News Column

Baseball Spring Training: Cactus League

Feb 12, 2013

Drew Davison


Arizona Diamondbacks

Spring site: Scottsdale

Last year: 81-81 (third, NL West)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Tuesday), full squad (Friday)

Who's in: RHP Heath Bell (Miami), SS Cliff Pennington (Oakland), SS Didi Gregorius (Cincinnati), LHP Tony Sipp (Cleveland), INF Martin Prado (Atlanta), RHP Brandon McCarthy (Oakland), OF Cody Ross (Boston), INF Eric Chavez (New York Yankees).

Who's out: OF Justin Upton (Atlanta), OF Chris Young (Oakland), RHP Trevor Bauer (Cleveland), 3B Chris Johnson (Atlanta), C Henry Blanco (Toronto).

Spring outlook: The D-backs flirted all off-season and eventually pulled the trigger on a Justin Upton deal. The seven-player trade with the Braves brought them back All-Star infielder Martin Prado, who they signed to an extension, as well as the Braves' top pitching prospect, Randall Delgado, and three minor leaguers. It followed another marquee trade the D-backs made with the Reds and Indians earlier this winter that landed shortstop Didi Gregorius, left-hander Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson. Arizona also added free agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy, outfielder Cody Ross and infielder Eric Chavez. The D-backs might not be as strong as the Dodgers on paper, but they should challenge in the NL West.

Chicago Cubs

Spring site: Mesa

Last year: 61-101 (fifth, NL Central)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Monday); full squad (Sunday)

Who's in: RHP Edwin Jackson (Washington), RHP Scott Feldman (Texas), RHP Scott Baker (Minnesota), RHP Carlos Villanueva (Toronto), OF Nate Schierholtz (Philadelphia), INF Scott Hairston (New York Mets), RHP Kyuji Fujikawa (Japan).

Who's out: 1B/OF Bryan LaHair (Japan).

Spring outlook: The Cubs lost 101 games last season, and are rebuilding under Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. They should be more competitive this season, signing right-hander Edwin Jackson to a four-year deal and adding former Rangers spot starter/long man Scott Feldman to the rotation. They also brought in Scott Baker and Carlos Villanueva to solidify the rotation. The bullpen should get a boost with the acquisition of right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa, as well.

Chicago White Sox

Spring site: Glendale

Last year: 85-77 (second,

AL Central)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Tuesday); full squad (Sunday)

Who's in: INF Jeff Keppinger

(Tampa Bay), RHP Matt Lindstrom (Arizona).

Who's out: C A.J. Pierzynski

(Texas), INF Kevin Youkilis (New York Yankees), LHP Francisco

Liriano (Pittsburgh).

Spring outlook: They lost A.J. Pierzynski, Kevin Youkilis and Francisco Liriano to free agency, and first-year GM Rick Hahn's biggest deals this winter have been adding Jeff Keppinger and re-signing Jake Peavy. Still, the White Sox have a strong rotation behind Peavy and Chris Sale, and challenge for the division crown.

Cincinnati Reds

Spring site: Goodyear

Last year: 97-65 (first in

NL Central; lost in NLDS)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Tuesday); full squad (Friday)

Who's in: OF Shin-Soo Choo (Cleveland), INF Jason Donald (Cleveland), C Miguel Olivo (Seattle), LHP Manny Parra (Milwaukee), INF Cesar Izturis (Washington).

Who's out: Ryan Madson (LA Angels), Drew Stubbs (Cleveland), SS Didi Gregorius (Arizona), 3B Scott Rolen.

Spring outlook: The reigning NL Central champions re-signed Ryan Ludwick and Jonathan Broxton, traded for Shin-Soo Choo and added infielder Jack Hannahan. They lost Drew Stubbs and shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius in the process, but the Reds have positioned themselves for another run at a championship.

Cleveland Indians

Spring site: Goodyear

Last year: 68-94 (fourth,

AL Central)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Tuesday); full squad (Friday)

Who's in: OF Nick Swisher (New York Yankees), 3B Mark Reynolds (Baltimore), RHP Brett Myers (Chicago White Sox), RHP Trevor Bauer (Arizona), OF Drew Stubbs (Cincinnati), INF Mike Aviles (Boston).

Who's out: OF Shin-Soo Choo (Cincinnati), DH/1B Travis Hafner (New York Yankees), 1B Casey Kotchman, OF Grady Sizemore.

Spring outlook: The Indians traded away Shin-Soo Choo to add what they hope will become a frontline starter (Trevor Bauer) and impact outfielder (Drew Stubbs). They also signed Nick Swisher, which should make the Tribe more competitive this season. But it's hard to see Cleveland truly

pushing Detroit, Chicago and possibly Kansas City down the stretch.

Colorado Rockies

Spring site: Scottsdale

Last year: 64-98 (fifth, NL West)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Monday); full squad (Sunday)

Who's in: RHP Wilton Lopez (Houston), RHP Chris Volstad (Chicago Cubs), 3B Ryan Wheeler (Arizona).

Who's out: LHP Matt Reynolds (Arizona), RHP Alex White (Houston), RHP Guillermo Moscoso (Kansas City), 1B Jason Giambi, LHP Jonathan Sanchez (Pittsburgh).

Spring outlook: The Rockies made noise early in the off-season by naming Walt Weiss the team's manager and Dante Bichette the hitting coach, but have been relatively quiet since. Colorado has stars in outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and re-signed starters Jeff Francis and Jorge De La Rosa, but it's hard to see it making a serious playoff push.

Kansas City Royals

Spring site: Surprise

Last year: 72-90 (third, AL Central)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Tuesday); full squad (Friday)

Who's in: RHP James Shields (Tampa Bay), RHP Wade Davis (Tampa Bay), RHP Ervin Santana (LA Angels), INF Miguel Tejada (Baltimore), OF Endy Chavez (Baltimore).

Who's out: OF Wil Myers (Tampa Bay), LHP Mike Montgomery (Tampa Bay), RHP Jake Odorizzi (Tampa Bay).

Spring outlook: The Royals haven't been to the playoffs since they won the World Series in 1985, and haven't had a winning season since 2003. This year, though, KC is going for it. The Royals paid a hefty price for James Shields and Wade Davis, but it should be worth it to get fans excited about the team. Other moves included re-signing Jeremy Guthrie.

Los Angeles Angels

of Anaheim

Spring site: Tempe

Last year: 89-73 (third, AL West)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Tuesday); full squad (Friday)

Who's in: OF Josh Hamilton (Texas), RHP Joe Blanton (Los Angeles Dodgers), RHP Tommy Hanson (Atlanta), RHP Ryan Madson (Cincinnati), LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle), LHP Sean Burnett (Washington).

Who's out: RHP Zack Greinke (Los Angeles Dodgers), RHP Dan Haren (Washington), OF Torii Hunter (Detroit), RHP Ervin Santana (Kansas City), RHP Jordan Walden (Atlanta), RHP LaTroy Hawkins (New York Mets), INF Maicer Izturis (Toronto).

Spring outlook: The Angels want to win and have spent money trying to accomplish that. A year after signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the Angels lured Josh Hamilton from the Rangers. The lineup is set, of course, with Pujols, Hamilton and Mike Trout. The question remains whether the pitching staff is deep enough and strong enough to get the Angels back to the postseason for the first time since 2009.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Spring site: Glendale

Last year: 86-76 (second, NL West)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Wednesday); full squad (Saturday)

Who's in: RHP Zack Greinke (LA Angels), LHP J.P. Howell (Tampa Bay), LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (South Korea).

Who's out: OF Bobby Abreu, RHP Joe Blanton (LA Angels), OF Juan Rivera (New York Yankees), OF Shane Victorino (Boston), RHP Jamey Wright (Tampa Bay), C Matt Treanor.

Spring outlook: The Dodgers have new owners who are willing to spend. They signed Zack Greinke, the top free agent starter on the market, and also fortified their bullpen by re-signing Brandon League and adding free agent lefty J.P. Howell. Those moves, along with the pieces in place, have the Dodgers favored to win the NL West.

Milwaukee Brewers

Spring site: Phoenix

Last year: 83-79 (third, NL Central)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Wednesday); full squad (Saturday)

Who's in: LHP Mike Gonzalez (Washington), RHP Jairo Asencio (Chicago Cubs), RHP Burke Badenhop (Tampa Bay), LHP Tom Gorzelanny (Washington).

Who's out: RHP Shaun Marcum (New York Mets), LHP Manny Parra (Cincinnati), 1B Travis Ishikawa (Baltimore), RHP Francisco Rodriguez, OF Nyjer Morgan, RHP Kameron Loe.

Spring outlook: The Brewers have had a relatively quiet off-season, but should remain a contending team going into 2013, even though their payroll has been slashed by more than $15 million. Milwaukee's lineup is built around Ryan Braun, and its rotation is led by Fort Worth's Yovani Gallardo.

Oakland Athletics

Spring site: Phoenix

Last year: 94-68 (first, AL West; lost in ALDS)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Tuesday); full squad (Sunday)

Who's in: C John Jaso (Seattle), OF Chris Young (Arizona), LHP Andrew Werner (San Diego), SS Hiroyuki Nakajima (Japan), RHP Chris Resop (Pittsburgh), INF Andy Parrino (San Diego), INF Jed Lowrie (Houston), RHP Fernando Rodriguez (Houston).

Who's out: RHP Brandon McCarthy (Arizona), SS Stephen Drew (Boston), OF Jonny Gomes (Boston), OF Collin Cowgill (New York Mets), SS Cliff Pennington (Arizona), 1B Chris Carter (Houston), RHP Tyson Ross (Oakland).

Spring outlook: Brandon McCarthy, Stephen Drew and Jonny Gomes departed via free agency, but the A's re-signed Bartolo Colon. They also made a late off-season trade by acquiring Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez from Houston in exchange for Chris Carter, Brad Peacock and minor leaguer Max Stassi. Oakland might not be the most daunting team, but it won the AL West last year and it's hard to count it out this season.

San Diego Padres

Spring site: Peoria

Last year: 76-86 (fourth NL West)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Wednesday); full squad (Saturday)

Who's in: OF Travis Buck (Houston), INF Cody Ransom (Milwaukee), C Rene Rivera (Minnesota), RHP Tyson Ross (Oakland).

Who's out: RHP Cory Burns (Texas), RHP Micah Owings (Washington), INF Andy Parrino (Oakland), LHP Andrew Werner (Oakland), RHP Dustin Moseley.

Spring outlook: They re-signed Jason Marquis this off-season, and also return outfielder Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street. But it's hard to see the Padres making a serious run in the NL West with the Giants and Dodgers favored.

San Francisco Giants

Spring site: Scottsdale

Last year: 94-68 (first, NL West; won World Series)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Wednesday); full squad (Saturday)

Who's in: RHP Chad Gaudin (Miami), OF Andres Torres (New York Mets), INF Wilson Valdez (Cincinnati).

Who's out: OF Melky Cabrera (Toronto), OF Xavier Nady (Kansas City), INF Ryan Theriot, RHP Brian Wilson, RHP Clay Hensley, 1B Aubrey Huff, RHP Brad Penny.

Spring outlook: Fresh off their second World Series victory in three years, the Giants are one of the top -- if not the top -- franchises in the game. They re-signed outfielder Angel Pagan, infielder Marco Scutaro and reliever Jeremy Affeldt and still have one of the top rotations in the league.

Seattle Mariners

Spring site: Peoria

Last year: 75-87 (fourth, AL West)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Wednesday); full squad (Saturday)

Who's in: OF Jason Bay (New York Mets), OF Raul Ibanez (New York Yankees), 1B Kendrys Morales (LA Angels), C Kelly Shoppach (New York Mets), OF/1B Michael Morse (Washington), LHP Joe Saunders (Baltimore).

Who's out: C Miguel Olivo (Cincinnati), LHP Jason Vargas (LA Angels), C John Jaso (Oakland), INF Chone Figgins, RHP Kevin Millwood (retired).

Spring outlook: The Mariners were rumored to be interested in Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli, but then settled for aging players Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez. They landed Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales in trades, and moving the outfield fences in should help the offense. Seattle's pitching staff remains strong behind ace Felix Hernandez, who signed a long-term extension, and reliever Hisashi Iwakuma, who signed a two-year extension.

Texas Rangers

Spring site: Surprise

Last year: 93-69 (second, AL West; lost wild card round)

First workouts: Pitchers and catchers (Wednesday); full squad (Saturday)

Who's in: C A.J. Pierzynski (Chicago White Sox), DH/1B Lance Berkman (St. Louis), RHP Jason Frasor (Toronto), RHP Josh Lindblom (Philadelphia), RHP Joakim Soria (Kansas City), INF/OF Jeff Baker (Atlanta).

Who's out: RHP Mike Adams (Philadelphia), INF Michael Young (Philadelphia), OF Josh Hamilton (LA Angels), C Mike Napoli (Boston), RHP Scott Feldman (Chicago Cubs), RHP Ryan Dempster (Boston), RHP Koji Uehara (Boston), RHP Roy Oswalt, RHP Mark Lowe (LA Dodgers).

Spring outlook: Everything that could go wrong went wrong in the first part of the off-season for the Rangers. They missed out on Zack Greinke and James Shields, didn't complete a trade for Justin Upton, traded away clubhouse leader Michael Young and saw Josh Hamilton bolt for the Angels. But they rebounded with nice, less significant additions in catcher A.J. Pierzynski, designated hitter Lance Berkman and reliever Jason Frasor.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2013 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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