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There were rave reviews for Kevin Millwood's performance yesterday, as he threw a little over 60 pitches in 5 innings and ended up throwing in the bullpen afterwards to get to his pitch count target. Mark Connor says he'll be ready to go 90-100 pitches on Opening Day.
The S-T has some notes on relievers outings from yesterday, young pitchers impressing in the prospect game on Wednesday, and Franklyn German's push for a bullpen job.
It sounds more and more like Jarrod Saltalamacchia is heading to AAA to start the season, and Gil LeBreton says it is the right move. Saltalamacchia doesn't sound thrilled with the idea:
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"It's not like they would be throwing me into the fire to keep me up here," Saltalamacchia said. "Atlanta thought I was a good enough catcher to call me up last season."
I see the arguments both ways. I think the bottom line is, the organization thinks that Saltalamacchia's future is as a catcher, that he still has some work to do defensively, and his performance last year in the majors wasn't the sort of performance that suggests he was kicking the door down. Neither was Gerald Laird, of course...but I think the organization thinks that Laird is a starting-caliber major league catcher, and is ahead of Saltalamacchia defensively.
My gut feeling is that, if a team were willing to give up what the Rangers think a starting major league catcher is worth, Laird would be dealt. Since no team is, they'll roll with Laird, and see where they are come June or July. And as I've mentioned before, I think there are teams out there that really like Saltalamacchia, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being dealt before this time next season, particularly if Taylor Teagarden proves he is healthy.
And T.R. Sullivan has some bloggy notes up...