Spring Training is here. Pitchers and catchers reported to training this week and the Giants begin their quest to defend their title and take a shot at another World Series Championship. As you’re preparing for this season’s journey, here are some uncertainties we should be paying attention to during Spring Training that could have big impacts during the season.
Brandon Belt is supposed to be the best things since, well, Buster Posey. We really won’t know until we get a few games into Spring Training though. Will Giants management take the safe route like they did with Posey and Bumgarner last season? Or will he be good enough to make the roster for Opening Day? We should know soon enough.
Supposedly he’s healthy–as healthy as a 36 year old baseball player can be anyway. He looks like he’s in impeccable shape, but he did have all last season to get that way. He’s still older than Burell, Huff, Renteria and Uribe was last season, but then again, they all helped bring a World Series trophy to San Francisco for the first time.
Tejada is also 36 and probably past his prime, but he’s hopefully a solid replacement for Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria at shortstop. However, he may have some competition from his teammates for leading the league in GDPs. That is something we’d like to see less of from everyone.
Speaking of GDPs, I think the question on everyone’s mind heading into Spring Training is whether we’re going to get the Kung-Fu Panda from 2009 or that guy who wore a larger version of his uniform last season. Pablo looked great at FanFest and has clearly been working out and took off some weight. He’s also been working on plate discipline with Barry Bonds, so whether he’s back to full steam or not, he’s clearly taking an interest in returning to his old self.
I don’t know what to expect from Zito. I don’t know if Zito knows what to expect. I imagine his off season (and postseason for that matter) was pretty rough. He said last year he wanted to return to being the #1 guy. That didn’t happen–not by a long shot. It doesn’t matter though. We’re stuck with him (and his contract) for a bit longer. Let’s just hope he can at least hang on to being the best #5 pitcher in majors.