Here’s a link to today’s story in which Stephen Drew opens up about some of the off-field struggles he went through in 2009. It’s early in spring, but he’s really swung the bat well thus far.
— Bizarre happening during today’s game when there was a snafu with the Dodgers lineup. You can read Doug Miller’s story about it.
— Dan Haren was pleased with his outing today against the Dodgers. The right-hander gave up four hits over 2 2/3 innings and wanted to finish the third, but he had reached his pitch count so manager A.J. Hinch took him out in favor of Bob Howry.
Haren threw his first split-finger fastballs of the spring during the outing.
“Last time out I felt OK but I didn’t feel great,” said Haren, who threw 49 pitches. “I felt the ball was coming out of my hand a little better today. I used more off-speed stuff. And my fastball felt like it had a little bit of life to it. I’m still not out there max effort but overall I felt really good.”
— Another positive was the performance of closer Chad Qualls, who thus far this spring has not shown any ill effects from last season’s knee injury/surgery.
Qualls got all three batters he faced in the fifth to ground out.
“When Qualls is getting groundballs he’s right where he needs to be,” Hinch said.
— Hinch said before the game that he plans on having Chris Snyder and Miguel Montero catch back-to-back games over in Minor League camp before they do it in Cactus League games.
For right now, Hinch has alternated using the pair behind the plate and at the DH spot so that they can keep sharp at the plate without being taxed behind it.
— Gerardo Parra started in center against the Dodgers, something you could see a lot of this spring. Depending on who wins the final bench spot, Parra could wind up being the lone backup to Chris Young at that position.
Two players battling for the final roster spot — Drew Macias and Cole Gillespie — can both play center.