Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Luke Scott Homers Twice, Drives in Seven; Ricky Nolasco on the Cusp

Players of the Day for Monday, March 28, 2011

American League

Luke Scott
Luke Scott entered the exhibition game with Detroit carrying a .185 batting average, two home runs and six RBIs. By the time the Orioles had finished their 18-hit barrage in a 14-9 win, Scott had gotten the batting average up to .207, doubled his home run total and added seven RBI.

Amazing what a grand slam in the first inning and a three-run shot in the second will do for your stats.

It's not that Scott doesn't produce solid numbers. He's averaged 25 home runs and 72 RBI over the last three years. He's also a lifetime .268 hitter, so he just needed some extra time - and maybe a few choice pitches - to get into his groove.

Looks like he found it.

National League

Ricky Nolasco
It took four starts for Ricky Nolasco to notch his first exhibition win, but he was on his game in Florida's 4-1 win over St. Louis on Monday.

Nolasco worked the first six innings, blanking the Cardinals on two hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out three, appearing ready to roll into the regular season.

For the Marlins to have any success, they'll likely need Nolasco to go deep into games and notch double digits in wins, something he's done each of the last three seasons.

In 2008, Nolasco went 15-8 and followed that up with marks of 13-9 and 14-9 in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The righty is right on the cusp of true greatness, but hasn't been able to put together more than a few months of solid pitching at any given stretch. Now in his sixth season, he could have another so-so year or evolve into one of the leagues dominators.

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