After the Grapefruit League hosted its inaugural Media Day on Friday, Cactus League Media Day returned today for the fourth consecutive year, and MLB.com is on the scene.
As clubs prepare for their first full-squad workouts this week, Spring Training is off to the races. Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez literally watched a race along with Bryce Harper and Ken Griffey Jr. at Sunday's Daytona 500.
Today's event featured Commissioner Rob Manfred, who touched on a variety of topics, including the number of rising stars in the game.
"Major League Baseball today is a game that is dominated by young players," Manfred said. "For us who have business responsibilities in the game, we see those young players as an opportunity to pass the game on to the next generation, and we're going to work really hard during the course of the 2016 season to make strides in that regard."
• Manfred weighs in at Spring Training Q&A
Video: Manfred excited to see Spring Training begin
After Commissioner Manfred's news conference, the general managers and managers from the 15 clubs training in Arizona held court, and our reporters were there to get the latest on the key issues facing each team.
• Spring Training: Coverage | Map | Schedule
Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #MediaDayAZ. Here's a breakdown from each of our Cactus League beat reporters of what they'd like to know.
Video: Gonzalez on Skaggs' return to health, rotation status
The Angels enter camp with questions throughout their lineup and an array of starting-pitching depth. Who among the eight starters will crack the Opening Day rotation? With Albert Pujols questionable for Opening Day, and other questions at left field and second base, how will the Angels generate offense? -- Alden Gonzalez
• Pujols might open 2016 on DL or as DH
Video: Lee analyzes Athletics' rotation entering 2016
The A's enter camp with a slew of starters readying to battle for three rotation spots behind ace Sonny Gray and veteran Rich Hill. While this depth is enviable, especially when it features young talent like Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman and Chris Bassitt, there are still plenty questions to be asked of this group in terms of health and production. Even Hill, who hasn't held a full-time starting role in the big leagues since 2009, has much to prove. And will the A's really stretch out two-time Tommy John patient Jarrod Parker as a starter? Identifying a five-man rotation at camp's end will be no easy task with so many unknowns. -- Jane Lee
• A's rotation spots up for grabs this spring
Video: Position battles headline Brewers' Spring Training
The biggest story in Brewers camp is the abundance of new faces, a stark contrast to just a year ago after they mostly stood pat during the winter. New GM David Stearns did no such thing, pulling off nine trades, five waiver claims, two Rule 5 Draft picks and one Major League free-agent signing -- all since October. Stearns left no doubt; this is a full-blown rebuild.
It's up to manager Craig Counsell to organize this new group. He gained four months of managerial experience last season, but this is his first Spring Training in charge, and besides the new players, the team has four new coaches. Counsell gets six weeks to turn this into a team and says he has a handful of concepts he plans to emphasize along the way. -- Adam McCalvy
Video: Bryant talks about his engagement, preparing for 2016
Joe Maddon's theme for 2016 is "embrace the target." He's well aware other teams will try to knock the Cubs off after last year's 97-win season and trip to the postseason. Opponents now have better scouting reports on Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber, who are still young and who will have to make adjustments.
How prepared do you feel the Cubs are if the kids do struggle? Is there enough depth? -- Carrie Muskat
Video: Greinke, Miller throw first bullpen sessions of '16
The D-backs signed Zack Greinke to a $206.5 million contract and dealt prospects for Shelby Miller. Have they mortgaged their future to go all in right now? How do chief baseball officer Tony La Russa or Dave Stewart feel about the state of the farm system? -- Steve Gilbert
Video: Roberts, Friedman thrilled to see Spring Training
Can the Dodgers pull off a youth movement and keep winning? They have a rookie manager in Dave Roberts, a rookie shortstop in Corey Seager -- the No. 1 prospect in MLB -- and are rebooting the roster while running off some of the payroll's most bloated contracts. How can they do both while maintaining excellence on the field, one of the most daring balancing acts in sports? And if the club is in contention at the Trade Deadline, will the Dodgers go for it this time or pass, as they appeared to do last year? -- Ken Gurnick
• Rookie manager eager to put plan in motion
Video: Bochy excited about new additions to Giants rotation
Health, an essential ingredient for any club, is especially critical for the Giants. They were affected in almost every possible area by injuries to key players last year. Former staff ace Matt Cain must prove that he has overcome arm problems, and fellow right-hander Jake Peavy needs to avoid the back trouble that derailed him at the start of last season. The right side of the Giants' infield -- first baseman Brandon Belt (concussions) and second baseman Joe Panik (back) -- will be watched closely. And outfielders Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence have to stay on the field for the Giants to succeed this season. -- Chris Haft
Video: Indians patiently wait for injured Brantley to return
The status of left fielder Michael Brantley will be the focal point of Spring Training. After undergoing surgery on his right shoulder in November, Brantley's comeback could be delayed until April or May. In the meantime, Cleveland will need to fill out its outfield and has a long list of options in camp this spring. Lonnie Chisenhall will play right field, Abraham Almonte can play center and Rajai Davis was signed to a one-year deal to help in left and center. Beyond those three, manager Terry Francona will look at others to mix in and out, trying to maximize offensive production. -- Jordan Bastian
• Brantley appears to be making up time in rehab
Video: Dipoto looking forward to seeing Mariners take field
Two years ago, the Mariners had the lowest bullpen ERA in baseball, but things went south last year as that ERA jumped dramatically and the team's number of blown saves doubled amid problems from Fernando Rodney and others.
New GM Jerry Dipoto has almost entirely revamped the relief crew this offseason, but the question remains: Have the Mariners solidified their bullpen with the addition of numerous "bounceback" candidates like Steve Cishek, Ryan Cook, Justin De Fratus, Evan Scribner and Joel Peralta -- while trading away promising young right-hander Carson Smith and former closers Tom Wilhelmsen and Danny Farquhar? For a team that wants to lean heavily on pitching and defense at Safeco Field, that answer figures to weigh heavily on how new manager Scott Servais fares in his first go-round. -- Greg Johns
Video: Green announces the Padres' Opening Day starter
The Padres will use their time in Arizona this spring to settle several pressing issues: Who will comprise their new-look bullpen, as 16 of the 31 pitchers in camp are new to the organization? The team must settle on a setup man and a new closer, though Fernando Rodney is the early favorite to close. The first three spots in the rotation are set -- Tyson Ross, James Shields and Andrew Cashner -- but there will be strong competition for the final two spots. -- Corey Brock
Video: Sullivan discusses Hamilton's health, role in '16
Josh Hamilton's surgically repaired left knee is a concern for the Rangers, who are wondering what it will take to keep Hamilton in the lineup and what they might have to do if he isn't able to go. Justin Ruggiano, a free agent signed in the offseason, is their primary alternative along with James Jones and Ryan Rua. The Rangers might even give consideration to a couple of their top prospects, Joey Gallo or Nomar Mazara. But right now they are trying to get a handle on what Hamilton can do. -- T.R. Sullivan
As the Reds expect to go with a mostly young rotation, two intriguing names that could be in contention are a pair of Top 100 prospects in right-hander Robert Stephenson and lefty Cody Reed. Stephenson has been making his way up the system since he was a first-round pick in 2011 and Reed was part of the haul from the Royals in the Johnny Cueto trade. Neither has pitched in the Majors, but could the rebuilding club give these pitchers the opportunity to break into the Majors and develop at the highest level?
The back three spots appear to be wide open for competition. While Stephenson and Reed are part of it, there are also close to a dozen pitchers also in the mix. What type of profile of pitcher is management looking to have fill those spots? With pitchers that lack long track records, what other forms of evaluation will be used this spring when assembling the staff? -- Mark Sheldon
• Price sheds light on Reds' rotation candidates
Video: Weiss loves Arenado's leadership as camp begins
The Rockies finished the 2015 season with fans, and even some team members, calling for GM Jeff Bridich to improve the quality and experience level of starting pitching with trades or free agency. Instead, the Rockies' big pitching additions were relievers, righties Jason Motte and Chad Qualls and lefty Jake McGee. It was partly because trades for starters are harder to complete than those for releivers like McGee, and free-agent starters are costlier than relievers like Motte (two years, $10 million) and Qualls (two years, $6 million).
However, they resisted trading star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who has two seasons left on his contract. If Gonzalez follows up on his 40-homer season with a strong 2016, is this the year the Rockies deal him for starting pitching -- like when they sent Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays for a package that included starting pitching prospects Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco? Or will they try to build with CarGo instead of without him? -- Thomas Harding
Video: Yost on pitching plans with Minor, Kennedy, Duffy
Coming off their first World Series title in 30 years, the Royals still enter camp with two crucial questions: Who will claim the second-base job, and who will nab the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation? Incumbent Omar Infante, who still is owed $17.75 million over the next two seasons, will have to fight off Christian Colon, one of the heroes of Game 5 of the World Series, to reclaim his job. Infante is healthy, having had surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow last November. GM Dayton Moore continues to stockpile rotation candidates for the fourth and fifth spots behind Edinson Volquez, Yordano Ventura and newcomer Ian Kennedy. Danny Duffy, Kris Medlen, Chris Young, Dillon Gee and Chien-Ming Wang will battle it out for the final two spots. And left-hander Mike Minor, signed Friday, could be a rotation reinforcement in the second half of 2016. -- Jeffrey Flanagan
Video: Frazier on meeting his teammates in Spring Training
The White Sox set out to upgrade their offense this past offseason, after targeting a better bullpen in the previous offseason. Rick Hahn hit his goals by adding Todd Frazier at third base and Brett Lawrie at second, along with catchers Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro to an anemic '15 output. But is it enough to make the team a true playoff contender, or are they at least one bat away and operating in half-measures? -- Scott Merkin