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.

Phil Hughes is expected to be in shape this Spring Training

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). 

A.J, your killing us. Just pitch well.

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. 

About Delia E.

Delia Enriquez is the managing editor of Yankees Fans Unite. She enjoys analyzing the New York Yankees whether it be their pitching, roster or their manager. You can follow her on twitter @dfiregirl4 for more tweets, analysis and opinion on the Yankees.

Posted on February 11, 2012, in Personal Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Phil’s velocity is what i will be watching the most.

  2. Here’s my 5:

    1) Hughes – His conditioning and attitude are important. Hard to gauge a pitcher’s velocity in ST but Phil does have to prove he’s ready to start or off to extended ST and the minors he goes to prove himself.

    2) Teixeira – Wanna see his new approach and the changes he said he was going to work on. He MUST use the whole field and become the .290-.310 hiiter he used to be.

    3) ARod – His health is a big factor. If he doesn’t look 100% they should consider starting him on the DL IF and only IF they think that will help him get ready.

    4) Pineda – Not so much in ST but once the season gets going he has to prove that the velocity drop he encountered at the end of last season was just some fatigue. As a power pitcher, he needs the extra 2-3 mph and won’t be a front-end starter without it.

    5) Gardner – Needs to show more aggressiveness at the plate, pull and drive the ball more and be a terror on the bases. If he does, he should leadoff.

  3. Gardner being a threat on the bases is huge. He did not have a good start last year. With all his speed he should create more havoc for most pitchers.

  4. Matt, Fishjam and Delia…..
    I have a question for you three, (this is an observation I have had for two years now, and not meant to dis anyone)
    When Brett is on 1st base, with Jeter batting behind him, he will not try for 2nd base at all.
    I hesitate to say he has been told to leave the opening for Jeter to hit through but, that is what it looks like to me.
    I guess my question would be; have they told Brett to hold at 2nd, for Jeter, or has he been doing it himself?
    I can understand Brett doing it but, I am not trying to question why, who or when but, if it is true…FUBAR! 🙂

    • I get the feeling that GIrardi is telling Brett not to run when Jeter is at the plate. To me it looks like if Gardner does steal while Jeter is at the plate, then it will look like Gardner is showing up his teammates…that or Girardi still wants Derek to be the star of the team. Either way, Girardi plays into the equation.

      • Delia…
        This time, I was hoping to have you tell me I am nuts! The thing that gets to me (if we are right) is how does it effect the other players, they are not dumb.
        Having Brett bat first will only work if, Jeter is not hitting behind him….man on 1st, hitter hits a sharp grounder to 2nd, DP is a scenario we have been hearing all to often.
        Darn, you are up early this Sunday A.M. have a good day! 🙂

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