Spring Training winners and losers for February 27

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: A.J. Puk #21 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait at the Oakland Athletics Spring Training Facility at Hohokam Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: A.J. Puk #21 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait at the Oakland Athletics Spring Training Facility at Hohokam Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Loser: Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals outfielder

Last year Soler hit a league-high 48 home runs and fulfilled the potential everyone had seen in him since his 2014 arrival from Cuba.

This spring has so far amounted to a return to Soler’s bad old days. He’s batting .167, and against the Brewers Thursday he went hitless in two more at bats.

Even worse were the situations in which Soler came up short. He batted in the first inning with one out and runners at first and second and managed nothing better than an easy fly ball to center. Then in the fifth, Soler came up with two out and runners on first and third. His second fly out to center killed the rally.

Related Story. When millionaires are the dregs. light

Loser: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels designated hitter

As with Soler, the problem for Ohtani was in part what he did and in part when he did it. In the first inning, with Mike Trout at first base and two out, Ohtani fanned. In the fourth, after Anthony Rendon led off with a base hit, Ohtani came up and whiffed again.

Those misses became more noticeable when the Padres walked off with a 1-0 victory.

Ohtani’s four official spring at bats to date include zero base hits and three strikeouts.

Versatile relievers increasing in value. dark. Next

Loser: Reds outfield options

The Cincinnati Reds poured a lot of winter resources into beefing up their outfield offense. The steps included the signings of free agent Nick Castellanos and Japanese free agent Shogo Akiyama, both of whom are expected to compete with touted rookie Aristides Aquino for playing time.

Two of those options shared center stage during Cincy’s 8-0  victory over Arizona Thursday, but neither one enjoyed the experience. Leading off and playing center field, Akiyama went hitless (with a strikeout) in his three at bats.

Aquino, in the lineup as the DH, did precisely the same. Aquino remains hitless in six official spring at bats, while Akiyama is 2-for-9.