Spring training games begin this weekend, and those will most likely fly by fast, just like this offseason. Then the REAL fun begins. But in the meantime, we’ve got a lot of things to figure out with this team right now. That’s what camp is for. The battles, the clarity, the winning and losing of jobs, the injuries, the “Best shape of my life”. We’re on the cusp of all that and more.
Here are the five storylines that I will be keeping an eye on this Spring; the five things to watch play out over the next month or so, on the baseball diamond, or on the practice field.
#1 Who will emerge as the 5th starter?
We’ve talked about this ad nauseum...and we have even more talking to come. Until we know who is gonna be number five, then get used to it.
#2 When will we have a clear picture of the bullpen?
Relievers abound, but where and when to use them? Mike Scioscia has some decisions to make in regards to roles, and he loves roles. So have at it, Mike. ROLES!
#3 How serious are Albert Pujols’ injuries?
He’s been walking around at practice, so as our very own Rex Fregosi said in one of his live videos, “Albert Pujols is walking, so that’s good.” He’s also been taking BP, so perhaps he’ll be ready for opening day. Perhaps not.
#4 Will Garrett Richards be healthy and ace-like?
He seems to be healthy, after these first few days of camp. But practice is practice, and games are games. Once again, we will only know once we see some action on the baseball diamond.
#5 C.J. Cron vs. Luis Valbuena battle for 1B: Who wins?
This will be a fun battle to watch...if it even IS a battle. If Pujols gets even the slightest hitch in his giddy-up, then Cron and Valbuena will BOTH get plenty of playing time. But when Albert is healthy (and Valbuena isn’t playing another INF position), they will compete for playing time. To quote the random taxi cab driver at the end of Superman 2, during the Superman/Zod fight, “Man this is gonna be good!”
OK, that’s what I got. Now what storylines did I miss? What things are YOU going to focus your eagle-eyed attention to?