Conventional wisdom says that Spring Training performances only really matter in the increasingly rare situations where a roster spot is genuinely up for grabs. If there is little to choose between two players, the one that does the best in Spring will tend to make the Opening Day roster.
However, that overlooks the importance of making a good impression for some of the Minor League talent.
A’s outfielder prospect Buddy Reed clearly is determined to do all he can to make sure he sticks in the minds of the A’s coaching staff. After two magnificent throws from right-field on Sunday, he followed it up again on Monday by throwing out a runner at third base after backing up an errant throw that sailed into centre-field.
Then he stepped up to the plate and stuck a two-run round-tripper over the fence just for good measure.
Perhaps it’s more important for Reed to make the most of things than some other players? The A’s acquired him in a trade with the Padres in December 2019 and then lost all of last season as part of “The Great Minor League Shutdown 2020”. He was selected to be part of the Alternate Training camp at least, but he will still be very keen to make up for lost time.
Reed played in Double-A in 2019 as part of the Padres’ farm system so he would figure to either start the season in Midland or to make the step up to Triple-A and the Las Vegas Aviators. His track record suggests some more time in Double-A might make most sense as he has hit only .213/.284/.339 with 189 strike-outs in 164 games at that level so far. His arm and speed on the base-pads aren’t in question; it’s his bat that will determine if he becomes more than a bench piece. Giving Reed the best chance to develop that side of his game may be the best approach.
Other things of note
I wrote yesterday that results don’t matter in Spring and I’m not going to change my tune just because the A’s beat the Cincinnati Reds 13-5 on Monday. It’s nice to get that first win on the board, though.
Matt Chapman getting a hit as a DH as he works his way back from hip surgery was welcome news.
Olson hitting a ball to the moon was even more welcome. Time will tell, but he seems a prime candidate to make a big step forward after struggling at the plate last season.
Another day, another game. The A’s are on the road on Tuesday facing a fairly strong Milwaukee Brewers side. First pitch is 20:10 UK time with radio commentary coverage available via MLB.TV/MLB At Bat. Here are the two starting line-ups:
The “Shortstop Sorcerer” Nick Allen gets his first start, especially good to see after he took a baseball off his noggin yesterday. Parker Dunshee (good name!) is the starting pitcher with Frank Schwindel (even better name!) taking on first-base duties.