Tomko, Pierre and Bigbie
The main news from today, as I posted below, is that Brett Tomko is going to be the fifth starter entering the season. He seems to have earned it this spring and for now, that means that Chad Billingsley and Mark Hendrickson will begin the year in the bullpen while Hong-Chih Kuo and Joe Mays will begin the year in the minors.
Also, I know it’s just spring and I know that this will spark all sorts of comments on this blog as it seems to be a hot topic among you all, but Juan Pierre has quietly put together an incredible Spring Training. Not only does he have more stolen bases over the past six seasons than any other player in baseball, but he swiped his fourth base of the spring yesterday and has yet to be caught stealing.
He also went 1-for-3 and drew his first walk of the spring in the game to give him a .370 batting average and .375 on-base percentage. In his last 10 Grapefruit League contests, Pierre is batting .424 (14-for-33) and he also has struck out just one time in more than 45 plate appearances. And as I’ve pointed out before, Pierre’s 1,182 hits since 2001 rank second in baseball to only Ichiro Suzuki (1,354).
I know that Spring Training numbers won’t convince the naysayers that Pierre is going to be a huge asset to the team, but I don’t think anyone can argue that if he comes even close to what he’s done this spring during the season, we’re going to be scoring a ton of runs and winning a lot of games.
And finally, Larry Bigbie, whose game-winning hit was yet another impressive part of his showing this spring, continues to make his case for making the team. As I think I’ve written here before, Ken Gurnick somehow seems to figure out who the non-roster invitee will be each year that surprises everyone and makes the team. In years past, he’s correctly predicted Wilson Alvarez, Jose Lima and several others and believe it or not, during the intrasquad game on Feb. 28, Ken turned to me in the press box and said that Larry Bigbie was going to have an incredible spring and throw all of our plans up in the air. Sure enough, he’s opened a ton of eyes out here and somehow Ken predicted it again. Maybe we should make him a scout…
Anyway, that’s all for today. Don’t forget to listen to DodgerTalk tonight at 8 p.m. PT on KFWB 980 and watch Dodgers Live on FSN Prime Ticket tonight at 10 p.m. PT.