What Would Be Fantastic To See In Spring Training?
With Spring Training in less than 2 weeks, fans begin to plan the trip down to the George M. Steinbrenner Complex where Pitchers and Catchers will report on February 19. Fans are looking forward to a lot of things such as seeing Hiroki Kuroda & Michael Pineda in pinstripes for the first time and to catch a glimpse at some heroes from last year such as David Robertson, CC Sabathia & of course Mariano Rivera. 2011 was a great year for the Yankees (even though they had an early exit to the playoffs) but 2011 is in the past and it’s time to look forward to what will come in 2012. There are a lot of things that fans would like to see in Spring Training, but what would be the top 5 things that would make Spring Training glorious?
1. A Healthy Alex Rodriguez: It would be nice to see a healthy A-Rod in Spring Training hitting the balls over the fence as if nothing had happened. A-Rod’s .276/.362/.461 line wouldn’t exactly startle fans, until you looked at his power numbers. Throughout the whole season A-Rod hit 16 HR’s & 62 RBI’s, which was the first time since 1995 that A-Rod didn’t hit more than 30. Hopefully with the knee treatment he had in Germany, he’ll be back to tip top shape by the time he steps in the batters box on March 2nd.
2. Phil Hughes‘s Velocity Return: When Phil Hughes entered George M.
Steinbrenner Field in 2011, he looked a bit out of shape. It might have been because he would have gotten a starting job to begin the season anyway. When Hughes pitched in early 2011, fans were not pleased with what they saw. (I admit I was one of them that yelled when he entered the dugout, which I now feel bad for.) In 2011, Hughes’s fastball would clock as high as 91 MPH and that is not a lot compared to the 95-96 MPH that he threw in 2010. Hughes has taken the precautions to avoid losing his spot in the rotations such as losing weight and attempting to gain velocity over the 2011 off season. Let’s hope to see a healthy Hughes when he enters Spring Training in a matter of days.
3. Michael Pineda Adapting: Michael Pineda came from Seattle in a trade this off season and the young pitcher already has a guaranteed spot in the rotation but it would be nice to see how he adapts from pitching from a pitchers ballpark to a hitters ball park when he reaches the Bronx. It would also be nice to get a glimpse of Pineda’s stuff during Spring Training just so we know what he has to offer to the table during the regular season. Let’s hope all goes well for him (and Hiroki Kuroda too).
4. A Transformed A.J Burnett: Yes, we are talking about everyone’s favorite pitcher A.J Burnett. We all don’t need to be reminded about A.J Burnett’s last 2 years with the Yankees and how terrible it was. Well, that’s why it’s about time that A.J Burnett turns it around. Burnett had a good year in 2009 and helped the Yankees win a 27th Championship and we feel that it’s about time to see Burnett remind us why he earns at least some of his contract. Long story short: A.J just pitch well in your first game. Doesn’t matter how you get him out. It still counts.
5. Battle For The Lead-Off Spot: Okay so this one I kind of added to the list, but since there’s a battle for the 5th spot in the rotation, why not the lead off spot? Now for the Yankees there are 2 guys that are qualified for the coveted position; Derek Jeter & Brett Gardner. Even though the main guys don’t really play during the beginning of Spring Training, it would be nice for these 2 to show us what they got. In the beginning of the 2011 season it would have obviously been Jeter, but when Jeter went down Gardner stepped up. If it were up to me, I would say to let them duke it out a bit. But then again Joe Girardi might be fair and give them both a shot to be lead-off hitters.
Spring Training would be nothing without expectation, determination & drama so it would be nice if this Spring Training could have a little bit more of that than last years. I just might watch all of Spring Training this year if that happened.
Posted on February 11, 2012, in Personal Opinion and tagged A.J. Burnett, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Michael Pineda, New York Yankees, Phil hughes, Spring Training. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.