My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
Lost in the excitement over uber prospects Anthony Gose and Kyle Drabek this spring has been the solid play of 24-year-old, first baseman David Cooper. The 2008 first-rounder’s three hits – including his first homer – against Pittsburgh on Wednesday give him 11 hits this spring. With his .393 average, Cooper has reasserted himself as a bona fide big league prospect.
Who turned Rajai Davis into Rickey Henderson? Davis credits Jays hitting coach Dwayne Murphy, a former Henderson teammate, for his power surge this spring that has seen him launch three leadoff home runs. I certainly don’t expect him to do this, but if he maintains his current pace, Davis will belt 44 leadoff homers in 2011.
Congratulations to Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Terry Puhl, who registered his 100th career win as a manager with the University of Houston-Victoria on February 19. The Melville, Sask., native enjoyed a 15-year big league career in which he hit .280 and recorded 1,361 hits.
When revered baseball scribe Peter Gammons writes, diamond fans tend to listen. In his recent column for MLB.com, he wrote the following about the Blue Jays: “John Farrell has brought his considerable presence to make this camp the most energetic in the state, and Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek can be a dynamic rotation.”
It pains me to write this, because I’ve been cheering them on for their entire careers, but this is getting dangerously close to the end of the big league road for Canadian hurlers Scott Richmond (Vancouver, B.C) and Rich Harden (Victoria, B.C). Both are sidelined again with arm woes.
On the bright side, it looks as though Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.) has finally recuperated from his arm troubles. Larry Larue, baseball writer for Seattle-area newspaper, The Olympian, reported this week that the Canadian southpaw will be the team’s No. 4 starter to begin the season.
The player the Blue Jays traded for Rickey Henderson in 1993 is now on Twitter. Follow Steve Karsay @steve_karsay
Grant Hill is not a baseball player, but the hoops star wrote a wonderfully compelling piece about his upbringing that everyone should read. Here is the link: http://is.gd/GpywDF
Great work, as always, Kevin. Your blog is the perfect way to get through the off-season, and is equally informative once the regular season gets underway.