It's the final full week of Spring Training. In other words, it's decision time.Teams aren't quite ready to break camp in Arizona and Florida prior to Sunday's Opening Day. There are more spring games to be played, of course. And, most important, there are still position competitions to be won.As
It's the final full week of Spring Training. In other words, it's decision time.
Teams aren't quite ready to break camp in Arizona and Florida prior to Sunday's Opening Day. There are more spring games to be played, of course. And, most important, there are still position competitions to be won.
As always at this time of year, it's going down to the wire for clubs to draw up the 25-man rosters with which they'll begin the regular season.
The week ahead figures to answer all of these questions. Here are some of the biggest to keep an eye on:
A Rockies Story
Colorado had to figure out who would play shortstop on Opening Day and beyond because of the uncertainty surrounding incumbent Jose Reyes, who could be facing a lengthy suspension related to an offseason domestic-violence charge. Spring Training is all about opportunity, and nobody in Rockies camp has seized it more than Trevor Story, the club's 23-year-old first-round Draft pick from 2011.
Story has been electric on both sides of the ball and appears to have a leg up on his spring competitors, Cristhian Adames and Rafael Ynoa. Nothing has been layed in concrete by manager Walt Weiss, but Story is expected to be the man.
"He is focused on every day," Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said. "He's focused on his work when he is not in the game, and that is really what is helping him have his success right now."
Panda no Shaw thing at third
The Red Sox will pay third baseman Pablo Sandoval $75 million over the next four years, the remainder of a huge contract earned by Kung Fu Panda after his decorated time with the Giants. But Sandoval had a rough 2015 and now is not guaranteed to even start at the hot corner for Boston on Opening Day.
It's mostly because of Travis Shaw.
Shaw impressed Boston last year and has looked good this spring as Sandoval has been working hard to get back on his game. But manager John Farrell hasn't revealed who will land the starting gig once camp breaks.
"I think that's where you have to look at the broader scope, and not base them solely on Spring Training, even though that's going to give you the most recent information," Farrell said last week.
"You have to look at it over a bigger period of time, and factoring in last year as part of that. That's probably the best and most direct answer I can give you."
Houston, we have a first baseman
First base has been up for grabs this spring as the world continues to turn for the young and talented Astros, fresh off a Wild Card berth in 2015 and a serious Division Series run at the eventual World Series-champion Royals.
They like A.J. Reed, their No. 2-ranked prospect and the top-ranked first-base prospect in the game. They also like Tyler White, who is 25 years old and hits and hits and, well, we'll let Houston skipper A.J. Hinch talk about it.
"It's what he does," Hinch said of White. "Hitters get hits, and he finds a way to be involved in everything we're doing right now."
White might be the clubhouse leader heading into the pivotal week ahead, but the beauty of it, for all clubs, is that there is still plenty of time to shake things up.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.