2012 Spring Training
March 2 through March 5, 2012 by www.baseballhistorian.com INTERNET NEWS Report
Chicago Cubs secret weapon appears to be The Bunt. New manager Dale Sveum is using a bunting tournament which is now down to a Sweet 16 count, and, he is one of the 16 left after outbunting pitcher Ryan Dempster. Advancing to the 16 finalists today were 20 year old outfielder Joe Mather, shortstop Starlin Castro, and pitchers Randy Wells and Jeff Samarszija. Last week bunting favorite Tony Campana, who can beat all in a footrace, lost to backup catcher Steve Clevenger, a new comer to the Cubs 40 man roster. All week long Campana had been talking up a bunting name for himself. And, after losing to a catcher, Tony said, I might bring a wig and a mask to the practices so the guys will not recognize me.
Arizona Diamondbacks players are eager to get the baseball stuff going this Spring. They have reached the playoffs 5 times in their 14 years in the big leagues. Centerfielder Chris Young, an All Star in 2010 when he led the NL in outfield putouts and power hitting Justin Upton are two of the top all around outfielders in the NL. They both can hit and field and whatever you want. General manager Kevin Towers revamped the bullpen a year ago by adding J.J. Putz, David Hernandez and Joe Paterson, and this year reliever Craig Breslow and starters Trevor Cahill and free agent Takashi Saito. Returning starters include Joe Saunders and sophomore Josh Collmenter plus minor leaguers Trevor Bauer and 21 year old lefty Tyler Skaggs.
Oakland Athletics announced they signed 26 year old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a 4 year 36 million dollar contract. He played in the Dominican Republic winter league 2011 and start of 2012 but did poorly. However, it is only money. Yoenis Cespedes was a star performer at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi is rotating his batting order during 2012 Spring Training Games. He has second baseman Robinson Cano batting third and moved 3B Alex Rodriguez and 1B Mark Teixeira down a notch. Robinson Cano batting in the fifth spot had a career high 118 RBIs. Joe Girardi said He knew Cano was going to be a great hitter early on and now considers him among the true elite. Robinson has the ability to barrel the ball no matter where it comes in. That makes him dangerous.
Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenshire will be starting his 11 th season as head onfield honcho of the Twins. His tenure is the second longest of any big league manager with only LA Angels manager Mike Scioscia as the top guy.
At spring training during the opening week, March 3, 2012, fans formed a small crowd to watch pitcher Casey Fien deliver his 90 plus mph fastball. The team announced popular outfielder Michael Cuddyer is retiring. General manager Terry Ryan said, We only had three players play 100 games last year, and one of them is gone. That is not good. So now the Twins are hoping Joe Benson, a star football running back at Joliet Catholic High School in Illinois, and a Twins high draft pick in 2006 can come up and start showing what he can accomplish in the big leagues. If not Joe Benson the Twins have Denard Span or Ben Revere waiting on deck.
Baseball Players Page 322