Spring Training 2015

Spring+Training+games+are+held+in+Florida%27s+Grapefruit+League

Spring Training games are held in Florida's Grapefruit League

After a long four months, baseball players as well as fans can’t wait any longer for the game they love to return. Spring training is a time for players to get practice before the season starts. Also, minor league players get a chance to play against major league competition.

Despite the relaxed style of play exhibited during spring training games, many key players this year have been injured; one of these players is Rangers ace Yu Darvish. Darvish is the stronghold of the pitching depleted Texas Rangers who won a mere 67 games last season.

“When he’s right, he’s one of the best in the game,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “You’re talking about a guy who’s a year removed from being second in the Cy Young voting. It speaks for itself.” The Rangers dealt with so many injuries last year that they used a total of 64 players throughout the season, so they are no stranger to losing players, however, losing Darvish will definitely impact the Rangers team significantly in 2015.

Other players that have been injured during this year’s spring training include Hunter Pence, for the San Francisco Giants, and Marcus Stroman, for the Toronto Blue Jays, who both play significant roles for their teams.

There are as many players that are returning from injuries as there are getting them. One player that recently underwent Tommy John surgery is Mets ace Matt Harvey. Harvey was injured for most of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season. He is expected to be the centerpiece of the Mets pitching staff.

“I’m ready to put the whole staff on my shoulders,” said Harvey. The Mets are expected to compete this year as a result of Matt Harvey and NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGroms’ pitching. New York also added Michael Cuddeyer to strengthen their offense.

Another team that is rebuilding their offense is the San Diego Padres. The Padres completely reshaped their outfield by trading for Matt Kemp, Will Myers, and Justin Upton. Despite depleting their farm system by trading virtually all of their prospects, the Padres have made it clear that they are expecting to compete this year. Kemp, Myers, and Upton all have produced great numbers so far sthis Spring, and if they stay healthy they could potentially lead this Padres team to the playoffs.

Along with the Padres, the Chicago Cubs are expected to dramatically improve with the additions of Jon Lester and Jason Hammel. Kris Bryant (MLB.com’s #1 prospect) is also expected to strengthen the Cubs offense. Bryant lead the entire minor leagues with 43 home runs last season and will hopefully produce similar numbers in the major leagues.

Players and fans everywhere are excited to see what surprises the 2015 season has in store. Every team has made changes this season and is hoping to compete. There are 30 teams and only one can win.