OK, it's pretty lame to highlight performance in intra squad games, but we don't even have real spring training games to discuss (until later today anyway). And I have to admit that I am pulling for Drew Sutton, the Astros' AA second baseman. He showed good offfensive ability for a middle infielder last season, and you hope he can exhibit that ability this spring.
Rule 5 draftee Palmisano, RFer Pence, and defensive outfield whiz Yordany Ramirez also hit HRs. Cooper liked it:
"The kids all looked pretty good," the skipper said. "It shows me Sutton can swing it, and you know Hunter can swing it. We saw some great swings today. Yordany had a great swing and hit a ball and showed tremendous speed and athletic ability. It was a good day."
In a comment on the Ankiel - Bogusevic comparison the other day, I mentioned "the yips," which ended Ankiel's pitching career. Brad James mentioned the dreaded "yips" in describing his performance in the spring so far. Apparently he is having trouble getting the ball around the plate.
"It's hard to pitch to your own teammates," James said. "I don't want to hit someone, and then you start thinking too much, and then, obviously, I hit someone. It's like I'm scared of hitters. Instead of throwing to the catcher, I'm trying to throw away from the hitter."
Cooper is working with the young players, trying to talk them through issues like this. Hopefully, James can get through this soon.