Sunday, April 1, 2012

Opening Day Starter Named...

Manager Bud Black joked with us a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to be the "21st manager in baseball to name my opening day starter".  Ok, well with no official count, he came pretty close to hitting his mark.  Today Black named Edinson Volquez as the team's opening day starter, April 5 against the Dodgers.

Black said the decision was based on "Volquez having a good spring.  He came into camp with a good focus."  Volquez was 2-0, with a 3.48 ERA this Spring in 20.2 innings of work.  Volquez was told along with the rest of the rotation in a morning meeting in Black's office.

Volquez, of course, was a key component in the trade this off season involving Mat Latos going to the Reds.

Buddy named the rotation through the Dodgers series, Volquez, followed by Cory Luebke, Dustin Moseley and Clayton Richard.  Black told us that Tim Stauffer is suffering from a slight right triceps "thing" that the team is keeping an eye on.  It doesn't appear to be a major concern at this point.  Black pointed out that Stauffer ran into a little fatigue and in the long run, some rest will do him good.  Stauffer will also work with Darren Balsley on some "mechanical" things in the meantime.

The Dodgers will throw, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang in the opening series.

In other news of the day, James Darnell was told that he has been optioned to Triple-A Tucson.  Black told Darnell that he was "in the mix right till the end." Darnell hit .261 this spring with no homers and 1 run batted in.  

Final Tuneup

In just a few short hours, it will be time to head home.  To tell you the truth, I can't wait.  Spring Training is a great time of year, but it does tend to drag towards the end for everybody involved, from the players, to the media to the staff.  We are all just anxious to get things started for real.  So at about 4pm or so today (hopefully much earlier) it will be time for the cry of "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

Lineup at Surprise: (XX 1090, Bob Scanlan and me, 1pm)

24   Cameron Maybin        CF
25   Will Venable (L)         RF
  7   Chase Headley (S)      3B
15   Jesus Guzman             LF
23   Yonder Alonso (L)      1B
88   Kyle Blanks                DH
  1   Orlando Hudson (S)    2B
  8   Jason Bartlett              SS
21   John Baker (L)             C

52    Cory Luebke               LHP

Luebke is expected to go 4 innings, he'll be followed by Casey Kelly and a scheduled 4 innings, with Ernesto Frieri getting an inning.   I'm expecting the regulars to get only a couple of at bats before they head home, then we'll see a bunch of minor leaguers getting a final chance this spring in a big league game.

That's it, off to Surprise and then to San Diego!!


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