The dead season is always waiting … wait for the return of baseball. But this off season had even more waiting than usual, as we waited more than three months Manny Machado to sign, and we are still waiting Bryce Harper.
But now the wait is over (in a way). The games will be played throughout Florida and Arizona starting Friday.
We know one of the great stories of spring: Machado travels to Peoria, Arizona, to prepare for a suddenly much more interesting show. San Diego Padres. As teams get to work this weekend, here are a few things to watch over the next 30 days.
Corey Seager is back
Seager was one of the best players of the contest in the league in his first two seasons, finishing third in the most valuable player's vote as a rookie in 2016, then another All-Star season in 2017. He missed most of 2018 after Tommy John's surgery and a hip operation that left him on crutches as he watched the World Series Dodgers. He came camping thinner, having cut dairy from his diet and spent the off-season in Los Angeles working on strength and agility.
What remains to be seen? Can he claim his place among the best players in the game? Until it is released at the first pitch from the bottom of the hole, we will not know for sure, and the Dodgers remain undecided as to whether Seager will be ready for the opening day. . As a young star of the game, hopefully he'll be back … and maybe even better.
Clayton Kershaw, left, and the rest of the Dodgers are excited to have Corey Seager, right, back on the pitch. Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports
In addition to Seager, the Dodgers will have a fascinating camp to watch. Yasiel Puig is gone and so is Matt Kemp. Walker Buehler seems ready to challenge Clayton Kershaw as a staff member. Kenley Jansen has just undergone cardiac surgery during the off-season (and a season in which his usually deadly knife sometimes abandons it). Who will take the lead? is Max Muncy the real deal after his 35 homer season of nowhere?
Getting two consecutive world series is not easy. Getting a third straight will be even more difficult. As they say, however, it starts in the spring.
Who wins the nearest job for the Red Sox?
We may not get an answer to this during the spring training. Manager Alex Cora said the other day that he would see who would get the ball on March 28 – opening day – and hoped that it would be the person who would assume the job, at the end of the discussion. On the other hand, it is certainly possible that someone can to lose work with poor spring training. Matt Barnes would seem to be the main candidate, but Ryan Brasier (dominant in 33⅔ innings last season) and Tyler Thornburg (which was great for the Brewers in 2016 and is in good health) are also candidates.
Who plays the second base for brewers?
The Brewers have re-signed Mike Moustakasand having acquired it last July, Moustakas played the third and Travis Shaw moved to the second base. Manager Craig Counsell said the other day, however, that they will try out Moustakas at the second to see if he can handle the position. This makes sense for two reasons:
Whether you watch the stars occupy new places or see the best prospects, it's time to get ready for the opening day. Watch on ESPN +
Calendar coming soon:
Tuesday, February 26 at 1 pm ET: Philadelphia Phillies at the New York Yankees
Wednesday, February 27 at 1 pm ET: Houston Astros at the Washington championships
Thu., February 28 at 1 pm ET: Miami Marlins in Houston Astros
Fri 1st March at 8pm ET: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers
1. Shaw is the best defensive third base player (over 18 defensive innings have been saved in the last two seasons compared to minus-5 for Moustakas). If you play Moustakas in third place and Shaw in second place, in one sense, you get worse in two positions: third base (downgraded from Shaw) and second base (likely downgrading from, say, Hernan Perez to Shaw).
2. With the shift, especially against the left-handed hitters, the teams have more and more the feeling of being able to hide somebody at the second goal.
That does not mean that Moustakas ends there. The Brewers might decide that the difference between Shaw and Mustakas is not worth the risk (and it's not like Moustakas was terrible third).
Battles of other positions
It used to be a spring rite, but it is rare nowadays, with offices preferring to keep their starting positions locked and learning not to overestimate spring training performance. However, there are a few things we could learn:
• Padres outer field. Wil Myers and Manny Margot seem to be locks – Myers because of his long-term contractual commitment and Margot because of his ability to play center. It leaves Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe, two right-handed batters fighting for the right field. Reyes was the Padres' best hitter in the second half last season as a rookie, while Renfroe scored 26 homers in 403 (although his score was .302 OBP). Renfroe is the best defender, but Reyes has great potential. Then you have tooled Franchy Cordero and fast backup Travis Jankowski. Look for a business somewhere here.
• Second base of the Rockies. Ryan McMahon between as a favorite, with Garrett Hampson perhaps engage in a utilitarian role, but do not underestimate Hampson's speed. Of course, the main hope Brendan Rodgers waits behind the scenes.
• Yankees first goal. Do not assume that there will be a platoon with Greg Bird and Luke Voit. The way Voit has crashed after coming to the Yankees – 0.333 / .405 / .689 in 148 Parlay Game – Bird could have to win that spot.
• Indians out of scope. A cast of many, none of which inspires exactly great confidence. Maybe they should trade for one of these Padres guys.
• Central red field. The Reds are trying Nick Senzel's best hope in the middle of the field, betting on his athleticism even though he's never played in the outside field as a professional. The other options are Scott Schebler, who started 14 games there last season, or Puig, but you hate moving it from the right. Senzel probably starts the miners' season, but if he can handle the center, he should be quick.
Both players reached the majors in 2005 and were two of the best starting pitchers of their generation. Wainwright is 148-85 with an ERA 3.32 and 34.3 career wars, while King Felix is 168-128 with an ERA 3.34 and 51.0 career wars. This could be the end of the line for both, however. Wainwright signed a new contract with St. Louis for a one – year contract but only made eight starts last season. His last good season dates back to 2014. Hernandez has not been able to adapt to his decreasing speed. He went 8-14 with a 5.55 ERA last season and has not made 30 starts since 2015.
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Other than that …
We will have baseball in all its forms. Clayton Kershaw taking a curved ball Max Scherzer remove a 1-2 slider to make some opponent hitters look silly. Jose Altuve, every 5 feet 6 of him, climbing a field. The phenomena will be in action – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto. We will see Ichiro Suzuki, 45 years old. Mookie Betts will show us a kind of baseball perfection, attention to detail and practice in games. We can have our first glimpse of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stantonand start to project their totals at home, wondering if this 50-50 season that did not happen in 2018 could be in 2019.
We will see players in new uniforms: Paul Goldschmidt with the Cardinals, ONE J. Pollock with the Dodgers, Patrick Corbin with the nationals. And these are just the old Diamondbacks. I'm excited to see the Rays, to see how their strong second half pushes them in 2019. I want to see Robinson Cano reduce the line drives for the Mets and Jose Ramirez smashed lining for the Indians and Byron Buxton chasing the flying balls for the twins and Mike Trout just be Mike Trout.
And yes, I want to see Bryce Harper … somewhere, anywhere. Soon.