Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A game in Cedar Rapids, part IV: Random observations

Cedar Rapids manager Jake Mauer — Joe's older brother —
watches the grounds crew shape up the infield after a
heavy overnight storm.
(Photo by Linda Vanderwerf)

It was a stormy trip Sunday and Monday — a blinding downpour around Albert Lea on the way down, another one on the way back, tornado watches, and an overnight storm in Cedar Rapids.

Nothing like the disaster that visited Oklahoma City on Monday, but the overnight storm in CR knocked out power to Veterans Memorial Stadium and forced the game, scheduled for noon, to be put off until 1:30.

In truth, it was impressive that the game got played at all. At one point as the grounds crew worked on the playing field, the Kane County manager walked the infield and tested the footing, then talked to the crew.

There was one moment when it appeared the field was an issue. Bryon Buxton fielded a base hit in the second inning and tried to plant a foot to pivot and throw, but the ground did not hold. Buxton regained his footing, conceded the base and tossed the ball back into the infield before replacing his divot. But I couldn't help but wonder if there would be ramifications if Buxton blew out a knee on a wet field.


A Kernels player of interest I didn't see was Adam Brett Walker, who the Twins drafted last June in the third round. Walker's power is said to comparable to Miguel Sano — which is to say it's top-of-the-charts — but there's been some question about his hit tool. Lots of strikeouts, lots of swing-and-miss.

But he bopped 14 homers for Elizabethton last summer after signing, and he already has 10 for Cedar Rapids.

All I saw him do Monday was coach first base.


Kane County features a couple of ponderous first basemen. Dan Vogelbach, who played first on Monday, is listed as 6 feet, 250 pounds; I suspect the listing is generous on the height and understates the weight. He's got a Prince Fielder build to him. And he hit several balls hard; 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a monster foul ball.

Despite the bulk, he seemed fairly nimble around the base and scooped a couple of poor throws from his infielders, something Fielder frequently struggles with.

The other is the wonderfully named Rock Shoulders. With a moniker like that, he has to be a powerfully built fellow — it's impossible to imagine a scrawny guy named Rock Shoulders — and he fits the bill at 6-2, 225. Shoulders, the DH Monday, drew three walks and went 0-for-2.

1 comment:

  1. Although AB Walker is known to strike out too much - He has improved that statistic and his average has risen as well. If he continues to make adjustments - Look Out!!