I call them STIEs.
Spring Training Innings Eaters.
They’re the guys who are in Big League camp just for the sole purpose of moving some of these dreadfully long games along without burning up all the good arms. They’re also there just so people can sit in the stands and have a conversation that sort of goes like this:
Fan #1: “Who’s that guy on the mound?”
Fan #2: “No idea, but but he’s got an interesting delivery.”
Announcer: “Now pitching for Atlanta, Colter Bean.”
Fan #1: “Hmmm. Sounds like an interesting blend of coffee.”
The humor may have failed, but you know who I’m talking about. You’ve got Colter Bean. A John Rocker look-alike named Johnathon Rouwenhorst. Guys like Damian Moss, Jorge Campillo, Matt DeSalvo, Ryan Drese, etc. Bobby hands these type guys the ball and his face says, “Damn it, please throw strikes,” or, “Just get us to Opening Day, please?”
Today was a most dreadful day for a STIE. Ryan Drese probably pitched the most painful inning I’ve watched in the last five years. Get this:
1 IP, 1 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 6 BB, 0 SO, 48 pitches, 15 strikes.
It’s not like he was actually contending for a spot in any capacity in Atlanta. Still painful to watch a blow up like that. At one point, he threw thirteen consecutive balls. After throwing the strike on the fourteenth pitch, the crowd gave a sardonic cheer. I’m sure Mr. Drese isn’t enjoying his evening in Florida.
Spring camp is coming to a close very quickly and I’m looking forward to next Sunday night in DC. It would be nice to rip the Nats in their first game in that brand new park, eh?
I’m looking for a couple of trades sometime between March 26th -28th.
Also, if Yunel Escobar performs as expected, I expect to see Brent Lillibridge being used as tradebait around July 31st. Long-term, Lillibridge really has no place on this club, at least not in an everyday player capacity, and I doubt he will be used in a utility capacity for more than one season perhaps. I think the Braves are wanting to hang on to him in the very unlikely event that Yunel doesn’t perform as expected for an entire year at SS, but judging from his spring, he’s going to have a fantastic year.
Finally, the Augusta Chronicle is reporting that Matt Diaz is going to play everyday in left field this season. Interesting. I figured we would have heard this from Bowman or O’Brien first. I hope it’s true.