My trip to Chattanooga

I just got home from a trip to see the Lookouts in the very hot and humid confines of Chattanooga and have a few thought that might be of interest:


Early in the trip Sands hit what looked like a 450 foot shot, had two assists on putouts at the dish and made a great catch slamming into and reaching over the fence down the line in left.  Lambo was in right, but I think Sands and his arm may be better suited for right....especially since Lambo's arm isn't.  The bad news is that Sands, for some unknown reason, began to tinker with his stance.  He lowered his hands and has a mini Joe Morgan chicken flap thing going.  As the pitcher delivers the ball he seems to raise his hands into position but the whole thing adds up to a hitch and a longer, slower swing.

Also early in the homestand Lambo seemed to be going through the motions and was not aggressive...he took a lot of strikes and had too many Ks looking.  As the week progressed he seemed to get a bit of the fire and swagger seemed that he had friends or family in the stands and a local reporter was doing a story for a Ventura newspaper, so maybe that had something to do with his revival....or it could have just been a coincidence.

It pains me to say that Dee Gordon is not what many people seem to think he least not yet.  He tried to bunt twice in an AB to start the game and ended up with a K when he bunted foul.  I think I saw him try to bunt about 5 times when I was there and none were particularly effective (I recall that he did sacrifice, but it looked like he was bunting for a hit).  He also threw the ball away a couple of times, had a couple of balls go off his glove and got picked off twice (although he looked safe on one).  Now i think the bunting might have been a result of Maury Wills being there, but the first pickoff really made him shorten his lead and literally took a step away from him.  A good runner can't let that kind of stuff change his game.  I know he doesn't have a lot of baseball under his belt, but he does not look like the player we may want to hold onto if a trade comes up.

I saw both Withrow and Miller and neither were particularly impressive.  They always seemed to be behind in counts and had a lot of trouble putting hitters away when they had 2 strikes on them.  The most impressive pitcher was Smit who came in on two occasions (I believe back-to-back games) and was efficient and effective.  it was only a couple of games, but he stood out because the others did not match his ability to throw strikes and to have quick innings.  Honorable mention to Rubby, but he only pitched 4 innings and made a lot of pitches doing it.  I know young pitchers struggle with pitch counts and thing, but that's my take.

Selfishly, the biggest disappointment was that I didn't get to see Jansen pitch in person.  I was really looking forward to that, but I guess we all got to see why the organization is high on him.  I'm so happy for the kid because I've seen him working so hard on the back fields in Vero and Glendale.  

One last little tidbit about the sunday day game.  Man was it hot!  The umpiring was not particularly good for the games I saw, but the guy working the plate was awful- even in AA!!  He was so bad that Valentin got run early in the game for yelling from the dugout.  I don't know how the umpire heard him over the fans yelling very similar comments, but you have to give him credit for good ears. ;-)

I don't know if any of that was helpful or interesting, but there it is.  

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