Even during Spring Training, how a pitcher reacts to adversity goes a long way in determining how he might react during the regular season. A closer with a bad memory is a good thing.
Right-hander Randy Messenger has been near-perfect in his three outings, and inquiring minds wanted to know if Don Wakamatsu wants Messenger to have a rough outing one of these days.
And so we asked.
“I don’t think he’s going to have a real bad outing, just because I think you see a pretty good commitment level,” Wakamatsu said. “He’s going out and he’s attacking the (strike) zone. Even yesterday, the ball was up and it wasn’t the prettiest thing, but at least the aggressiveness was there. So I think going into his next inning he’ll focus on bringing the ball down.”
If the regular season started today, I wouldn’t be surprised if the slimmed-down-by-30-pounds Messenger would be the closer.
Meanwhile, right-hander Brandon Morrow remains a bit under the weather, but has improved.
As a diabetic, Morrow does not recover as quickly from illness, and it’s something the organization has discussed.
“Those were concerns we had when were choosing what was best for him, to close or to start,” Wakamatsu said. “If we can kind of manage his weight, and manage his recovery time being a starter, then we might be able to maximize that. We’re going down that road right now. Our biggest concern right now is where he’s going to be opening the season.”
— Jim Street