Rogers will be the top lefty specialist in the bullpen. His rookie season featured a decent 3.96 ERA, but an impressive 9.4 K/9 and a 51.4 percent groundball rate. He was even better against left-handed batters with a .547 opponents' OPS. If he can improve against right-handed batters, he could become a top setup man.
Hughes struggled at the start of spring training but was coming off a good outing before this clunker. His spring ERA rose to 6.75. However, his numbers may not be that important since he's a veteran with a set spot in the rotation as the No. 2 or No. 3 starter. It's more important that Hughes is healthy at this point in the spring after an injury-plagued 2016 season. Hughes is returning from season-ending surgery in July to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome where part of his rib was removed to relieve nerve pressure on his shoulder.
Heston surrendered five doubles among his seven hits and came unraveled in the third, when the A's touched him up for six runs overall. The right-hander is expected to start the season at Triple-A Tacoma and figures to be a prime candidate for a call-up at some point in the regular season when the Mariners are down a man in their rotation.
Despite being credited with the win, Cotton was nowhere close to having his best stuff, and his win was largely the product of the A's offense staking him to a 6-0 lead after three innings. The A's projected No. 4 starter when the staff is at full health, Cotton began unraveling in the fourth inning when he issued three of his five walks. He fired 79 pitches overall and despite the struggles, came out of the game knowing exactly what the source of his problems was. "The command wasn't there as much," Cotton said. "There's some stuff I've got to work on in my sides and get back after it next time. I was just rushing a bit, but I think I should be fine. I know my stuff is there, I just need to prepare myself better and throw it over the plate."
The mercurial utility man has enjoyed an excellent spring, hitting .306 with four doubles, a triple, a home run, four RBI, six walks and eight runs. Beckham has also been making plays in the field and perhaps just as important, has displayed a stellar attitude and work ethic. Both of those traits have been questioned in the past, such as the lackadaisical play Beckham exhibited in late August that earned him a demotion to Triple-A Durham for the balance of the season. Barring any unforeseen personnel moves, the 27-year-old is projected to start the season at shortstop and eventually slide into what should still be a sizable utility role when Duffy returns.
Rodriguez tossed 85 pitches (59 for strikes) and struck out eight while walking one. He admitted pitching to minor leaguers is not the same as facing major leaguers, but was pleased to throw all of his pitches. With David Price (elbow) expected to begin the regular season on the disabled list and the uncertainty surrounding Drew Pomeranz (triceps), Rodriguez is certain to start the season in the rotation. Once there, his performance will determine how long he remains there.
Sanchez appears destined to be the White Sox's utility infielder as Tyler Saladino has earned the right to replace Brett Lawrie as the team's starting second baseman. He's hitting .289 (13-for-45) with two homers and five RBI.
Gonzalez made his first start since returning from the World Baseball Classic. The right-hander isn't going to be overpowering hitters so there's a lot of pitch-to-contact in his game. Sometimes that contact is hard and turns into hits. To Gonzalez's credit, he didn't write off the outing as just getting his work in. He admitted to Van Schouwen that he needs to execute pitches.
The Rays' projected No. 5 starter wasn't exactly at his most impressive considering the lower level of competition but did get his work in. Andriese threw 86 pitches overall, keeping him on schedule with his throwing program. He's been a mixed bag this spring, with his solid 2.84 ERA offset by a .345 BAA and 1.89 WHIP.
The 23-year-old shortstop prospect is hitting only .220 over 41 at-bats but Matt Duffy's extended recovery from heel surgery has potentially opened up a spot for him to start the season. Robertson's right-handed bat renders him particularly valuable in the short term and he could be competing with Michael McKenry or Nick Franklin for a roster spot as spring training heads into its stretch run.