I saw a couple of games this weekend (Fri night at BAL and Sun against MIN), and I thought I'd type up a couple of notes. So as not to bore everyone, I'll just keep it to a couple things that really struck me, but if anyone has any questions, I'll try to answer them. If people think these notes are valuable, I'll keep writing about anything remarkable as I see some more games.
1. Most of you know that I'm pessimistic about Ross Ohlendorf, so take my criticisms with a grain of salt, but Ohly looked pretty unimpressive on Sunday. There's some confirmation bias here, since I already believed this, but Ohlendorf's fastball is just too flat, and he doesn't have good enough command. When he misses up in the zone he gets crushed, and he doesn't have an out-pitch to offset that tendency with a bunch of strikeouts. On a positive note, he seemed to be concentrating on keeping the ball down, which he mostly accomplished. Hopefully that will help offset some of his flyball tendencies.
2. John Raynor looked absolutely awful on defense. He misplayed an out into a double in each of the games I saw, and in general he took routes reminiscent of a young Lastings Milledge in center. One of those misplays/doubles could have been because of heavy wind, and the other was a tricky play (ball hit right toward him, he took two steps in before he realized it was over his head). I'm not going to draw any firm conclusions based on two games, but he looked really bad out there.
3. Bryan Morris looked surprisingly awesome on Sunday. He pitched a very quick inning, so my opinion here is based on only a dozen pitches or so, but he had good velocity on his fastball, great bite on his breaking ball, and was throwing easy strikes.
4. The most exciting thing was Tony Sanchez's performance on Friday night. You probably read all about it, but I thought I'd add a bit of color. There was the caught stealing and cleanly fielded bunt, but also every detail of his defense was spectacular - footwork, receiving, blocking. Based on what I saw, I'd say he's already better defensively than a significant number of major league catchers, and he's definitely better than Doumit and Jaramillo already. More impressive, though, was his at-bat. It's not just that he homered. He fell behind 0-2, then displayed good patience/judgment in evening the count at 2-2, including fouling off a couple pitches that were close. The bat control in fouling off those pitches with two strikes was very nice, and the home run power combined with the bat control was impressive. It was just one at-bat and it came against a minor leaguer, but even aside from the homer, I don't think he could have had a more impressive at-bat.