Hey look, fans aren’t the only ones capable of insane overreactions. From Peter Gammons’ latest at MLB.com:
Which brings up this a sentiment offered by three scouts watching the Brewers:
“Milwaukee may be awful. They got a lot of hype, and between their defense, lower velocity from their relievers and all the injuries, they could be in for a long year in which most of the talk is going to be about Prince Fielder’s impending free agency.”
Let’s just make sure we’re being clear here.
Scouts think the Brewers are going to be terrible based on what they’ve seen in spring training games.
Spring training games. Games that don’t mean anything. Games that feature guys who won’t be getting much (if any) playing time. Games that guys are being held out of with minor bumps and bruises because they don’t count.
The injuries this spring have been frustrating, but there hasn’t been a single serious injury all spring. It’s easy to overreact when it seems like a different Brewer goes down every day, but most of the injuries are of the “getting back to playing baseball” type — stiffness, soreness, and tightness that either won’t be there later in the season or will be something guys will play through.
Corey Hart and Jonathan Lucroy probably won’t be ready for Opening Day, but they won’t be out for four to six weeks of the regular season, either. They’ll most likely be ready to go as soon as they’re eligible to come off the DL, and it won’t be a full 15 days since their stints will be retroactive. Zack Greinke will likely only miss three starts in April, not three starts in September with the team in a tight pennant race. Shaun Marcum has missed a grand total of one spring start, and has looked pretty sharp in the ones he has made. Mark Rogers had shoulder stiffness that knocked him out of the running for the 5th rotation spot, but he’s throwing now. So is LaTroy Hawkins.
Many bullpen guys aren’t going to have their full velocity in March. The defense will be bad, sure, but it’s not like they’re the only division contender that will struggle with this (have they seen St. Louis this spring?). Defense may put them at a disadvantage in the playoff race, but it won’t be a main culprit if the team is “awful.”
The worst part of that quote — as incredibly lazy and short-sighted as it is — is that it could be applied to the other contenders in the division race, too.
St. Louis may be awful!! They got a lot of hype, and between their defense, shaky starts from their rotation and the Wainwright injury, they could be in for a long year in which most of the talk is going to be about Albert Pujols’ impending free agency.
Cincinnati may be awful!! They got a lot of hype and they have depth, but not all of it is quality depth, and between not quite having the star power of other teams in the division and doing the division a favor by limiting Aroldis Chapman to late-inning relief appearances, they could be in for a long year in which they wonder if 2010 was a fluke.
Chicago may be awful!! They have some nice pitching, but between the lineup looking a little old and injury prone, they could be in for a long year in which they have to hear more 1908 taunts.
None of these mean anything. They’re just as lazy as the assessments quoted by Gammons.