By Mike Steffanos
No television today vs. the Nationals, but just some general thoughts:
Chan Ho Park made his second start of the spring today. The line was 3-1/3IP, 4ER, 5H, 6K, 2BB. He did okay for the first 2 innings, allowing only Zimmerman's first inning double while getting 3 groundouts and striking out 3. Then he apparently tired. It was a disappointing performance, but I'll give him another couple of starts before I make any judgments. Of the 10 outs he did register, 4 were groundouts and the other 6 were strikeouts. I do think that Mike Pelfrey is clearly ahead of Park at this point and, for what it's worth, I see those two and Jason Vargas as the only real candidates for the fifth starter job.
After Alay Soler bailed out Park in the fourth, he ran into his own troubles in the fifth. Zimmerman beat him with a leadoff homer and 2 singles and a sac fly plated another run. That was it for Soler, which has to indicate how slim his chances are for a starting job. At least he didn't walk anyone today.
The other big story of the day for pitching was Jon Adkins. Of all the legitimate candidates for the bullpen, he's the one who is out of options. Looks like he'll be out of town before too much longer. Despite a track record of eliciting ground ball outs and keeping the ball in the park, Adkins has looked like he's pitching batting practice this spring. He allowed another home run in his inning of work today, and the 3 runs he allowed boosted his ERA to 11.57.
Jason Vargas pitches tomorrow against the Indians in Winter Haven.