Not one but TWO wins in a row? What kind of Spring Training is this?
I kid, of course, but given how the 2022 season just went, a little bit of anxiety at even the earliest of spring results might be forgiven.
Davis Martin takes the hill for the Pale Hose in his first live game action of the year after positing a 4.83 ERA in 14 appearances (9 starts) as a rookie in 2022, a number much more reflective of the unfortunate nine-run rout he endured in his final appearances after what had been to that point an excellent rookie campaign.
Though he technically appears to be on the outside of a five-man rotation, there’s little doubt he’ll be in line to soak up plenty of starts and innings this season. In addition to a heater than averaged 94 mph last year, Martin possess a slider, curveball, and changeup, all of which showed flashes of being viable big league pitches last season. The four-seamer is the thing to watch for this spring, though: If he can either add just a little bit more velocity or consistently command it high in the zone better than he did last year, there’s a good chance we have a very solid mid-rotation starter on our hands.
Perhaps unusually for this point in the spring, the starting lineup very much resembles something we wouldn’t be surprised to see come April or May, with only Andrew Vaughn getting a day off in favor of the red-hot Jake Burger. While Eloy Jiménez was initially listed in RF, it appears he will instead be DHing this afternoon, per a recent follow-up tweet.
The Good Guys are back in Glendale. pic.twitter.com/SLP7WCUxhX— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) March 1, 2023
Andrew Benintendi in the three hole is an... interesting decision, but I’ll withhold judgment until there’s a good chance of it happening on March 30th. Having recorded his first RBI of the spring the other day, Colás returns to make his second start of the spring, his first time in the lineup with players who are actually going to be in the majors come April.
On the other side of the field, Aaron Civale takes the hill for Cleveland, hoping to take the first step in moving on from a nightmarish 2022, in which he posted a 4.92 ERA and was unable to get out of the first inning when handed the ball (?) in a winner-take-all Game 5 of last year’s ALDS.
Steven Kwan and Mike Zunino are the only hitters starting for Cleveland today likely to be on the MLB depth chart next month. CF Roman Quinn, in camp on a minor league contract, leads the league with three home runs so far this spring. He has two regular season home runs since the start of the 2020 season.
The game will not be broadcasted on local TV or MLB.com, but Cleveland’s radio feed will be available to MLB.tv subscribers.