Even though much of MLB’s top talents are out of Spring Training due to the World Baseball Classic, there’s still plenty to talk about. Tuesday’s highlights in Grapefruit and Cactus League action include the spring debut for one of 2022’s top arms, and a strong performance from a rebound candidate.
Related: Our Predictions for the 2023 World Baseball Classic
Tigers LHP Matthew Boyd had himself a strong out on Tuesday in Cactus League action. The left-hander struck out seven over three innings in a 16-3 victory against the Cardinals. Boyd’s been well-known for being a strikeout machine throughout his career, but one has to wonder what the veteran has in store for 2023.
That’s because Boyd — traditionally a fastball/slider pitcher — has made more use of a changeup that differs in speed from his fastball by about 10 MPH. A reliable three-pitch mix could put Boyd back on track.
Infield prospect Andre Lipcius went 2-3 for three RBIs in the win by Detroit, while Nick Maton went 3-3 with an RBI.
Gallen Makes His 2023 Bow
After a very strong 2022 campaign, Diamondbacks RHP Zac Gallen will look to repeat those results in 2023. Gallen made his first start of the spring on Tuesday against the Athletics, an outing that saw him pitch 2+ IP. The right-hander walked four, and gave up three hits and three earned runs.
A’s pitcher Shintaro Fujinami struck out three over three innings against the Diamondbacks. Oakland won the game 9-3.
Rays Defeat Phillies
The Rays-Phillies game on Tuesday featured two hurlers that are looking to make their respective teams’ Opening Day rosters. RHP Luis Patiño started the game for Tampa. Patiño didn’t allow a run over 1.2 IP, but did walk two. Last season wasn’t a great one for the young right-hander, who came over from San Diego in the deal that sent Blake Snell to southern California. However, he does have incredible promise thanks to a high-octane fastball and a good slider.
Bailey Falter, meanwhile, looked to try to cement his case as the fifth starter in Philadelphia. Falter did strike out three, but gave up two three hits and an earned run in 2.1 IP. With Andrew Painter currently out of action, it looks like the last spot in the Phillies rotation is Falter’s to lose.