The Superbowl is over, which can mean only one thing... its time for baseball season to start. Puxatony Phil is even on board predicting an early spring! With Pitchers and Catchers reporting in less than a week, I am going to talk about a few highlights of spring training for me.
New prospects - This kind of builds off of the last point (and may be why teams like the Cubs and Astros have a little hope), but every spring is marked by the entrance of the young talent, that in some cases may be a year or two away, but it gives fans their first chance to see and read about the players of the future for this team. Every year it seams that some young pup comes out of nowhere and either makes the opening day roster, or builds a body of work that gets him a call up to the show later in the season. Like I said before, it gives every fan something to get excited about, it gives fans of teams that may not be great this year hope for the future, because the future is right in front of them
Position Battles - Again these are building on themselves but, for me at least, the position battles are always full of intrigue. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, often a team has 30 guys with a good chance of making the opening day roster... the problem is that league rules state you can only carry 25 healthy players on your roster at any given time. That means every season a handful of guys are literally playing for their job. Sometimes it is a battle for who the starter will be (last season in St. Louis it was for the job at 2B), other times it is a battle for who gets to stay, either as a reliever or as a bat off the bench. Again referencing the Cardinals, 3 players for the Cardinals are essentially fighting for a role in bullpen or starting rotation in St. Louis, the loser goes down to Memphis. This gives the games down in Florida and Arizona a little bit of meaning, and again, builds excitement about players of the future and the new hope that comes with a new season. This could be made even more interesting this year because of the World Baseball Classic. Most teams have players that will be representing their respective countries in the world wide tournament. What that means is some regular players, like Yadier Molina, being away playing which opens up more time for players. Now Yadi has no fear about losing his job, but it gives another player a chance to battle for a bench spot or releif role.
Thanks for reading
-T.O. signing out