Spring training games aren't always the most intense or the most meaningful, but it's still baseball. And today there will be a Yankees' baseball game. Yay! Sure there will be guys wearing number #97 or something, but that's part of the fun of spring. I asked the PSA staff what they were looking forward to now that baseball is sorta back.
Q: Spring training is here! What or who are you most interested in seeing this spring season?
Luis Severino. It doesn't take an expert to know the rotation will make or break the Yankees this season. If Severino can debut this year and log some quality starts it would be huge, especially if (when) one of the main guys goes down.
First of all, I wanna know why I'm hearing scary, rage inducing things like NO MORE FOUL TERRITORY!!! That is unacceptable. UN. AC. CEPTABLE.
Second...Who. Didi MEorius and Captain EO are definitely high on the watch list. Greg Bird, obviously. Rob Refsnyder might be the highest since I want him to win the starting 2B job out of spring training.
Third...What. I definitely do not want to see or hear anything about a scorpion infestation. Perhaps a parade of cute, fluffy bunnies could start pouncing on players while they're trying to workout.
I'm most looking forward to seeing some of those on the cusp young guys play. Refsnyder, Severino, Flores, all of the young relievers. I always enjoy the part of spring where we get sneak peeks at these guys to see if they might just be ready for prime time. I'm also looking forward to seeing how Andrew Bailey throws. If he can get back to form after so much time off, he could be a real help. Sure, he might hold back a deserving youngster, but there's always time for those guys. I'm also terrified that Masahiro Tanaka's elbow will literally fly off into the catcher's mitt every time he throws a splitter. Not looking forward to that.
I'm most interested in seeing how the rotation fares with all the question marks. Every pitch we see Tanaka and Pineda throw this spring is going to be nerve-wracking. Will CC Sabathia, his new knee brace, and his rediscovered 30lbs look like 2012 CC? Will Larry Rothschild be able to get the most out of Nathan Eovaldi's great potential? And will toying with the six-man rotation have any influence on whether they resort to it during the regular season?
I'm interested in seeing the Yankees' rotation. As I've said before, I'm at peace with the fact that this will be an offensively challenged ball club. That's a factor of so many previous decisions that there's really not much that could have been done about it this offseason. But the rotation is such a mix of peril and potential that I can't really remember another like it in my lifetime. I could see it going on to dominate the league a la 1998, or going up in flames 2005 style (I remember a highlight being a week where the Yankees' only confirmed starter was Randy Johnson because everyone else was hurt). The Yankees chose not to spend on Max Scherzer, when I really thought bringing aboard the 30 year old ace would be the difference between a playoff spot and hope for a playoff spot. Fine, Hal. Show me what you've got for a plan instead.
I'm very curious to see how Didi Gregorius will perform. I think that his defense will be stellar and his bat could end up surprising a lot of people.
I know I'm definitely NOT interested in seeing the Humbler, which is already threatening to end Luis Torrens's season before it starts. What a jerkstore.
The story line that I'm most interested in following is that of Rob Refsnyder. Last year the only excitement we at Pinstripe Alley got during spring training was rooting for #NotNunez, and now we at least can cheer on a possible starting player. Not just a role player that is one step above hot trash, but an actual, living, breathing starting player. The farm system has produced little in the way of position players, and Refsnyder has the best chance of becoming something of value. Here's to hoping that he flashes his potential this month.
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Oh, and Aaron Judge, Rob Refsnyder, Luis Severino, and Jacob Lindgren. But mostly Greg Bird. The best part of spring training is actually getting to see the prospects who are somewhat close to the majors and these are all really exciting ones. They make putting up with spring training games worth it.
I'm also going with Rob Refsnyder, not just because he's a prospect with potential, but he's a prospect with potential that we could maybe see in New York this year. I'm not as down on Stephen Drew as others are, but I think there's a non-zero chance that they bring up Refsnyder to play second instead of Drew at some point. Or maybe he just winds up being a September call up. Or maybe this is an unrealistic pipe dream and he never comes up. I don't think that last scenario is likely, but what do I know? I think we'll see Refsnyder in the bigs at some point, and hopefully he uses spring training as a springboard to that.
Those are our answers and now it's your turn. Tell us in the comments what you're most looking forward to in spring training.