**The Nick Adenhart thing was like a punch in the gut. Although I didn't see the last game he pitched, I saw him pitch several times in the minors, and of course had been following his career since he was in high school. I seemed to be something of a curse for Adenhart: every time I saw him pitch in the minors, he got hit hard. His numbers last year in Triple-A were not impressive, and those two factors led me to give him a very cautious review in the book this year. But his natural talent was very evident this spring, and his great start against Oakland clearly showed what he was capable of when everything was working. The whole thing is so senseless, three lives snuffed out in such a pointless way. If anything good can come of this, perhaps it can make someone out there THINK before taking that extra drink, getting behind the wheel, and wiping out more innocent lives.
You can find excellent coverage about the Adenhart situation at Halos Heaven, particularly this heartfelt essay.
**With all attention focused on the Adenhart tragedy, Rick Porcello's major league debut has kind of gotten lost in the shuffle. He wasn't great, but he wasn't awful. Minor League Notebook has a terrific scouting report using Pitch F/X data. It pretty much matches the reports we had on him this spring and in the minors: low-90s sinker topping out at 94, erratic but promising secondary pitches, not a lot of swings and misses. This just confirms what we already knew about him.
**The minor league season gets going this weekend. On Monday I will start making daily updates at Rotowire about minor league players, and we'll certainly have more to talk about here. I'll have some Crystal Balls coming up shortly. Health issues have kept me from doing any traveling so far this spring, but I'm hopeful that will be changing too. I'm going to try and see some college baseball down in Oklahoma in addition to the minor league stuff.
**What does it say about human nature that the thread about Dumb Roster Moves generated over 100 comments, but the thread about Good Roster Moves has fewer than 20 so far? Do major league teams make more dumb moves than smart ones, or are we as fans just negative people who like to criticize?
**As you know I tend to be conservative about promoting prospects too quickly, but I'm intrigued with the Cubs assigning Jay Jackson, one of my sleepers for this year, to Double-A Tennessee. A year ago he was pitching for Furman, earning a ninth round spot in the draft, but he's been super-impressive as a pro and has rapidly emerged as one of Chicago's best prospects, on the strength of his 90-95 MPH fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup. I'm glad I shadow-drafted him. His assignment to Tennessee is aggressive and indicates how highly the Cubs think of him.