MLB players have flocked to Arizona and Florida for spring training and now that games are underway, anything can happen.
Ah, spring training is great isn’t it? Veteran MLB players play three innings and then find the nearest golf course. Prospects wear jerseys with numbers ranging from the high sixties to high nineties. Non-roster invitees are given the hope of making their respective club or at least being able to audition for another, with hopes of landing on their forty-man roster.
For fans, the cheaper ticket, more intimate seating, and manageable parking lots are welcome features to spring training as well. And a fan attending a spring training game never knows what they are going to witness.
More from Call to the Pen
In the Cincinnati Reds game against the Texas Rangers on February 24, a roster anomaly took place which will definitely not reoccur in the regular season. Number 19 was replaced by number 19. Wait, what? Number 19 Joey Votto exited the game and was replaced at first base by Ibandel Isabel, also wearing number 19. If you are scoring at home that will not happen again once clubs move north for the regular season.
In the tilt between the Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs which ended in a more apropos score of 16-12, Mariners shortstop Dylan Moore put up a line which will be hard to duplicate. He homered, walked on four pitches, struck out on three pitches, stole a base, was picked off, and caught stealing.
Not to be outdone, Indians non-roster invitee (he isn’t making that team) Argenis Angulo surrendered five runs while only recording one out, leaving with a 135.00 ERA. Arizona pitcher Joe Mantiply (also non-roster, also not making the team) matched the 135.00 ERA.
In a sign of things to come, three Houston Astros were hit by pitches, including Jose Altuve. After Altuve exited, his replacement was hit by a pitch and for good measure Carlos Correa’s replacement was hit as well.
All this and three games ended in a tie. Spring training what will you do for me today? You never cease to entertain and your tales (and non-roster pitchers wearing number 87) never seem to hit the headlines once the regular season begins.