Today on this day, Tuesday 13 February we will see 21 clubs’ pitchers and catchers officially report for Spring Training. All eyes will be on the Angels camp where Japanese phenom, Shohei Ohtani is expected to report. The Angels have had a good offseason as they improved their roster with free agents Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler, whilst also re-signing outfielder Justin Upton. Angels fans are buzzing and this will be one of the clubs to keep a close eye on during Spring.
The 2016 World Series Champion Cubs will want to return to the Fall Classic this season after being eliminated by their NL arch rivals the Dodgers last season. They made a significant move over the weekend when they significantly strengthened their rotation by signing the top pitching free agent of this year’s class, Yu Darvish for $126 million over six years. This type of singing certainly makes the Cubs early season favorites (with the LA Dodgers) in the National League.
Pitchers and catchers for the World Series champions Astros also report today. After winning the World Series the Astros didn’t rest on their laurels. Instead they went out and strengthened their rotation by trading for Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Astros rotation (already a behemoth) now looks like a super rotation and projects to be Verlander, Keuchel, Cole, Morton and McCullers. Hard to bet against them not to repeat.
There’s a lot to look out for at this stage of the season as we gear up toward real baseball next week. Enjoy the sounds and smells of Spring Training in the meantime.