Trail Droppings 2037-6 Spring Training Battles - Shortstop

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Trail Droppings 2037-6 Spring Training Battles - Shortstop

Post by indiansfan » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:01 pm

Spring Training Battles - Shortstop

The biggest battle among hitters this Spring was to determine who the Pioneers starting shortstop will be for 2037. Last year the team moved Tony Franco (6/6/7/3/8 Ratings) from 3B to SS to make room for Susumu Nakanishi (8/8/8/7/7 Ratings) who had an outstanding rookie year. Winston Abernathy (6/5/2/5/7 Ratings), Bilbo Baggins (6/8/1/6/7 Ratings) and Tony Gustafsen (7/5/1/4/8 Ratings) also started games for the team at shortstop. Baggins, the team’s longtime starter wasn’t thrilled about the demotion and Gustafsen was brought in via trade to be the starter toward the end of the year. Ron Keys (5/5/2/5/7 Ratings) and Norberto Sanchez (5/5/2/6/6 Ratings) were invited to camp to also get a shot at the team. So all told 6 players came in with a chance to win the job.

Tony Franco (6/6/7/3/8 Ratings) - The guy who has played more games for the team than any other player in history, will be back for season 19. Franco will probably not get much playing time at SS this year, but will bat against LHP at 3B. This Spring he hit only .192, but the team is not worried that he will continue to play a key role. It just won’t be as the starting SS.

Bilbo Baggins (6/8/1/6/7 Ratings) - Baggins is in the final year of his contract and is unhappy with sitting on the bench. He has been a starter for most of his 10 seasons with the team. The team would like to keep him as a utility man and injury replacement, but has been open to hearing offers. He hits well to the gap and has a good glove. It’s just that the team wants a better glove at SS. Baggins only hit .224 in camp which will not win him the starting job back.

Winston Abernathy (6/5/2/5/7 Ratings) - He got a shot at the starting role last season and he is a better glove than Franco or Baggins at SS. However in 35 starts he only hit .225. He hits lefties better than righties and may not have a good enough bat to play everyday. This Spring he played in most of the games, but had only a .236 average to show for it. While the 21 year old is still in the team’s long term plans, it looks like he will start the year back in AAA.

Tony Gustafsen (7/5/1/4/8 Ratings) - Calgary has coveted him for a long time and was finally able to pull off a deal that included him last year. He can play almost any position defensively and he has speed. The team was hoping that he would come in and lock up the position, but he played poorly after coming over to the Pioneers. In 24 games he hit a pitiful .165. In camp he got a lot of reps at 3B, just to bolster his utility, and he hit even worse than last year, .115. His slugging average was .135. Will the team follow through with it’s plans and name him the opening day shortstop?

Ron Keys (5/5/2/5/7 Ratings) - The 26 year old switch hitter has already shown that he has the glove for the BBA. However he has struggled at the plate and got demoted to AA last year. The team invited him to camp, because they want a glove like his at SS, but he hit only .167. This may have been his best shot at the majors and it looks like he blew it.

Norberto Sanchez (5/5/2/6/6 Ratings) - The 27 year old was signed last season to a minor league deal after being released by Yellow Springs. With all the young pitchers in the system, the team figured a guy like Sanchez would provide some good defense backing them up. When handing out invites to camp, Sanchez was as surprised as anyone that he got one. Then he hit .310 and may have one a real shot at the starting job. The problem is that the team may not have room to move him up to the 40 man roster. So for lack of a spot the guy that won the job in camp may not get it. However, this will probably be one of the last decisions the team makes.
Kevin

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Calgary Pioneers 2004- Present
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