Let’s get this out of the way, I KNOW IT’S ONLY ONE GAME. And I know that there will more than likely be stints of struggles for him. Maybe even as early as tomorrow.
BUT but but… it’d be hard not to get a little bit excited about how great Yoan Moncada looked at the hot corner yesterday. He looked like he had been playing it for years. Footwork was great, and the “unteachable” tools flashed yesterday as well:
Faster hands than Delino Deshields. If MLB weren’t a bunch of dinosaurs about their social media sharing policies, I’d have a few more examples, but they are, so I don’t. But the general consensus was that he looked really good yesterday:
He also looked exceptionally “comfy” at the plate as well. That’s the operating word I’ll use for him yesterday. “Comfy”. I had said that though spring training statistics hardly have any correlation or carryover to regular season statistics, but process and approach absolutely does. Moncada only struck out at about a 24% clip in spring, largely due in part to being aggressive at pitches in the zone. Yesterday was no different; there wasn’t a single pitch where Sox fans were yelling “SWING THE FUCKING BAT” at him. He took pitches outside the zone (drew a walk) and attacked pitches inside it. KEEP DOING THIS AND YOU WILL BE AN ALL STAR YOAN
Eloy Looked Nervous AF Yesterday
And then Eloy. Eloy, Eloy, Eloy. You walked into somewhat of a buzz saw yesterday. Brad Keller is a really, really good pitcher. Only 23 years old and could very well be a household name sooner than later. His fastball is hard and heavy, his slider misses bats and his command is completely atypical of a 23 year old. Kid is really good. And he served you with a heavy dose of sliders knowing you’d be looking to tee off on fastballs.
That’s fine. Just get that first hit out of the way, and the rest will follow suit. Teams are going to be attacking him with breaking pitches until he proves he won’t swing at them or starts hitting them. At one point he saw 9 sliders in 11 pitches yesterday. So… lay off them. Starting now.
The rest of the lineup looked like trash. Palka absolutely murdered a ball in his 3rd plate appearance, but right at the RF. I don’t recall any other hard contact until the 9th inning with Anderson. Gross all the way around.
Great for 5 innings, bad in his 6th. I don’t think McCann did him any favors at ALL yesterday. There were 2-3 strikes that McCann stole from Rodon due to his framing, one of my biggest pet peeves on earth as a former D3 bullpen catcher. But avoiding that one bad inning is a MUST for Rodon moving forward. It’s his 4th year, time to get rid of that shit. During the broadcast, Steve Stone knew Rodon was in trouble after he walked Whit Merrifield to lead off the 6th. It was almost as if he knew Rodon was going to lose his focus and get himself in trouble. He did lose his focus and he did get in trouble. Merrifield proceeded to swipe 2 bags and Rodon didn’t see the end of the inning. Can’t have it. That said, for an opening day starter it was mostly good. Command was solid and his fastball/slider combo was on point. Just gotta get rid of the one shit inning he tends to have.
The pen looked shaky, but that’s okay. It’ll still be a strong unit. Burr and Jones had command issues which won’t persist IMO. They’ll be more than fine.
Trash all the way around. 3 errors, 2 of them by the two best defenders on the team. Disgusting.
Now again: all we need to worry about is how the core players are performing. Anderson had the error but also had a big hit in the 9th, Moncada looked great, Eloy looked like a rookie, Palka looked solid enough with a walk, a missile for an out and great defensive play in RF, and Rodon looked solid for most of the start, though he’s beyond the participation trophy part of his career.
Time to wash game 1 away and come back ready to tee off tomorrow. Having a baseball-less day today is torture.