Chronique: Bon départ pour Wilmer Font avec les Dodgers
Texte écrit par Bob Wirz (via www.canamleague.com)
While it is very early to read much into it for the regular season, onetime Ottawa Champions starter and 2017 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year Wilmer Font has to feel good about spring training so far.
The Los Angeles Dodgers gave the right-hander the opportunity to start their Cactus League opener, and Font did not disappoint with two hitless innings in which he struck out two Chicago White Sox hitters.
That should give some confidence since his three brief relief outings late last season for the parent Dodgers after 178 strikeouts in only 134.1 innings at Oklahoma City (10-8, 3.42) were tough with seven runs in only 3.2 innings.
Font paced the PCL in ERA, WHIP (1.11), opponent batting average (.222) and strikeouts while also establishing an all-time single-season high for strikeouts for the Triple-A club. He became the first PCL hurler in a decade to strike out 15 hitters in a game, doing so in seven innings.
The 27-year-old Font went back to starting at Ottawa three years ago after two seasons in relief in the Texas Rangers minor league system. He won 10 of 14 decisions in the Can-Am League, and he went 2-2 with an improved 3.13 earned run average in nine starts (one relief outing) with the Champions in '16 before his contract was sold to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Mooney Seeing Action
Elsewhere in spring training camps, infielder Peter Mooney (New Jersey) is getting a nice look early, going 2-for-5 with two runs batted in while getting into three of Miami's first four games.
Three former Can-Am pitchers have gotten those game-day call-ups from the minor league camp to be ready for play, as needed, in major league exhibitions. Johnny Hellweg (New Jersey) got into a game for Pittsburgh, giving up a run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Kyle Regnault (Quebec and Worcester) has worn a New York Mets uniform and Phillippe Aumont (Ottawa) has done the same for Detroit although neither had gotten in to a game (through Monday).
Adleman's Shock in Japan
Onetime New Jersey Jackals reliever Tim Adleman is admitting to considerable culture shock as he gets ready to pitch in the Korean Baseball Organization after spending much of the last two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.
"I've been to many first days of school in my life, but none of them could have prepared me for the first day of 2018 spring training in Okinawa, Japan," Adleman wrote in a first-person story for The Athletic. "I have Korean-speaking teammates, and am surrounded by hotel and restaurant employees who only speak Japanese. It's a little bit different than ninth grade English class.
"The team stays at a hotel that is about 10 minutes from the complex where we work out. In addition to the stadium at the complex, we have access to two football fields, an auxiliary baseball field (equivalent to a softball field), an indoor facility that's as big as a soccer field, a weight room and a track--ample space to do all necessary drills. However, our locker room doesn't have enough lockers for each player, and we're split up into two rooms: one for pitchers and one for position players."
He also addressed the drastic differences in food and laundry facilities, concluding that "having the privilege of playing in the major leagues really spoils you. The experience so far here in Japan feels like the minor leagues compared to the luxuries we were afforded in major league spring training."
Hopefully, the reported $1.05 million contract Adleman has with the Samsung Lions will soothe some of his feelings.
About Bob Wirz
Previously the chief spokesman for Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003. He is a frequent contributor to this site, has a blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, and a book about his life, "The Passion of Baseball", is available at traditional book-buying sites, or at www.WirzandAssociates.com.