Some things to talk about while the Dominican Republic is still celebrating its WBC victory...
1) Minor league park factors
Baseball America has a great breakdown of all the minor league park factors from the past three seasons. It's a nice reminder that Lancaster is a great hitter's park for a lot of reasons, Corpus is one of the better home-run hitting parks in the Texas League and Oklahoma City suppresses more home runs than any team in the PCL while still playing fairly averagely in run production.
Meanwhile, we get a chance to know the new affiliate in Quad Cities and compare it to Lexington. How does the River Bandits park play?
So, Quad Cities will produce about the same number of runs per game as Lexington, while suppressing more home runs and allowing slightly fewer hits. Still, the Park Factor per game is higher than in Lexington, making the River Bandits park play pretty evenly.
Oklahoma City's park factor is about .990, so we could expect the new Low A affiliate to play about like those games did last season, with fewer home runs but a decent amount of scoring. I guess if Carlos Correa hits 10-15 homers there this season, that will really mean something, right?
2) The Jordan Lyles question
Eventually, these outings will matter. In a mere 12 days, the regular season begins and Jordan Lyles will have to put away the excuses.
What's interesting is that Lyles said "other than today." To me, that suggests he wasn't doing the things that got him bombed earlier this spring. He wasn't just working on fastball command and his mechanics. He was just roughed up by a good team.
Spring numbers don't matter. Spring struggles might. If Lyles pitched straight up against the Jays and still got banged around, we have to be watching him more closely. If it happens again, there could be a chance he doesn't make this team, not for what he did to begin the month, but for how he finished it.
3) Goldschmidt talking extension
Former The Woodlands player Paul Goldschmidt hit 20 home runs in his first full season in the majors last year. He had 177 plate appearances in 2011. Now, the Diamondbacks are talking about extending Goldschmidt with a long-term deal.
Why is this a big deal? It's the same reason why the Evan Longoria contract is important, as young players were locked up to good deals for both sides that don't break the bank. But, it could also affect the Astros.
Most young first baseman don't get extended like this. Teams generally save these for pitchers and premium defensive players. However, if Goldschmidt gets a deal, you better believe Jonathan Singleton's agent will be watching closely. Singleton very well could get 150 plate appearances this season for Houston, which puts him on pace to get his own extension by 2015.
We have no framework now, but it's a situation to monitor. You know, just in case.