NL Spring Training Capsules

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EAST DIVISION

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

MANAGER: Davey Johnson (third season)

2012: 98-64, first place, lost in division series

TRAINING TOWN: Viera, Fla.

PARK: Space Coast Stadium

FIRST WORKOUT: Thursday/Feb. 17

HE’S HERE: RHP Rafael Soriano, RHP Dan Haren, CF Denard Span, C Chris Snyder

HE’S OUTTA HERE: LF-1B Michael Morse, RHP Edwin Jackson, LHP Sean Burnett, LHP Mike Gonzalez, LHP John Lannan, C Jesus Flores, INF-OF Mark DeRosa, RHP Chien-Ming Wang

GOING CAMPIN’: Stephen Strasburg will be rarin’ to go, no doubt, after his much-debated shutdown late in the 2012 regular season that kept him off Washington’s playoff roster for a division series exit against St. Louis. Same goes for Bryce Harper, the NL Rookie of the Year who, as GM Mike Rizzo put it, is “always going 100 mph with his hair on fire.” That pair of former No. 1 overall draft picks helped quickly turn the Nationals from a 100-loss laughingstock to one of baseball’s elite teams last season, when they led the majors in victories. To save some wear and tear on the 20-year-old Harper, Rizzo shifted him from center field to left – trading away Morse – and traded for Span to handle center and bat leadoff. One spot worth watching this spring: relief pitching. Washington blew a 6-0 lead in its season-ending Game 5 NLDS loss to the Cardinals, and Rizzo went out and signed Soriano, who stepped in to close for the Yankees last season when Mariano Rivera got injured. With Soriano, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, the Nationals have a strong back end of the bullpen for Johnson to mix and match. With the departures of Burnett and Gonzalez, though, the Nationals are short on lefty relievers.

ATLANTA BRAVES

MANAGER: Fredi Gonzalez (third season)

2012: 94-68, second place, lost wild-card game

TRAINING TOWN: Kissimmee, Fla.

PARK: Champion Stadium, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

FIRST WORKOUT: Tuesday/Friday

HE’S HERE: CF B.J. Upton, OF Justin Upton, 3B Chris Johnson, C Gerald Laird, RHP Jordan Walden

HE’S OUTTA HERE: 3B Chipper Jones, INF-OF Martin Prado, RHP Randall Delgado, RHP Tommy Hanson, RHP Jair Jurrjens, CF Michael Bourn, C David Ross, RHP Chad Durbin, 1B-OF Eric Hinske, RHP Ben Sheets, OF Matt Diaz, RHP Peter Moylan, 1B Lyle Overbay, INF Jeff Baker, RHP Miguel Batista

GOING CAMPIN’: Following the retirement of Jones, the Braves needed to restock their offense. The moves by general manager Frank Wren were more dramatic than expected. Wren signed B.J. Upton to a five-year, $75.25 million contract, the richest deal ever awarded a free agent by the Braves. Then he traded for Upton’s younger brother, Justin. Johnson, expected to platoon with Juan Francisco at third base, also arrived in the seven-player deal that sent Prado, Delgado and three minor leaguers to Arizona. The Braves are left with one of the most athletic outfields in baseball. The Upton brothers and right fielder Jason Heyward provide speed and power. The Braves also have a young lineup: Justin Upton, Heyward, first baseman Freddie Freeman and shortstop Andrelton Simmons are 25 or younger. The Braves are counting on Simmons, who batted .289 in 49 games as a rookie last season, to hit leadoff. A key for spring training will be the health of catcher Brian McCann, who is returning from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. McCann is expected to be cleared to hit and throw during camp, but he could miss the first two weeks of the season if doctors wait to clear him for diving and sliding. After making six consecutive All-Star teams, McCann struggled last season as he tried to play through the injury. He hit only .230, easily a career low. The Braves see a healthy McCann batting fourth in the lineup, but he’ll have to show he has regained his ability to drive the ball. Laird could open the season as the fill-in starter. Walden joins elite closer Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty as power arms in the bullpen. The first four spots of the rotation are set with Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Paul Maholm. Brandon Beachy, who had a strong start to the 2012 season before needing elbow ligament-replacement surgery, could return to the rotation by midseason. There will be competition this spring to determine who holds the No. 5 spot until Beachy returns. The trade of Hanson to the Angels for Walden clears the way for Julio Teheran, Sean Gilmartin and others to compete for the final spot.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

MANAGER: Charlie Manuel (ninth season)

2012: 81-81, third place

TRAINING TOWN: Clearwater, Fla.

PARK: BrightHouse Networks Field

FIRST WORKOUT: Wednesday/Saturday

HE’S HERE: 3B Michael Young, CF Ben Revere, RF Delmon Young, RHP Mike Adams, LHP John Lannan, RHP Chad Durbin, RHP Aaron Cook

HE’S OUTTA HERE: RHP Vance Worley, 3B Placido Polanco, OF Juan Pierre, INF Ty Wigginton, OF Nate Schierholtz, RHP Josh Lindblom, RHP Jose Contreras, C Brian Schneider.

GOING CAMPIN’: For the first time since 2008, the Phillies won’t be the team to beat in the NL East at the start of spring training. After winning five consecutive division titles, the Phillies finished behind Washington and Atlanta last year. They’re counting on a roster filled with high-priced, aging stars to make another run. But there are several question marks. The biggest ones surround the health of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay. Utley hasn’t played in a Grapefruit League game the past two years because of a chronic knee condition that’s forced him to miss significant time at the start of the regular season. The five-time All-Star second baseman hopes to make his season debut in April instead of late May and late June as he did each of the past two years. Howard’s season began in mid-July last year as the big slugger recovered from a torn Achilles tendon. Howard is owed at least $105 million over the next five years, but the 2006 NL MVP hasn’t come close to matching that production the last few years. Halladay missed two months in the middle of last season and didn’t pitch up to his usual ace form even when he was healthy. The Phillies need all three players to earn their hefty contracts to give them a chance to contend. There’s uncertainty in the outfield, too. Revere was acquired from Minnesota to be the starting center fielder. Delmon Young, despite his defensive limitations, was signed to play right. He was mostly a designated hitter and played sparingly in left field for Detroit last year. Minor league home run champ Darin Ruf, former top prospect Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. will compete for playing time in left field. Michael Young, the seven-time All-Star with Texas, also makes the transition to everyday fielder after serving mostly as a DH the past couple of years. He returns to third base, a position he hasn’t played regularly since 2010. A rotation that once boasted four aces still has three, assuming Halladay resembles his old self. Cliff Lee was only 6-9 last year, but had a 3.16 ERA. Cole Hamels enjoyed his finest season and was rewarded with a $144 million contract. The bullpen, led by closer Jonathan Papelbon, might be Philadelphia’s strength. Adams, one of the most effective setup men in the majors, should help the Phillies avoid the problems they had in the eighth inning last year.

NEW YORK METS

MANAGER: Terry Collins (third season)

2012: 74-88, fourth place

TRAINING TOWN: Port St. Lucie, Fla.

PARK: Tradition Field

FIRST WORKOUT: Wednesday/Feb. 18

HE’S HERE: RHP Shaun Marcum, C John Buck, C Travis d’Arnaud, OF Marlon Byrd, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, RHP Scott Atchison, INF Brandon Hicks, OF Collin Cowgill, OF Andrew Brown, C Anthony Recker, INF-OF Brian Bixler, INF Omar Quintanilla, LHP Pedro Feliciano, LHP Aaron Laffey, C Landon Powell, OF Jamie Hoffman, RHP Brandon Lyon

HE’S OUTTA HERE: RHP R.A. Dickey, OF Scott Hairston, LF Jason Bay, C Josh Thole, C Kelly Shoppach, CF Andres Torres, RHP Mike Pelfrey, RHP Chris Young, RHP Ramon Ramirez, RHP Jon Rauch, RHP Manny Acosta, INF Ronny Cedeno, C Rob Johnson, C Mike Nickeas, LHP Justin Hampson, OF Fred Lewis

GOING CAMPIN’: The frugal Mets were the last team to sign a big league free agent this winter, adding Marcum to the rotation with a $4 million, one-year deal. That doesn’t mean it was a quiet off-season, though, because the club made several major decisions. New York released Bay, an expensive bust, and committed to building around All-Star 3B David Wright by signing the face of the franchise to a $138 million, eight-year contract – the richest in team history. The Mets also traded Dickey, last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, to Toronto for a touted package of prospects plus Buck. And they might still make a play for free-agent CF Michael Bourn. Besides that, GM Sandy Alderson has stood pat with an unproven outfield of Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Mike Baxter while trying to fill bullpen and bench holes with no-names and aging veterans at bargain prices. Some are simply stopgap solutions for a team in the middle of a complex rebuilding project – even if the Mets don’t like to acknowledge that, for some reason. Alderson says the Mets have increased flexibility, and one or two big moves could quickly make them a contender. The biggest reason for optimism is the cadre of promising young pitchers in the system. Matt Harvey had an impressive debut last season and top prospect Zack Wheeler, a former Augusta GreenJacket, is getting close. Fans will be itching to see d’Arnaud before long, too. A premier catching prospect with power, he was acquired in the Dickey deal. Nieuwenhuis (foot), Duda (wrist), pitcher Dillon Gee (blood clot) and closer Frank Francisco (elbow surgery) are all coming off injuries and must show they are healthy during spring training. The same goes for Johan Santana, who enters the final year of his $137.5 million contract. None of the starters in the projected rotation reached 200 innings last year. Better days appear to be ahead, but the Mets face a tough road to success in a talented division. Thankfully, the Marlins could keep them out of last place again.

MIAMI MARLINS

MANAGER: Mike Redmond (first season)

2012: 69-93, fifth place

TRAINING TOWN: Jupiter, Fla.

PARK: Roger Dean Stadium

FIRST WORKOUT: Tuesday/Friday

HE’S HERE: SS Adeiny Hechavarria, 3B Placido Polanco, OF Juan Pierre, C Jeff Mathis, RHP John Maine, RHP Jon Rauch, RHP Chad Qualls, RHP Kevin Slowey, OF Austin Kearns

HE’S OUTTA HERE: Manager Ozzie Guillen, SS Jose Reyes, RHP Josh Johnson, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Heath Bell, RHP Carlos Zambrano, 1B Carlos Lee, C John Buck, INF-OF Emilio Bonifacio, LHP Randy Choate, RHP Chad Gaudin, RHP Juan Oviedo.

GOING CAMPIN’: The Marlins’ free-spending ways in their new ballpark lasted less than a year, and the franchise’s latest purge sent Reyes, Johnson and Buehrle packing to Toronto. As a result, the Marlins are back to a small payroll, small crowds and modest expectations. They’re counting on youngsters Nathan Eovaldi and Jacob Turner to make the rotation, which leaves only one spot open, and the starting lineup is mostly set – although there’s little protection for slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Hechavarria is considered a potential star at shortstop. Redmond, a first-time manager, has some sorting out to do with the bullpen and bench, and management will be eager to get a peak at the organization’s top prospects, 21-year-old outfielder Christian Yelich and 20-year-old right-hander Jose Fernandez. Both are expected to start the season in Double-A, but either or both might join the Marlins at some point in 2013.

CENTRAL DIVISION

CINCINNATI REDS

MANAGER: Dusty Baker (sixth season)

2012: 97-65, first place, lost in division series

TRAINING TOWN: Goodyear, Ariz.

PARK: Goodyear Ballpark

FIRST WORKOUT: Tuesday/Friday

HE’S HERE: OF Shin-Soo Choo, INF Jack Hannahan, LHP Manny Parra, C Miguel Olivo

HE’S OUTTA HERE: OF Drew Stubbs, INF Wilson Valdez, LHP Bill Bray, RHP Ryan Madson, C Dioner Navarro, INF Miguel Cairo

GOING CAMPIN’: The Reds have brought their division title team back mostly intact, thinking they have enough talent to contend for several years. The biggest change is in CF, where Choo replaces the strikeout-prone Stubbs, part of a three-team trade in the off-season. Choo hasn’t played much center field lately, so it’ll be interesting to see how well he does defensively. He’s likely a one-year fix at the position while Billy Hamilton learns to play center at Triple-A this season. The other big change: Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman moves from the closer role into the rotation. Chapman was sensational as the fill-in closer last season. The Reds signed former Burke County standout Jonathan Broxton – a midseason trade acquisition – to a three-year, $21 million deal, giving themselves a closer and opening the way for Chapman to contend for a spot in the rotation during spring training. The Reds will be looking to see how 1B Joey Votto has recovered from midseason knee surgery that sapped his power the rest of the year. Todd Frazier is set to take over at third base for Scott Rolen, who was deciding whether to play one more season in a limited role or retire. Baker got a two-year contract extension after a late-season scare – an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized but is under control. The Reds have won the NL Central twice in the last three years, failing to advance past the first round of the playoffs each time. They think that if they can stay healthy – none of their starting pitchers missed time due to injury last season until Johnny Cueto got hurt in the playoffs – they’re in good shape for another run at the postseason.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

MANAGER: Mike Matheny (second season)

2012: 88-74, second place, wild card, lost in NLCS

TRAINING TOWN: Jupiter, Fla.

PARK: Roger Dean Stadium

FIRST WORKOUT: Tuesday/Friday

HE’S HERE: LHP Randy Choate, INF Ronny Cedeno, INF Ty Wigginton, C Rob Johnson, C J.R. Towles

HE’S OUTTA HERE: RHP Kyle Lohse, 1B Lance Berkman, 2B-OF Skip Schumaker, RHP Kyle McClellan, LHP Brian Fuentes

GOING CAMPIN’: The health of shortstop Rafael Furcal as he comes back from a torn ligament in his throwing elbow is the biggest question for a team that made minor alterations after finishing one win shy of a second consecutive trip to the World Series. There’s optimism that Furcal can return without surgery but it’s far from a sure thing, so Cedeno was picked up as a low-cost alternative. Rookie SS Pete Kozma was an offensive find while replacing Furcal last fall, although he struggled defensively. There’s certainly one opening in the rotation after Lohse, who was among the NL’s best with a 16-3 record, 2.86 ERA and staff-high 33 starts last season, was let go as a free agent. Hard-throwing kids Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal are among the options from a farm system loaded with prospects. But 37-year-old right-hander Chris Carpenter is unlikely to pitch this season and his career might be over because of a nerve injury that kept him out most of last year. Allen Craig, who batted .307 with 22 homers and 92 RBI, enters his first year as the full-time starter at 1B in place of Berkman, who lasted just 32 games in an injury-plagued season. All-Star catcher Yadier Molina is perhaps the majors’ best defensively and is coming off his best offensive year after hitting .315 with 22 homers and 76 RBI in his first season after signing a lucrative, multiyear contract.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

MANAGER: Ron Roenicke (third season)

2012: 83-79, third place

TRAINING TOWN: Phoenix

PARK: Maryvale Baseball Park

FIRST WORKOUT: Wednesday/Saturday

HE’S HERE: LHP Mike Gonzalez, LHP Tom Gorzelanny, RHP Burke Badenhop

HE’S OUTTA HERE: RHP Shaun Marcum, OF Nyjer Morgan, RHP Francisco Rodriguez, LHP Manny Parra, 1B Travis Ishikawa, RHP Kameron Loe, RHP Jose Veras, RHP Fautino De Los Santos

GOING CAMPIN’: Yovani Gallardo is back, but the rest of the starting rotation is uncertain heading into spring training. Young pitchers Mike Fiers, Wily Peralta and Mark Rogers each will get a long look, and Chris Narveson likely will get a spot if he’s fully recovered from shoulder surgery that ended his 2012 season after two starts. There also is some work to be done in the bullpen in front of closer John Axford and setup man Jim Henderson. Gonzalez, Gorzelanny and Badenhop each are expected to fill a role. 1B Corey Hart had right knee surgery over the winter, shelving one of Milwaukee’s power bats for the start of the season. Hart hit. 270 with 30 homers and 83 RBI in 149 games last year. Mat Gamel, once regarded as the Brewers’ top prospect, will fill in after missing most of last season after right knee surgery. A year ago, LF Ryan Braun headed to spring training with a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy hanging over his head. But arbitrator Shyam Das threw out the penalty due to chain of custody issues involving the sample, and Braun went on to have another monster year. After a quiet off-season, Braun now will face more questions about performing-enhancing drugs after Yahoo! Sports recently reported his name showed up three times in records from a Florida clinic being investigated by Major League Baseball. The slugger says the person who ran the clinic was used only as a consultant on his suspension appeal, and he has nothing to hide. Milwaukee had a 54-66 record on Aug. 19, 2012, then closed the season with a 27-13 push that nearly got the team back into the playoffs. Can the 2011 NL Central champs pick up where they left off last year?

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

MANAGER: Clint Hurdle (third season)

2012: 79-83, fourth place

TRAINING TOWN: Bradenton, Fla.

PARK: McKechnie Field

FIRST WORKOUT: Tuesday/Friday

HE’S HERE: C Russell Martin, RHP Jeanmar Gomez, RHP Mark Melancon, OF Jerry Sands, LHP Jonathan Sanchez, RHP Vin Mazzaro, 1B Clint Robinson, LHP Andy Oliver

HE’S OUTTA HERE: RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Kevin Correia, C Rod Barajas, RHP Chad Qualls, RHP Chris Resop, 2B Brock Holt

GOING CAMPIN’: The Pirates were 16 games above .500 last August but still managed to finish with a losing record for the 20th season in a row. Rather than try to make a big splash in free agency, they opted to sign a steady All-Star in Martin, hoping his career-worst .211 batting average for the Yankees in 2012 was an anomaly. The two-year, $17 million deal gives Martin a little time to get adjusted while developing a rapport with a pitching staff led by former New York teammate A.J. Burnett, who flourished outside the Big Apple and won 16 games for Pittsburgh last season. Burnett will be joined in the rotation by veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez and right-hander James McDonald, but after that it’s a guessing game. The Pirates finally finalized their deal with free agent Francisco Liriano after the left-hander broke his right (non-throwing) arm over the holidays. The Pirates brought back steady but injury-prone right-hander Jeff Karstens and brought in Gomez to compete with youngsters Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson for the final rotation spot. The bullpen will have a new closer in 36-year-old Jason Grilli, handed the job after Hanrahan, a two-time All-Star, was traded to Boston for prospects. Outside of Martin’s arrival, the rest of the position players will be familiar faces. Second-year outfielder Starling Marte will get the first shot at locking down the left field job, while the Pirates hope shortstop Clint Barmes can bounce back from a woeful offensive season. Entering Hurdle’s third year, the Pirates have run out of wiggle room. After two promising summers faded into disappointing falls, the time is now for them to end “The Streak” and play meaningful games into September and beyond.

CHICAGO CUBS

MANAGER: Dale Sveum (second season)

2012: 61-101, fifth place

TRAINING TOWN: Mesa, Ariz.

PARK: Fitch Park; HoHoKam Park

FIRST WORKOUT: Monday/Feb. 17

HE’S HERE: RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Scott Baker, RHP Scott Feldman, RHP Carlos Villanueva, RHP Kyuji Fujikawa, C Dioner Navarro, OF Nate Schierholtz

HE’S OUTTA HERE: 1B-RF Bryan LaHair, RHP Chris Volstad, C Anthony Recker

GOING CAMPIN’: As they enter the second year of the Theo Epstein era, the Cubs remain in the early stages of a building process. They did, however, try to speed things along. They made a big play for Anibal Sanchez before he re-signed with Detroit and then signed Jackson to a $52 million, four-year deal, all after a proposed trade that would have sent closer Carlos Marmol to the Los Angeles Angels for pitcher Dan Haren fell through. Those were breaks from the smaller deals the Cubs had made to that point under Epstein. They still have a long way to go, though. This isn’t about quick fixes. The Cubs are trying to build up their minor league system, hoping the payoff will be the club’s first championship since 1908. Marmol could be in an awkward spot, given the trade that fell through and the arrival of Fujikawa from Japan. OF Alfonso Soriano and top starter Matt Garza have also come up in trade talks, yet the Cubs insist they’re closer to contending than many realize. Never mind the record last season; they believe they’re on the right path. They have six potential starters with Jackson, Garza and Jeff Samardzija leading the rotation, and they can boast a young All-Star in shortstop Starlin Castro and a Gold Glove second baseman in Darwin Barney. Free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston also appeared close to completing a deal with Chicago.

WEST DIVISION

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

MANAGER: Bruce Bochy (seventh season)

2012: 94-68, first place, World Series champions

TRAINING TOWN: Scottsdale, Ariz.

PARK: Scottsdale Stadium

FIRST WORKOUT: Wednesday/Saturday

HE’S HERE: OF Andres Torres, RHP Sandy Rosario, RHP Chad Gaudin, INF Tony Abreu

HE’S OUTTA HERE: OF Melky Cabrera, RHP Brian Wilson, RHP Clay Hensley, C Eli Whiteside, 1B Aubrey Huff, RHP Guillermo Mota, OF Xavier Nady, INF Freddy Sanchez, INF Ryan Theriot

GOING CAMPIN’: The Giants brought back almost the entire crew that helped them win a second World Series title in three seasons, with players who accounted for more than 95 percent of the postseason at-bats and all but 1⅔ innings pitched still on the roster. San Francisco rewarded older players such as NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, OF Angel Pagan and LHP Jeremy Affeldt with lucrative contracts to return via free agency. The core of the team remains the starting pitching staff anchored by Matt Cain and former Augusta GreenJacket Madison Bumgarner, and NL MVP Buster Posey behind the plate. The big questions heading into 2013 are whether Sergio Romo, another former GreenJacket, can handle a full season as closer and two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum can return to form after struggling with an NL-worst 5.18 ERA that cost him a spot in the postseason rotation. Lincecum shined out of the bullpen in the postseason with a 2.55 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 17⅔ innings, showing he still has plenty of life in his right arm.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

MANAGER: Don Mattingly (third season)

2012: 86-76, second place

TRAINING TOWN: Glendale, Ariz.

PARK: Camelback Ranch

FIRST WORKOUT: Wednesday/Saturday

HE’S HERE: RHP Zack Greinke, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu, 2B-OF Skip Schumaker, LHP Rob Rasmussen, 2B Rusty Ryal, C Wilkin Castillo

HE’S OUTTA HERE: OF Shane Victorino, RHP Joe Blanton, RHP Jon Ely, RF Bobby Abreu, LHP Randy Choate, RHP Jamey Wright, RHP Todd Coffey, C Matt Treanor, LF Juan Rivera, 2B Adam Kennedy, RHP Blake Hawksworth

GOING CAMPIN’: The new ownership group that includes Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten will be in charge for its first full season after buying the team last May. The group opened its wallet last summer to acquire SS Hanley Ramirez, a former Augusta GreenJacket, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RHP Josh Beckett, LF Carl Crawford and RHP Brandon League. CF Matt Kemp is recovering from left shoulder surgery and Crawford, obtained in last season’s blockbuster trade with Boston, is recovering from the Tommy John surgery on his left elbow he had just before the deal. Kemp is expected to be ready by opening day, while Crawford could return by the start of camp. RF Andre Ethier signed an $85 million, five-year extension last summer, but rumors persist that the team might be willing to trade him. Ownership continued its spending spree with the off-season signings of Greinke and Ryu. Starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw (right hip inflammation) and Ted Lilly (left shoulder surgery) are both expected to be ready by spring training. Chad Billingsley (coming off a partially torn right elbow ligament) has begun throwing off a mound. If he’s healthy, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang or Lilly could find themselves left out of the rotation. Mark McGwire makes his Dodgers debut as the new hitting coach.

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

MANAGER: Kirk Gibson (third season)

2012: 81-81, third place

TRAINING TOWN: Scottsdale, Ariz.

PARK: Salt River Fields

FIRST WORKOUT: Tuesday/Friday

HE’S HERE: RHP Brandon McCarthy, 3B Martin Prado, OF Cody Ross, RHP Heath Bell, SS Cliff Pennington, 3B-1B Eric Chavez, 1B-OF Eric Hinske, LHP Tony Sipp, RHP Randall Delgado, SS Didi Gregorius, 1B Lars Anderson, LHP Matt Reynolds

HE’S OUTTA HERE: RF Justin Upton, CF Chris Young, 3B Chris Johnson, RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Bryan Shaw

GOING CAMPIN’: General manager Kevin Towers lived up to his reputation as a wheeler-dealer this winter, pulling the trigger on several intriguing deals. Most notably, he sent Upton and Johnson to Atlanta for five players, a group led by the versatile Prado, a former All-Star who is penciled in as the everyday third baseman. Shortstop remains a question mark. The young Gregorius, acquired from Cincinnati in a three-team trade that sent Bauer to Cleveland, is considered spectacular in the field but uncertain at the plate. He is trying to make the club in competition with Pennington, Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald. The first four spots in the rotation appear set with Ian Kennedy, McCarthy, Wade Miley and Trevor Cahill. The spotlight will be on McCarthy, the former Oakland starter who is coming back after a line drive to the head threatened his career. There’s intense competition for the fifth spot in the rotation, with the leading candidates being Delgado – acquired in the Upton deal – and lefties Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin. Towers and Gibson want a tougher, grittier squad, hence the additions of Ross and Prado. Speedy outfielder Adam Eaton, whose right hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch late last season, is in line to play center and bat leadoff unless he flops in spring training.

SAN DIEGO PADRES

MANAGER: Bud Black (seventh season)

2012: 76-86, fourth place

TRAINING TOWN: Peoria, Ariz.

PARK: Peoria Stadium

FIRST WORKOUT: Wednesday/Saturday

HE’S HERE: RHP Tyson Ross, RHP Freddy Garcia, RHP Fautino De Los Santos

HE’S OUTTA HERE: RF Cory Burns, INF Andy Parrino, LHP Andrew Werner, RHP Micah Owings, RHP Dustin Moseley

GOING CAMPIN’: The Padres failed to make even one significant signing during the off-season and have been making news for mostly the wrong reasons. Young catcher Yasmani Grandal, who had a strong rookie season with a .297 average, eight home runs and 36 RBI in 60 games, was suspended for the first 50 games of 2013 because of a positive test for testosterone. Grandal was also among a half-dozen players listed in records of a Florida clinic that the Miami New Times said sold performance-enhancing drugs. Hard-throwing RHP Andrew Cashner cut a tendon in his right thumb during a hunting accident, meaning he’ll probably start the season on the disabled list. Cashner was injured by a hunting partner while they were trimming a carcass. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson announced he was not going to buy a share of his hometown Padres as was previously believed. The new ownership group, comprised of members of the third generation of the O’Malley family, has so far kept a tight grip on its pocketbook after spending $800 million to buy the team. The biggest off-season move was re-signing RHP Jason Marquis to a $3 million, one-year deal. Otherwise, any increases in payroll will come mostly through arbitration. 3B Chase Headley’s big season netted him a $5.1 million raise. He and the Padres avoided salary arbitration by agreeing on an $8,575,000, one-year contract. Long touted as a future star, the 28-year-old Headley broke out with 31 home runs and an NL-best 115 RBI last season, when he made $3,475,000. The switch-hitter batted .286 with a .376 on-base percentage and finished fifth in MVP voting while winning a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award. By the time Headley and the Padres return from spring training, the fences at Petco Park will be moved in.

COLORADO ROCKIES

MANAGER: Walt Weiss (first season)

2012: 64-98, fifth place

TRAINING TOWN: Scottsdale, Ariz.

PARK: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

FIRST WORKOUT: Monday/Feb. 17

HE’S HERE: RHP Wilton Lopez, 3B-1B Ryan Wheeler, C Yorvit Torrealba, RHP Chris Volstad, RHP Miguel Batista

HE’S OUTTA HERE: Manager Jim Tracy, 1B Jason Giambi, RHP Alex White, RHP Guillermo Moscoso, RHP Josh Roenicke, LHP Matt Reynolds, LHP Jonathan Sanchez

GOING CAMPIN’: The Rockies made no splashy off-season moves to bolster a club that lost a franchise-record 98 games. Instead, they’re banking on the returns of lefty Jorge De La Rosa (elbow surgery) and All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (groin), along with a managerial switch. Colorado turns the controls over to Weiss, a former Rockies player who was coaching high school baseball at this time last year. Weiss takes over for Tracy, who stepped away, in part, because his responsibilities dwindled last season when Bill Geivett, the team’s director of major league operations, was given an office in the clubhouse and began focusing on roster management. Weiss, who has only a one-year deal, said he hopes to get his team to “play hard” and “play the game right,” the tenets of his career. The Rockies will again have Todd Helton and his stellar glove playing first base. Just how much they can rely on Helton is constantly a concern. The five-time All-Star is a lifetime .320 hitter, but batted a career-low .238 in 69 games before having season-ending surgery on Aug. 10 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. He was recently arrested in a Denver suburb and charged with drunken driving. The Rockies also missed the leadership of Tulowitzki after he was sidelined in late May with a groin injury that eventually required surgery to remove scar tissue. Versatile outfielder Carlos Gonzalez had another solid season, hitting .303 with 22 homers. On the mound, the Rockies are hoping Jhoulys Chacin can emerge as an ace and that De La Rosa returns to form.

– Associated Press


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