm. There's also the trip to In-n-Out Burger, a staple of any swing through the western United States.
Of course, there's plenty of baseball to watch as well. We're just three weeks away now from Opening Day and after a week in Maryvale I'm ready for the season.