Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Mays Factor

I was very pleased yesterday when I watched the Twins play the Reds in spring training. Although they ended up losing the game, it was very encouraging to watch Joe Mays pitch five scoreless innings. This continues a spring in which he looks to rebound from Tommy John surgery and numerous setbacks that have kept him from being able to pitch for the past year and a half. Joe claims he is ready to return to his All-Star form of 2001, and judging by his performance this spring, it is difficult to argue that. He leads the team in innings pitched with 14, has allowed only 9 hits while striking out six, and holds a terrific 1.29 ERA. I don't want to give too much significance to exhibition performances, but this has to be seen as a very encouraging sign. If Mays can pick up where he left off before all his injury trouble and throw 200 innings, he provides a very solid number three starter, which they will need in order to progress in the playoffs.