Report from Memphis

Went to the Redbirds/Isotopes game on Tuesday, thought I'd give a report on what I saw.

Blake Hawksworth got the start for the Redbirds, and came out smokin'. Struck out the first four batters he faced, and ended the night with over 10 K's. He was consistently in the low-90's according to the AutoZone gun, and showed pretty good offspeed stuff, with good location.

It was a pitcher's duel for the majority of the game, tied 1-1 for a good while. Hawksworth gave up a solo homerun to Dallas McPherson (funny story: before the game, McPherson was warming up right in front of where we were sitting, and a buddy of mine says, "Is that Dallas McPherson?" I say, "I can find out," and yell out "DALLAS!" and look down. Apparently McPherson looked right at me. So yeah. Dallas McPherson, everybody.)

Fifth inning or so (sorry I can't be more specific, was with a big group so it was tough to really pay attention), Hawksworth got in trouble, gave up another home run, and Redbirds were down 5-1.

Hugo Castellanos (sp??) came in, and I give a decided... meh. He pitched well, but didn't do anything to really catch my eye. He gave way to Mark Worrell, who I thought pitched extremely well. Struck out the Isotopes' centerfielder Carroll to give Carroll the ol' Golden Sombrero, which was definitely the highlight of my night.

So, pitching summary: Hawksworth was lights out, till he wasn't. One bad inning spoiled a potential gem of a start.

Now, for the guy I was there to see.

Rasmus started in center, and led off. Top 1, batter hits a rope to deep right center. Rasmus sprints a good 70 feet, dives headlong onto the warning track and comes down with the catch. It was easily one of the top 3 catches I've ever seen in person.

There wasn't any chance for him to show off the arm, so I can't comment on that. But he looked comfortable, and man... that catch was somethin' else.

At the plate, I was a little nervous. His first two plate appearances, he saw a total of... two pitches. He hit a soft liner to short in the first, and grounded out his next time up. That didn't sit well with me at all. But his next two trips to the dish he worked walks. Neither time could anybody behind him do anything, so I can't comment on his speed on the paths.

Other random observations...

Hoffpauier has the look of a guy who knows he can play some ball (in a good way.) I definitely see a lot of Dustin Pedroia in him.

Amaury Cazana Marti can mash. He stroked a double in the ninth that I swear dented the left-center wall. He also runs like a duck.

Josh Phelps is really skinny.

Brian Barden doesn't look comfortable at short. He had an error where he let a ball under the glove through his legs. Don't know if he'll see the big club before September.

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