Tuesday, March 1, 2011

BD Spring Training Report: Stick To Your Guns | Baseball Digest

BD Spring Training Report: Stick To Your Guns | Baseball Digest

The New York Yankees have been very impressed so far this spring training with their young catcher Jesus Montero. Ranked in the top five of all Major League prospects, scouts have always felt he could hit but wondered if he handle the defensive portion of the position. At 6’4″, 225 lbs, Montero is not built like the prototypical catcher (though neither are a lot of today’s highest rated young catchers) and there has been constant talk of moving him to another position as he’s made his way up the Yankees organizational ladder. For his part Montero wants to stay right where he is and that impresses another big (6’5″, 220 lbs) catcher Joe Mauer.

The New York Times’ Joe Brescia recently spoke with Mauer about Montero, and a number of other subjects. Mauer knows what it is like to be questioned about his physical build translating to the position. “Too big. Not quick enough. I heard everything under the sun,” Mauer said by phone. As for Montero’s attitude? “That’s good,” Mauer said. “He might find that everyone wants to throw their two cents in. But I really enjoyed the position and that was not going to stop me.”

“My advice to him is try and learn as much as you can. He’s lucky he has Jorge Posada, a pretty good catcher to learn from. And he has Russell Martin there now, too, another good one to help him. Those two guys that have been around the block. He should follow those guys around and learn as much as he can.”

Bryce Harper made his much anticipated professional debut with Washington on Monday, but struck out both times up. Harper said playing in the pros felt no different than playing anywhere else and told the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore after the game that he was happy with his game. “I felt really good up there.It’s the first two at-bats. That’s why we have spring training. That’s what it’s for – get all the rinky dinks out.”

Having already lost Adam Wainwright for 12-15 months after Tommy John surgery, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa may start watching his pitchers through his fingers. His other ace, Chris Carpenter, left Tuesday’s spring training game with a mild hamstring strain.

Florida Marlins rising star Mike Stanton will probably be out two weeks after he strained a quad running out a grounder on Monday.

With no takers, free agent outfielder Garret Anderson announced his retirement Tuesday after 17 seasons in the big leagues. The career .293 hitter leaves the game with 283 HR, 2,529 hits, 1,365 RBI, one World Series ring, and three All-Star appearances. He played all but one season in California (2009 with Atlanta); the first 16 years of his career were spent with the Angels and his final season in 2010 was as a Dodger.

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