Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blanton Blanks Braves Over Six; Alex Gordon on Comeback Trail

Players of the Day for Friday, March 25, 2011

American League

Alex Gordon
Since becoming a major leaguer in 2007, much has been expected of Alex Gordon, but mostly, the Nebraska native has produced more disappointment than highlights.

That may be about to change as Gordon enters his fifth season with the Royals.

As KC was pummeling the Giants, 15-3, Gordon was at the heart of the attack, rapping out a single and two doubles in four at-bats, driving in four runs and crossing the plate three times.

His initial seasons - 2007 and 2008 - were reasonably good, but Gordon's progress was stalled by injuries, which left him playing only 123 games in all of 2009 and 2010. This Spring, however, he's healthy again, and stinging the ball with authority. Through 20 games, he's hitting .368 with 4 homers and 20 RBI. Now, about that beard...

National League

Joe Blanton
As part of a pitching staff that includes multiple Cy Young award winners, Joe Blanton is easily overlooked and dismissed as a viable fifth starter for the Phillies, but the six-year pro has been a steady inning-eater his entire career who always gives a solid effort.

In Friday's 3-1 win over the Braves, Blanton was above average, tossing six shutout innings en route to his second victory of the Spring.

The Braves touched him for just five hits and Blanton fanned four in what might be his final tune-up before the regular season.

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