Pitchers and catchers have reported. Soon, the full squad will show up. But there are very few stories in spring training. Usually, ninety-nine percent of the jobs are already sewn up.
No matter how much baseball managers say they will make decisions based on how certain players perform in spring, that’s rarely the case. Spring stats are as reliable as a brother-in-law.
About the only drama is who makes the back end of a bullpen, or who is that final utility player.
So, while there is so little drama and so few stories in spring training, might as well take a moment to shine some light on something pretty amazing.
Florida Atlantic freshman Caleb Pendleton had the most amazing debut in baseball history last night.
In his first ever college game, in his first ever college at-bat, Pendleton hit a grand slam.
Pretty amazing. So, how do you follow something like that?
With another grand slam. In his next at-bat. In the exact same first inning.
Two grand slams in one inning. It was accomplished once by ex-Ranger Fernando Tatis, of future Ranger Chan Ho Park back in 1999.
Caleb Pendleton matched that most incredible, unlikely inning. The fact that he did it in his first two at-bats in college baseball is even more incredible and unlikely.
Pendleton’s team scored twelve runs in the first inning. He drove in eight of them.
With stories like that, who cares who will will the role of mop up guy in the Rangers bullpen?