March 18th, 2007

The evolution will be televised

OK, admit it, how many of you watching Sunday’s game on TV were still tuned in during the ninth inning?

The tough part about Sunday’s broadcast was that it was a split-squad game, meaning only half of the starting lineup would be on the field. On the other hand, it gave fans a rare chance to see some of the prospects in action. I’d expect Cameron Maybin was one of the few reasons for fans to watch the later innings, but by game’s end, you also had Jeff Larish, Brennan Boesch, Matt Joyce and Michael Hollimon, among others. Jim Leyland said afterwards that it was one of his goals.

It’s one of the facets of these spring training games, and it’s one interesting aspect when you consider how many of these games are televised in one outlet or another. ESPN seemingly televises more games every spring, and each new team-owned channel seems to bring more spring telecasts where the facilities make sense for it. So fans in theory would become more and more versed in some of these guys.

Consider this in the television aspect: While we were watching the game here, we could also watch the FSN South broadcast of the Tigers’ split-squad game against the Braves online on MLB.TV. When we heard about Edward Campusano’s injury, we were able to bring up the replay of when he left the mound. It’s not like that every day, of course, but it’s interesting stuff.

The rest of what’s news:

  • Gary Sheffield couldn’t talk details about his case, but as he chatted with reporters this morning, one could tell how strongly he believes in it. He thinks it’s something for all players to follow, since it deals with their system of representation and what happens when a player tries to represent himself. He wouldn’t mention Scott Boras by name, but you obviously knew who he meant when he talked about who he believed was stretching out the case.
  • Though it probably wouldn’t make the headlines, Sheffield spent a lot of time talking about Cameron Maybin. When Sheffield sees Maybin, he thinks of Eric Davis. He also thought back to his own time as a prospect, when he thought he was ready for the big leagues at age 18. He remembered following around Robin Yount during his first big-league camp for the Brewers and trying to do everything Yount did. When Yount went in to get taped up, Sheffield said, he went in to get taped up.
  • Scary fact: Sheffield was drafted 10 months before Maybin was born. Maybin was a year old when Sheffield made his Major League debut.
  • Spring training results don’t mean anything. When you’re the Devil Rays and you’re 3-16, though, that has to mean something.

Campusano injured

Edward Campusano left Sunday’s split-squad game at the Braves with what the Tigers are calling left elbow tenderness. He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow in Lakeland. I’m guessing the next question would be how any stint on the disabled list would affect his Rule 5 qualifications. The answer is that the Tigers can place him on the DL if they want, but he must spend at least 90 days on the active roster. Otherwise, he’d have to go through the same thing next year.

Nationals promote Dmitri Young

Washington announced the move this morning. It doesn’t mean anything yet as far as Young making the team, but it means he passed the first step in competing for a job. He had to get into game shape and he pulled that off. He’ll now compete with Travis Lee for the starting job at first base while Nick Johnson is out.