Danny Duffy spanned four scoreless innings Wednesday in the Royals’ Cactus League tie with the Rangers, surrendering three hits while adding a pair of strikeouts.
He didn’t walk anyone. The Rangers got to Duffy for two singles in the first but he was bailed out by an inning-ending double play. Duffy settled down after that, retiring eight hitters in a row to end his outing. Fresh off getting a five-year, $65 million extension, Duffy has pitched to a relatively disappointing 4.30 ERA over four Cactus League starts. He excelled at the World Baseball Classic, however, allowing just one earned run over eight strong innings for the United States. He’ll get the ball Opening Day against Minnesota.
Carlos Gomez tallied two hits Wednesday in the Rangers’ Cactus League tie with the Royals.
He was the only player on either team to log more than one hit. Of the nine total hits in Wednesday’s scoreless tie, none went for extra bases. Gomez has had a productive spring and may be getting overlooked in fantasy drafts. The two-time All-Star holds an impressive .361 average across 36 Cactus League at-bats.
Dillon Gee turned in a strong outing Wednesday in the Rangers’ Cactus League tie with the Royals, yielding just two hits over six shutout innings.
He struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone. 51 of the right-hander’s 67 pitches went for strikes. Gee didn’t give up a hit until the fifth when Whit Merrifield finally broke through for a two-out single. The only other hit he allowed came in the sixth on an infield single by Peter O’Brien. Neither team scored a run in this game with Danny Duffy twirling four shutout frames for Kansas City. Gee will likely fill a long relief role for the Rangers this year.
Dylan Covey drew the start for the White Sox in Wednesday’s Cactus League tie with the Padres, allowing three hits and two runs over one inning of work.
It was an unusually brief outing for Covey, though that was Chicago’s plan all along. Covey allowed hits to three of the five batters he faced with Wil Myers taking him deep for a two-run jack. The right-hander was used almost exclusively as a starter in the minor leagues but is hoping to crack the White Sox Opening Day roster as a middle/long reliever. He’s posted a lousy 7.82 ERA over nine Cactus League appearances.
Austin Hedges went ballistic on Wednesday, homering twice and plating four runs in the Padres’ Cactus League tie with the White Sox.
Hedges had been homerless in 39 Cactus League at-bats prior to Wednesday. His first round-tripper was a solo blast off Anthony Swarzak with the second coming off Dan Jennings with two men on in the fourth inning. Wednesday’s outburst brought Hedges’ Cactus League average up from .256 to .310. The 24-year-old only logged 24 at-bats in the big leagues last year but is penciled in as the Padres’ Opening Day catcher.
Jhoulys Chacin imploded Wednesday in the Padres’ Cactus League tie with the White Sox, scattering eight hits, six runs and two walks over three miserable innings.
He added a pair of strikeouts for good measure. This is your Opening Day starter, Padres fans. Chacin took it on the chin Wednesday, allowing four straight hits to open his outing. Two of them went for home runs including a three-run bomb by cleanup hitter Jose Abreu. Chacin got beat for another homer in the third, this time on a two-run blast from Nicky Delmonico. Wednesday’s meltdown brought Chacin’s spring ERA from 3.86 to 7.30. It’s going to be a long year for the rebuilding Padres.
Brandon Finnegan struggled in his final spring start, yielding seven hits, four runs (three earned) and three walks over four lackluster innings in the Reds’ Cactus League loss to the Indians.
He also tacked on three strikeouts. Things seemed to be going fine for Finnegan until the second inning. The Indians got to him for four runs in that frame including three on a home run by Yandy Diaz. Finnegan finished the outing on a high note by holding the Tribe scoreless over his last two innings. We’re still waiting for Finnegan to put it all together, but at least he has youth on his side. Finnegan turns 24 two weeks from Friday.
Carlos Carrasco didn’t look sharp in his final start of the spring, allowing nine hits, four runs and one walk over four sluggish innings Wednesday in the Indians’ Cactus League win over the Reds.
He also contributed five strikeouts. Carrasco let up three runs in the opening frame including two on Jose Peraza’s homer to left field. Adam Duvall took him deep for a solo blast later in the same inning. Carrasco ran into trouble again in the second but benefited from a caught stealing. He wasn’t as lucky in the fourth, allowing another run to cross on Billy Hamilton's single to left field. Fantasy owners are drafting Carrasco to be an ace but he certainly hasn’t pitched like one this spring. He posted a hideous 10.80 ERA over six Cactus League starts.