You hear people in baseball all the time say that stats compiled in spring training and in September can be deceptive.
In some instances players are facing less than major league caliber players in spring and in September, the rosters are expanded and some teams might be playing out the string.
So how does Buck Showalter weigh September performances by his players?
“It’s kind of like, ‘look who he hit that home run off, look at the score.’ But what do you want him to do, strike out? Would you feel better about him?
“It is something you keep in mind, but you can’t do it in September if you don’t have the capability of doing it some other time. There are no secrets in baseball. If a guy has a weakness, they will exploit it the third game they see him. Maybe the second game.
“It’s something you keep in the back of your mind. More of the atmosphere it’s being done under. What do you want them to do, fail? On the flip side of that, if a guy is failing in September, do you automatically say it can’t happen the other way. You have to keep an open mind about it,” Showalter said about late-season performance.
I guess maybe it is all part of a bigger resume for a player. They’ve been playing since April, but for some, this is the organization’s first chance to see them at this level.
Players like Matt Angle, Kyle Hudson, Pedro Strop, Pedro Florimon, Willie Eyre and Zach Phillips are in this category.
Plus, you have to consider that the coaching staff gets to see the players beyond just in-game performance. They see them in batting practice, pregame drills and off the field some too.