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Not Just What, But When
2003-03-08 08:44
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

We all know Spring Training stats are misleading, but it's hard not to get excited when an underdog player does unexpectedly well. Larry Barnes is the top 'dog so far, with Calivin Murray, Ron Coomer and Chin-Feng Chen also among those making waves.

One way to help keep things in perspective is to take note of when these guys are doing their damage. If it's coming in the latter three innings, as I believe has been the case with Chen and Barnes, then you have to recognize that it's probably coming against AAA competition, not major league competition. (And if it's coming against the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh, eighth or ninth, then maybe we're talking AA. Baltimore's talking about trying to acquire Ken Griffey, Jr., for prospects, yet the Orioles don't have a prospect in most major magazines' top 100.)

That doesn't mean I'm not rooting for Barnes et al. I'd love to see a tough competition for the bench spots behind Ward, Kinkade, Cora/Thurston/Izturis and (gulp) Hundley.

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