There are three dates that every baseball fan looks forward towards, once Christmas is over and the New Year is upon us, First: Pitchers and Catchers report, Second: First Spring training game, and finally the biggest, Third: Opening day. The first one has come and gone already this year and thankfully the second one starts today at 2:05CT against the Royals. Until players actually get some at bats in a live game rather than a intrasquad or live simulation game, fans do not get an opportunity to see the players potential.
Even though the first game starts today, its not like fansare going to get a true representation of players ability. This is due to the fact that pitchers are only slated to throw 2 innings or 30-40 pitches. The hope for pitchers is that they easily breeze through the innings on less pitches and then in order to get their work in, they will have to go to the bull pen to finish for the day.
Position players are under somewhat of the same restrictions with only spending a couple on innings on the field and the hope is that they will get in a couple of at-bats. Early in these exhibition games the goal is to work these players into opening day shape. There is always a little soreness and pain here and there, but overall the players enjoy the laid back atmosphere while preparing for the long haul known as the baseball season. As far as which spring training location, Florida or Arizona is better can be viewed here in this previous post.
In the Ranger’s injury report Josh Hamilton is still nursing the sore shoulder, and hopefully will take part in some Cactus League action next week. As far as Derek Holland’s sprained right knee, it seems to be healing well and he should also be back into the picture sometime next week. On Tuesday it was reported by MLB.com that Chris Ray was scratched due to overall soreness, which is not unusual for some players in spring training. You have to take into consideration that these players basically do not do much over the off-season in order to give their bodies time rest to recover from the previous season. Once spring training starts, they start doing a lot of activity again and their muscles get sore. Its now time to look past the sore muscles and focus on opening day on April 5th against the Blue Jays.