Issues occured Jung Hoo Lee won’t be playing for the team due to

Spring training is, almost entirely, a bag of lies. A small-sample mirage shrouded in empty hope.

Besides the occasional gut-wrenching, catastrophic injury, spring exhibition games provide little in the way of the definitive, conclusive or predictive. That’s because nobody is playing to win in March. Hitters and pitchers are focused on getting themselves and their bodies ready for the six-month marathon to come. Outcomes during the six-week Arizona/Florida trudge are irrelevant. The Los Angeles Angels, for instance, have won the past two Cactus League “championships.”

But there is gold in the riverbed, riches hidden in the muck.

The advent of pitch and batted ball tracking technology means the public has access to reliable, objective data. Instead of evaluating a pitcher on how many strikeouts he tallied in camp, we can look at changes in fastball velocity or pitch mix. Hitters can be judged on the quality of their contact instead of something as comical as spring training batting average.

With that in mind, let’s sift through some data from the spring to find the potentially meaningful and lasting developments.

Strider laid waste to hitters last year, with an outrageous, league-leading 36.8 K% despite leaning on his fastball/slider combo a whopping 95% of the time. While he flashed an occasional plus changeup, Strider has been lacking a meaningful third pitch against lefty bats — until now.

He threw a curveball in college at Clemson but shelved it upon reaching pro ball. But in each of his two spring training outings thus far, the mustachioed flamethrower has shown multiple uncle charlies. The pitch isn’t a true 12-6, end-over-end breaker, and it features more side-to-side sweep than most curveballs, but it should give left-handed hitters something else to think about. This pitch is likely to survive the testing ground of spring, giving Strider another weapon against opposite-handed hitters.

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