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Picked Off: Spring Training Boxscores 3/19/2009

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C Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles:  After a 1-2 day with a double and no Ks, the may-as-well-be-a-current-Hall-of-Famer is now hitting 375/394/594 with just three Ks over 33 plate appearances.  Unfortunately, he brought out the best in Greg Zaun who has registered a sleeper-esque 320/433/360.  Sorry, a .360 SLG does not equal winning a job.  More like making sure the seat is nice and warm when Wieters sits in it.

SP Chris Volstad, Florida Marlins: Another four shutout innings find the second-year hurler with an attractive 2.50 ERA over 18 innings of work.  With just two walks and ten Ks, Volstad looks like a prime sleeper.  With a reputation as a groundballer, I am sort of interested in his lower-than-expected 1.59 GB/FB ratio.

RP Jason Motte, St. Louis Cardinals:  He notched his third Spring Training save.  With news that fellow rookie Chris Perez has shoulder discomfort, I wonder if this stat is going to prove that Spring stats are meaningless.  I'm not sure I care as Motte is my favorite to finish with the closer's role.  FWIW, Motte went in the beginning of the eleventh round in my recent 12-team mixed league.

SS Jhonny Peralta, Cleveland Indians:  After a 1-3 day with a double, Peralta is hitting .500 over 32 ABs.  His SLG is .813.  I believe there is some statistical support that a player who finishes with a Spring SLG 200 points higher than his career SLG has made a legitimate improvement.  Peralta's carer SLG? .437.  Heck, his 2008 SLG was .473.

CF Jordan Schafer, Atlanta Braves:  Chatter has increased in the sports pages about Schafer being a legitmate threat to win the Opening Day CF job with the Atlanta Braves.  He stole his 5th base of the Spring, but I don't believe for an instance this stat isn't going to prove the rule that Spring Training Stats Don't Matter.  In 34 ABs, he has struck out eight times and walked just twice.  With rosters being trimmed, the competitive balance will toughen.  If that ratio holds over the next two weeks, I'll begin to believe.