10 Storylines from MLB Spring Training That You Need to Watch
10 Storylines from MLB Spring Training That You Need to Watch
Many different storylines are beginning to unfold all over MLB as the 2014 Spring Training schedule rolls forward. Because it is so very early, no good or bad signs can be taken with the full weight they appear to bear. At the same time there are several cases that should garner attention by MLB fans all across the game, no matter what team you cheer for. This is a look at few storylines that while small for now, could have serious impact within the coming weeks and months.
No obvious stories require mention here. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman looks solid this spring. Mike Trout appears to be just as good if not better than ever so far this spring for the Los Angeles Angels. Neither one of those really are a big enough deal to get substantial attention by anyone. What we will look at are storylines that might even be smaller than those obvious stories but that could be much larger soon.
One player has had a terrible time of it in recent years but appears to be on the cusp of another revival of his career. Another might be healthy for the first time in forever and everyone should take careful notice of what that means going forward. Those are just to basically random examples but you get the general idea of where we are headed with this.
Jump aboard the train of thought and follow each of these storylines to where they could possibly end up. Chances are many of us will have different opinions of where each of these will stories will go. I might think one player could have a huge season and spur his team on towards a winning season itself while you might believe that is just crazy. Whatever your thoughts on these storylines, feel free to let them be heard by using the comments section below.
Tim Hudson Had a Debut With No Problems at All
The deal that the Giants signed to bring in Hudson could be one of the best offseason deals in MLB. That depends completely on the veteran being able to come back strong from his badly broken ankle from last season. His debut is out of the way and he did awesome. Not only did he have no problems planting but he also got a few ground-balls, allowed no runs and wasn’t a stranger to the strikeout. Most importantly of all he had to cover first base on a play and did so, reaching for the bag just like when he was injured and had no problems. You know it had to feel very good to get another play like that out of the way.
Kyle Lohse Enjoying Normal Spring Training Start
Last season Lohse was one of the unfortunate few that didn’t find his new team until after the other pitchers began their work. Lohse did okay last season but he already feels so much better and looks better at this point than he did at this time last season. He could well have a huge season if he gets some offensive support and rides his comfortable spring into a steady and consistent season.
Dan Uggla Looking Like a Huge Rebound is on the Way
It is way early to assume that Uggla could have a season that would look different than all of the others he has not enjoyed while in Atlanta but so far things look very good. Uggla has good timing already and is doing a lot of hitting. That includes hitting in big situations which really were a bit problem last season. If Uggla could rebound this season it would be one of the biggest stories of the NL East.
Derek Jeter is Still Healthy
This also involves the Yankees but at this point we should all hope for a healthy Jeter in his final season. It really goes beyond the hate of the Yankees that so many feel. Jeter is a marvelous ambassador for the game of baseball. We need him to go out on top at least in the way of being healthy. So far, so good; here is hoping he keeps healthy.
Nolan Arenado Looking Better Offensively Already
Last season Arenado was a surprise Gold Glove winner at third base in the National League in his rookie season. Offensively he lagged behind slightly however. This spring he is already looking better. His efforts to improve with the bat look to have a very good chance to succeed. If he does and the rest of the offense remains healthy, there is no reason to believe this team couldn’t compete.
Jose Bautista is Killing the Ball for Blue Jays
The Blue Jays need something big to go right early on this season. While there are no guarantees, the two home runs already put up by Bautista could suggest that he is ready to lead this team in a powerful way that no one led them in last season. I think he could have a very good spring and ride that into a season start that will rival the best starts from lasts year. If he does that then everyone could be surprised by the Blue Jays in the first few weeks of the season.
Ricky Nolasco Encouraging in Minnesota
When the Twins signed Nolasco everyone there felt better about their chances instantly as if Nolasco was already expected to perform better than he has in the past. His first outing as well as the work put in so far suggest that he expects the exact same thing from himself. He will probably show a great amount of up-side this season as he thrives on being the leader of a pitching staff again.
New York Yankees Look Great
There are power displays being put on all around already. It is extremely early of course but right now it appears that the Yankees are going to have every chance to be as good as most think they could be. Look for them to realize their potential this season and have a huge bounce back season overall.
Masahiro Tanaka Appears to be all That Was Advertized
There is not a lot that we can know about a pitcher from seeing him just one time but we know this about Tanaka already: His stuff is downright nasty. This guy didn’t have tiny numbers in all major categories because all of the batters he faced stunk. No, he will probably spend at least the first half of the season being as dominant as anyone in the A.L. His second half is likely to slow a little bit as teams figure out a little something about his tendencies.
Albert Pujols is Healthy and Pain Free
According to all reports Pujols’ foot and knee are both 100 percent healthy for the first time in forever. He might well be moving better than he has since before the end of his run in St. Louis. What does this mean? It seems to me that a Pujols who is actually healthy should be able to regain his previous batting stance and rhythm within the work of Spring Training. Look for him to be a catalyst for the Angels that they badly need and for them to ride his season to a big season of their own.