Camp developments

We’re getting to the busy part of spring training, when decisions are being made and rosters are being formed. Rather than beat around the bush, we’re going to attack all of this information bullet-point style.

—The Nationals sent down Bryce Harper, and are going to have him play primarily center field in Triple-A. As far as I’m concerned, it’s about time they tried this.

—The Diamondbacks have said they are sticking with Josh Collmenter as their fifth starter to start the season, and yet Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer remain in camp, and have all been more impressive than Collmenter this spring. Even if they do stick with Collmenter, and I imagine manager Kirk Gibson‘s word is as good as gold on matters like this, I can’t imagine it’s very long before he’s replaced by someone from the Diamondbacks talented stable of pitching prospects. They’re just too good, and Collmenter relies an awful lot on deception, which you would expect to become less deceptive each time the league sees him.

Arodys Vizcaino, one of the Braves Big Three pitching prospects, will miss the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this week. He’s young enough that it shouldn’t set him back much further than this year, but it might spell the end of him being a starter.

—You haven’t heard much about Mike Trout this spring, because he’s been on the sidelines with a bad case of the flu. It caused him to lose 20 pounds and much of his strength. It’s nothing to worry about long-term, but it might be just the excuse the Angels need to send him back to the minors to start the season. They were likely going to be forced to do that anyway due to the presence of Vernon Wells, Peter Bourjos and Torii Hunter in the outfield, and Bobby Abreu and Kendrys Morales at the DH spot.

There simply aren’t at-bats for Trout, who got back into action this week, unless the Angels can move somebody. Once he gets his strength back and gets his version of spring training in during the early days of the Triple-A season, the Angels will find a way to get him to the majors and have him play every day.

Chase Utley‘s knees are as bad as ever, which probably means Freddy Galvis is going to make the big league club—and the Opening Day lineup. The shortstop prospect, who may have as big a disparity between his defensive and offensive abilities as any prospect in the minors, has taken nicely to second base, where he was getting work for a potential role as a utility man.

Given his defensive reputation at shortstop, the only question at second would be whether he can make the double play turn with his back to the runner. Apparently the Phillies have liked what they have seen. He’s going to have to be one heck of a defender to make up for his bat, but apparently he is one heck of a defender.

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Jim C
Jim C

As a DC native, I agree completely about Bryce Harper. Little-known codicil in the most recent CBA now requires all pitchers drafted since 2005 to have at least one Tommy John operation.