Spring Training is officially underway. Just as the players find themselves undergoing final preparations for the upcoming season, so too do the team’s beat writers as things are about to kick into high gear for them as well. While covering the team as they do is a year-round job, from February until October things are certainly much busier for these guys. Often times they’ll write something that could honestly inspire a post here of its own in response, but time doesn’t always permit writing such a response. I can at least bring you some notable links that are worth a read, such as the ones that follow.
Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post spent some time talking with Nationals’ pitching coach Steve McCatty about the upcoming season and what he’s expecting from each of the starting pitching candidates that are in camp. Seeing exactly who fills out the five rotation spots is going to be one of the more interesting battles to watch and follow this Spring.
Kilgore’s colleague, Thomas Boswell, spent some time discussing how different this year’s Spring Training is going to be compared to prior years. There’s an excitement around the team this year that the Washington media and Nationals fans haven’t seen since the Nationals first debuted during the 2005 season.
San Diego State University has retired the #37 in honor of Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander’s ceremony was somewhat overshadowed by an impromptu tribute to SDSU head baseball coach Tony Gwynn. The Hall of Famer underwent surgery late last week to remove a cancerous tumor from his cheek. By all accounts he’s expected to recover fully.
Baseball America’s Jim Callis had a unique look at what this year’s collegiate baseball landscape might look like if MLB required players to attend three years of college before turning pro, like the NFL does. Callis runs through some interesting names who’d still be in school, including a look at one impressive outfield that Bryce Harper would currently be anchoring had things been different.
Marc Carig of The Newark Star Ledger took a look at some notes from the opening of the Yankees’ Spring camp, including word on a former National. As you may recall, the Yankees selected right-hander Brad Meyers from the Nationals in December’s Rule 5 Draft. It would seem that Meyers injured his shoulder lifting weights this winter, which is going to put him behind the other pitchers in camp and could hurt his chances at making New York’s bullpen. There was a good chance he’d end up being returned to Washington by April even before this news, but this could increase those odds. We don’t wish anything poor on Meyers, but he’d be a nice depth option to have in Triple-A should he end up returning to the organization.