Just landed in Arizona for spring training!
— Blake Holovach (@BlakeHolovach) March 3, 2013
♦ Mizzou Alum Crow Signs New Deal With KC (StLouis.CBSlocal.com)
Pitcher Aaron Crow, a 2011 All-Star for the Kansas City Royals, has agreed to a $1.28 million, one-year contract that represents the maximum 20 percent cut...♦ Royals Sign Aaron Crow And Four Others (KC Kingdom)
Crow’s 2012 WHIP actually dropped 0.212 percentage points, from 1.387 in 2011 to 1.175, but his ERA leaped 0.72 from 2.76 in 2011 to 3.48 last season. Since most of his surface stats were very close in the two seasons, the WHIP decline was due to better control as Crow walked 9 fewer batters in 2 2/3 more innings. The jump in ERA can be directly traced to the fact that Crow’s Strand Rate was an unsustainable 86% in 2011 and was a bit low in 2012 at 71%. If Crow can maintain his improved control, his Strand Rate should normalize a few percentage points, which in turn should lower his ERA...♦ Kyle Gibsons command not where I want to be but getting closer (1500espn.com)
In his start against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, Minnesota Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson struggled with command, issuing a walk and allowing three hits -- one a solo homer -- while throwing 48 pitches and recording just five outs.♦ Gibson feeling good, working to improve command (mlb.com)
Gibson is 18 months removed from his operation, and he has pitched dozens of innings in the minor leagues and in the Arizona Fall League since returning to action last summer. So Saturday's command troubles could have just been an off day, like anybody else is prone to have early in spring. Or his command could still be shaky due to Tommy John rust...
Gibson, the game's No. 49 overall prospect, according to MLB.com, said he's having trouble locating his slider, which is usually one of his better pitches and the one he said felt best during his Arizona Fall League stint last year. But he added he's had no setbacks in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and is happy with where he's at with about four weeks left before Opening Day.♦ Gibson: Pelfrey, movement and big targets (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
"Physically, I feel pretty good," Gibson said. "I'm getting there. Obviously, there are some things I need to work on, but I feel pretty good."...
I love to throw at a big target,'' Gibson said. "I throw to the middle of the chest and let the ball move where it wants to.''♦ Max Scherzer shines in debut, but Tigers lose to Braves (Detroit News)
That is what is most noticeable with Gibson _ the big movement on his pitches, whether it's a sinker or a slider.
In Gibson's first full season after Tommy John surgery, the guess is the Twins will limit him to 130-140 innings. If he keeps it together and impresses in Florida, it would seem foolish to use any of those innings in the minor leagues...
Max Scherzer threw the 30-40 pitches he expected to throw in his spring debut on Sunday.♦ Kinsler's spring features new faces, healthy ankle (mlb.com)
But 20 of them were in the bullpen after only 14 pitches were required for him to get through his two innings against the Braves — two scoreless innings, to be exact, in what eventually became a 6-1 loss for the Tigers at Champion Stadium...
"The thing I love about this team is that everybody enjoys to work and they like to talk about it. They work at it. That's a little different than in the past. That was our M.O. here, but we usually had one or two guys who were on their own program. It seems like now everybody comes in here to work hard."
Kinsler said that includes hitting coach Dave Magadan, who is usually in the batting cages around 7:30 in the morning. The Rangers have had five different hitting coaches in the last five springs, with Magadan following Rudy Jaramillo, Clint Hurdle, Thad Bosley and Scott Coolbaugh.
"It's interesting," Kinsler said. "Everybody brings a different style and a different approach to hitting. The nice thing about Dave is that he played the game a long time so he understands that side and has a great understanding of a player's mindset. The big thing I want is honesty. I want someone that's not scared to say something. I'm open to criticism if it's positive. Dave's figured that out pretty quickly."...