Hey, pitchers and catchers in less than two months!
So here’s a quick update at who’s where:
Ike Davis — Limbo. Will be be back with the Mets or not?
Josh Satin — Somewhat limbo, as his fortunes are no doubt tied to Davis’. Newly married.
Ryan Lavarnway — Since the Red Sox acquired A.J. Pierzynski as a backup catcher, his days in Boston may be coming to an end, so limbo for him, too.
Ian Kinsler — Takes his talents to the Detroit Tigers, where he’ll be under the leadership of rookie manager Brad Ausmus. One of these days they’re going to create for the non-techie sports person a computer interface in which you can ask any permutation of stats and get a response. For example, this one shows that Kinsler was among the few players in the 30 home run-30 stolen base club to strike out fewer than 100 times and get caught stealing less than five times. How do you even frame the question? Seems a bit out-of-the-air. Especially since this happened in 2011. As far as Ausmus goes, at least one prominent baseball “expert” is predicting a 2014 World Championship. More on that from the Forward. (When I have a few minutes, I’m going to go through the ESPN magazine football preview, which predicted the outcome of every regular season game, to see how accurate they were.)
Scott Feldman — Signed with the Houston Astros, his fourth team in three seasons.
Danny Valencia — Prepares for 2014 with the Kansas City Royals, his fourth team in three seasons.
Kevin Youkilis — Sayonara. Youk takes his talents to Japan.
Ryan Braun — Back with the Milwaukee Brewers after serving a season-ending 65-game suspension. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets, both from his hometown fans and when the Brewers are on the road. I’m guessing the fans would mostly “forget” about the PED business if the media let them. Like Satin, Braun is newly married.
Craig Breslow — Back in the Boston Red Sox bullpen after a World Championship.
Josh Zeid — Back in bullpen for the Houston Astros, the worst team in MLB with a 51-111 record.
Kevin Pillar — Hopes to be back in the bigs with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ryan Kalish — Reuniting with former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, trying to make the 25-man roster with the Chicago Cubs.
Free agents — Sam Fuld, who spent last year as a defensive genius sub with the Tampa Bay Rays; Jason Marquis, previously with the San Diego Padres, who was on the way to perhaps his best season when an injury cut it short. His 121 victories ranks him third among Jewish pitchers behind Ken Holtzman (174) and Sandy Koufax (165). At 35, and with injury issues over the last few seasons, it’s questionable whether Marquis can last long enough to surpass either of his predecessors.