Winners and losers from Feb. 23 spring games

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23: Corey Dickerson #23 of the Miami Marlins at bat in the third inning during the spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 23, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 23: Corey Dickerson #23 of the Miami Marlins at bat in the third inning during the spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 23, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Sunday’s MLB spring training games included player debuts, young Orioles, and Victor Caratini. But it was a bad day for Miami Marlins and for Derek Holland.

MLB Spring Training Winners: Debuts

Several players made their spring training debuts Sunday, including a couple involved in prominent franchise shifts over the winter.

At the Dodgers spring camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, manager Dave Roberts wrote the name of Mookie Betts into the team’s leadoff spot against the visiting Chicago Cubs. Facing Tyler Chatwood, Betts lifted a 3-2 pitch to Kyle Schwarber in left field. Betts lined out in the third, and in the fifth got the go-ahead run home with a sacrifice fly in LA’s 4- victory.

More from Call to the Pen

Touted Dodger rookie Gavin Lux also debuted Sunday, going 1-for-2 with a fifth-inning single that turned into a run on Betts’ sac fly moments later.

The other big debuts took place during Minnesota’s 5-5 tie with Toronto in Fort Myers. Josh Donaldson, signed as a free agent over the winter, started at third base and was hitless in three at-bats. Jose Berrios, who is expected to be the rotation ace, pitched two strong innings, allowing one hit and striking out four.

MLB Spring Training Winners: Victor Caratini, Chicago Cubs catcher.

Victor Caratini may be sentenced to a professional lifetime of backing up Jose Contreras, but he deserves better. Sunday against the Dodgers he showed why. He doubled off Dodger starter Alex Wood in the first inning, and his fourth-inning home run off recruit Jordan Sheffield gave Chicago a brief 1-0 lead.

MLB Spring Training Winners: Mike Fiers, Oakland pitcher.

Fiers unofficially received MLB’s Fan Appreciation Award Sunday. Starting in Oakland’s 5-3 defeat to San Francisco at  Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Fiers received a warm greeting from the 6,017 in attendance. Fiers responded with two scoreless innings.

MLB Spring Training Winners: Hopeful Orioles fans.

Those long-suffering fans of the AL East’s downtrodden could bask Sunday in the performance of the team’s offense. In an 11-5 victory at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, the Orioles lit up Boston for 15 base hits, 10 of them by guys who project to be the heart and soul of the Orioles’ offense this season.

MLB Spring Training Losers: Derek Holland, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher.

Derek Holland is a journeyman contesting for a spot in the Pirates rotation. He did not help his case Sunday. In an 8-4 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Tigers, Holland faced eight batters, allowing three hits – one of them a home run – and two runs. In fairness to Holland, he did strike out the five guys who didn’t hit him.

MLB Spring Training Losers: Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher.

The Cardinals are counting on Wainwright as the veteran in an otherwise young and thin rotation. In his spring debut Sunday against the Mets, he faced nine batters, walking two and allowing two hits – one of them a Jake Marisnick home run.

Loser: Louis Robert, Chicago White Sox outfielder.

Is it too early to jump on Robert? Having signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with the White Sox this winter, the lifetime minor leaguer – granted, he’s only 22 – lined out and grounded out in his two plate appearances Sunday. The Sox won 7-2.

Next. Top 10 old faces in new places for 2020, ranked. dark

MLB Spring Training Losers: Miami Marlins offense.

The Marlins beat Washington 5-2 Sunday, but the emerging core of Miami’s offense had nothing to do with that outcome. Collectively, the players Miami fans are counting on – Brian Anderson, Corey Dickerson, Jesus Aguilar, Jonathan Villar, Isan Diaz, Miguel Rojas, and Jorge Alfaro – went 1-for-12. Miami’s minor leaguers produced four of the team’s five runs.