Monday, April 2, 2012

Tyler Colvin Smacks a Pair in Colorado Loss; Rays' Desmond Jennings Whacks Three in Win over O's

Players of the Day for Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grapefruit League

Leadoff hitters aren't normally relied upon for home runs, but, in the case of Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings, he played an April Fool's prank on the Baltimore Orioles that their pitching staff is unlikely to forget.
Desmond Jennings

Jennings, who hadn't homered all spring, took one deep to lead off the game for the Rays. OK, ha, ha, very funny.

But, Jennings wasn't done. Not even close. In the fourth inning, he stepped to the plate and did it again, this time with the bases loaded. Grand Slam. Nice job. We get it.

In the seventh, Jennings pressed the issue, hitting his third homer of the game, a solo shot that sealed an 8-5 victory for the Rays, his leadoff prank resulting in a 3-for-4 game with six RBI and three runs.

Maybe the O's shouldn't have been so surprised with Jennings' power display. In 63 games with the Rays last season, he launched 10 long balls and drove in 25 runs. With a .348 batting average this spring, and , oh, by the way, 20 stolen bases last year, Jennings looks like a keeper in the Tampa Bay outfield. And that's no joke.

Cactus League

Tyler Colvin
Travis Hafner and Shelly Duncan each hit grand slams for the Cleveland Indians, leading to a 12-10 win over Colorado, but rockies' center fielder Tyler Colvin was not to be outdone, cracking a pair of home runs and two singles as he went 4-for-5, scored three times and drove in six runs.

Colvin, acquired from the Cubs in an off-season deal, looks like he'll stick with the Rockies as part of their well-staffed outfield. He's batting .403 in exhibition games with three homers and 18 RBI, plus, he's swiped three bases without being caught.

The home runs will come for Colvin when he gets his chances. In 2010 and 2011, he hit 26 for the Cubs, but his 2011 batting average slumped to .150, prompting a trip back to the minors and the eventual trade.

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