SuperNoVa is understandably worried about Freddy Garcia's start and critical of a Daily Herald article praising it. I'm in the middle. Yeah, Garcia gave up a few line-outs; but the Twins got just one real extra base hit off him (Hunter's home run) because Mauer's double was aided and abetted by Mackowiak's misjudgement. I think Garcia's "stuff" has been deteriorating for more than a year, and he is obviously transitioning to a finesse style. He is not different from the pitcher last fall throwing complete games in the ALCS, except his spring routine was more than a little disturbed by the World Silliness. His numbers are warped by pitching in the fifth inning of a cloudburst against the Blue Jays, a game where he couldn't grip the baseball as the umpires tried desperately to get to the rulebook official game definition. Garcia is open about all of this. His velocity looked up a bit from previous starts last night, and while he flirted with disaster a bit, scattering 5 singles, one walk, a lucky double, and a Torii Hunter homer through 6 1/3 is successful. I wouldn't be too worried yet.
Now, I am worried about Boone Logan, the title subject of this post. I'm not a big fan of the idea of letting Class A fringe prospects win major league jobs in spring training (Rule 5 tricks excepted). It almost never works. For every Kent Hrbek or Scott Radinsky, there are a lot of failures. Logan has pretty good stuff, I admit, but he looks like an A ball pitcher out there, spraying pitches all over the place. I know, I know, he's the back of the bullpen. But last night he singlehandedly started a very dangerous grass fire, one that ended up being about ten Torii Hunter feet from an Epic Collapse, because he just isn't ready for this. I know Kenny Williams would never do this with a position player. (Micah Schnurstein is not going to play in Chicago for a long, long time. ) Now, is there an alternative? Sure. Don't carry so bloody many pitchers. The White Sox do not need all these spare parts. At least they aren't mindlessly carrying twelve.
- From the department of borderline trash statistics (or should it be trash data?) comes the "Jim Thome has scored in X consecutive games". This says as much about Konerko and Dye as it does about Thome -- somebody as slow as Jim Thome has scored 13 runs in addition to his home runs. Opponents have intentionally walked Thome six times already, and the approach has backfired on at least half of them.
- The Indians have to be worried about Paul Byrd. This guy was expensive, supposed to replace the AL ERA champion, and gets by on the craft more than talent. So far he's had three awful Ruffcornesque starts in four tries. With Sabathia's durability and conditioning obviously questionable, the Indian pitching hardly looks contender-quality this morning, especially after getting toasted by the Orioles and Royals...
- The Tigers are showing an uncharacteristic amount of fight so far. It's a good thing the White Sox handed them their heads or they'd be getting pretty cocky already.