Friday, March 7, 2014
When we wrote about the major league pitchers throwing in minor league games on Wednesday (see today's notebook), we didn't mention the impressive showing of the right side of the Pawtucket infield - namely third baseman Will Middlebrooks and shortstop Jose Iglesias.
Middlebrooks made some fine plays, including a diving stab of a hard-hit grounder, then jumping to his fit and firing to first for the out. Iglesias, just moved down the minors, showed no signs of a letdown, making plays deep in the hole, and on bad bounces. Quick, with an accurate, strong arm.
(And, by the way, Iglesias began to make good on his promise to work on his offense in Triple-A. He hit a home run in his first game down).
Arnie Beyeler is going to have himself quite an infield at Triple-A with Middlebrooks, Iglesias, second baseman Nate Spears (assuming he is moved down by next week) and first baseman Lars Anderson.
The minor league outfield situation is crowded, with Oscar Tejeda adding to the mix, having converted from the infield.
Assuming Jason Repko is soon sent down from major league camp, there are at least 13 outfielders in Triple-A and Double-A:
Repko, Juan Carlos Linares, Che-Hsuan Lin, Josh Kroeger, Daniel Nava, Alex Hassan, Ryan Kalish, Tejeda, Ronald Bermudez, Mitch Dening, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Bryce Brentz, Peter Hissey.
Kalish will start the season on the DL, but that still leaves a lot of guys, considering minor league teams usually carry only four outfielders.
I will check back later, I'll leave you with another shot of JetBlue Park on another sunny day in Fort Myers.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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