Danny Salazar was out of sorts on Wednesday, allowing seven runs, eight hits and one walk over five innings in the Indians’ Cactus League loss to the Rockies.
He finished the afternoon with five strikeouts. The second inning was Salazar’s undoing. He began the frame with back-to-back strikeouts before allowing the next five men to reach. All of them scored including two on a home run by Charlie Blackmon. Salazar ran into a buzz-saw on Wednesday but has otherwise had a solid spring. Along with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, Salazar will be a key cog in one of the league’s best rotations.
Jimmy Nelson turned in a passable performance Wednesday in the Brewers’ Cactus League loss to the Giants, letting up two hits, three runs and one walk over 5 2/3 innings.
He also earned four strikeouts. Nelson pitched reasonably well but the bullpen let him down by coughing up a one-run lead in the seventh inning. He let his guard down by allowing a two-run homer to Denard Span in the third but recovered by setting down the next nine hitters he faced. Nelson is probably good enough to be in the Brewers’ rotation but doesn’t have the chops to be a major fantasy asset.
Denard Span crushed a two-run homer Wednesday in the Giants’ Cactus League win over the Brewers.
The two-run blast was his only hit of the afternoon. It was also Span’s first home run of the spring. The 33-year-old hasn’t brought his A game to Arizona, hitting just .189 with seven strikeouts in 37 Cactus League at-bats. Hopefully he’ll get going once the regular season starts.
Matt Cain took his lumps Wednesday in the Giants’ Cactus League win over the Brewers, surrendering seven hits, four runs and one walk over five sluggish frames.
He ended the day with four strikeouts. Cain barely made it out of the first inning, allowing hits to Keon Broxton, Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana and Jesus Aguilar before mercifully inducing a Jett Bandy popup for the final out of the frame. The Brewers didn't score again until the fourth inning, but it was still a shaky outing for the veteran right-hander. Cain’s career has been in steady decline for several years now and he should be on a short leash in 2017.
Nathan Karns delivered a stellar outing Wednesday in the Royals’ Cactus League win over the Padres, giving up just four hits over six shutout frames.
He struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone. Karns was razor-blade sharp in this one, retiring the first nine batters he faced before finally yielding a leadoff single to Travis Jankowski in the fourth inning. Cory Spangenberg’s fifth-inning double was the only hit he allowed that went for extra bases. Wednesday’s gem lowered Karns’ spring ERA from 7.36 to 4.76. The right-hander has already been tapped as Kansas City’s fifth starter.
Cheslor Cuthbert led the Royals with two hits Wednesday in their Cactus League win over the Padres.
Facing a barely-there Jered Weaver, Cuthbert ripped a two-run double in the first and later scored on a two-out single by Whit Merrifield. Later he connected on his first home run of the spring with a solo shot to left field in the sixth. Cuthbert became an everyday player after Mike Moustakas went down with a torn ACL last season, but this year he’ll be his backup.
Jered Weaver had a disastrous outing Wednesday in the Padres’ Cactus League loss to the Royals, letting up four runs, three hits and hitting two batters in only 2/3 of an inning.
For the glass half-full audience, Weaver did record two strikeouts before exiting. Weaver recently complained of a dead arm, which is pretty common this time of year. The right-hander had planned to pitch through it, but the Padres have to be second-guessing that decision after Wednesday's meltdown. Weaver’s fastball was so slow (he topped out at 83.9 mph) that the pitch tracker on MLB.com classified it as a changeup. There was some thought that relocating to pitcher-friendly Petco Park might resurrect Weaver’s career, but those hopes are quickly fading. At this point in his career, Weaver is hanging on for dear life.
Miguel Gonzalez couldn’t get out of his own way Wednesday in the White Sox’s Cactus League loss to the Athletics, giving up nine hits, four runs and one walk over 4 1/3 innings.
He logged four strikeouts before exiting. The A’s came out firing on Wednesday, hanging two runs on Gonzalez in the first and another two in the second. Gonzalez improved as the game went along but by then, the damage had already been done. Gonzalez is penciled in as Chicago’s No. 2 starter but makes for a thoroughly underwhelming fantasy option. His spring ERA sits at a dismal 5.68.