The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Opening Series with Braves Looms

There's less than a week to go now until the Marlins open up their 2005 season against the perennial division champions, the Atlanta Braves. In case you haven't been keeping up with the Braves this spring, here's how two of their better known players have fared so far this spring:

Andruw Jones (CF) - .405 batting average, 10 Homers, and 20 RBI in 42 at bats. Unfortunately, official walk and strikeout totals aren't kept in the spring, so you can't get a complete glimpse of what Jones is doing (he's been strikeout prone over his career). But apparently the batting tips that he took from Willie Mays have been working pretty well. His slugging percentage is a Bondsian 1.143.

John Smoltz (RHP) - He's only appeared in 4 games, but in his 14 innings he's given up only nine hits and hasn't walked anyone. Over the course of the year the questions surrounding Smoltz will be in regards to his conditioning, since he was in the bullpen the past few years. The Marlins will be the first team to get to test his endurance as he'll take the hill for the Braves on Opening Day.

Yes, I know - these are only spring stats. Fair enough. Still, these are some pretty impressive numbers that some pretty impressive ball players have put up (over a small sample size) this spring. Sometimes these things tend to carry over to the regular season, and sometimes they don't. We'll start to get an idea as to whether or not they will for Jones and Smoltz this season on Tuesday.


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