That’s right, we’re talking about Jay Bruce, who according to his Wikipedia page played high school football but his mother decided not to sign the consent forms due to the risk of injury. That move has proved fruitful for Bruce so far, and he had a decent spring training game on Wednesday as he drove in three runs with a long home run and a double down the line in the Mets’ 8-6 victory over the Red Sox. (It’s the Mets’ first victory over the Red Sox in spring training since 2011, which is a weird statistic due to the fact that these games mean close to nothing.)
Bruce, who attracted no trade partners in the off-season, even made a nice diving catch during the game which Statcast would have measured except for the fact that he moved so slow that the Statcast forgot to turn itself on. I have long said that Bruce, who has no expectations attached to him this season, is a candidate to have a great first two weeks of the season because of the low expectations. Bruce has streaks of Lucas Duda in between his long stretches of Lucas Duda, so this is something we should expect. Spending spring training with this team should do nothing but help him, at least in the short run.
Noah Syndergaard didn’t look like he was in mid-season form, which is fine because it isn’t mid-season. It’s March 8th. Syndergaard looked from the beginning like he was working on his off speed stuff intensely, and he walked a batter and was generally hit hard. But he didn’t give up a run and seemed to fulfill his own objectives, which was to get a feel for his off-speed stuff, and wear a ponytail during a major league game. Syndergaard can wear his hair any way he likes because he’s bigger than me.
There was another corner outfielder who filled in at Designated Hitter for the game, but I couldn’t tell you who he is because he wore number 97 and his jersey had no name on the back. He went 0-for-4 with a couple of punch outs and grounded into a run scoring double play. He was also hit on the shoulder to reach base, which showed a willingness to do what it takes to get on base. He even turned into it a little bit. But while on first base with the bases loaded, he somehow got doubled off first base on a line drive to second base. The only way I could explain that is by assuming that he hung out with Daniel Murphy this past winter.