Who is going to China?
I am, though my control is terrible and I don’t trust myself to throw anything other than the dog’s toy across the room. My swing is pretty rusty these days, just ask the Wii.
But, I am left-handed and I do have a passport with a regrettable picture. So Bud, if the game goes long and you need someone, well, I’ll be in the pressbox.
Anyway, thought it might be fun to look ahead a little to guess which players might be on the Padres 18-hour charter flight from Phoenix to Beijing (by way of Anchorage, I might add) in March for the exhibition games against the Dodgers.
My guess is you won’t see any starting pitchers named Peavy, Young, Maddux or Wolf makes the trip. Spring Training is all about pitchers and getting them settled into a routine that gets them ready for the start of the season. No need to disrupt that by sending them to Beijing, especially when you consider how cold it can be there (the average high is 52, with low of 30) and with the prospect of rain.
I don’t think you’ll see any players working their way back from off-season surgery (Brian Giles or Josh Bard) the trip, nor will you see anyone who has any kind of medical question (Mark Prior is another who won’t go).
So where exactly does that leave us? Well, let’s just say that the team that goes to China could end up looking a lot like the one that won the 2007 Texas League championship in San Antonio. Now I’m sure some veterans will make the trip, especially the ones who express interest in doing so.
Since the team leaves on March 11, the won’t be down to there final cuts yet, so I think there’s a chance some NRI’s (non-roster invitees) could make the trip.
Anyway, just for kicks, let me throw out this starting lineup for China. Tell me what you think?
Catcher – Colt Morton
First base – Brian Myrow
Second base – Matt Antonelli
Shortstop – Oscar Robles
Third base – Craig Stansberry
Left field – Jody Gerut
Center field – Scott Hairston
Right field – Callix Crabbe
Starting pitcher – Tim Stauffer