The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
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EST. 1915

Spring Training Right Around the Corner

Ashton England


The big question around the MaIn just under one week, pitchers and catchers will report to their various spring training facilities in either Arizona or Florida. Spring training marks the beginning of the long season, as players will begin tryouts to become one of the lucky 40 men on the major league roster. As the season approaches, many question why spring training is even held. Despite doubt, spring training is a very integral part of the major league baseball season, getting to see what AAA players are almost ready to see MLB action, and finalizing the roster for opening day. These are just a couple reasons why spring training is an important time of the year.

Most baseball fans question their team’s abilities, or the reasons spring training is around when their team posts a horrendous record during spring training. The main reason behind spring training is not to wear the team out winning games that have no significance for the postseason. In the spring, ballclubs can invite players that they have recently drafted, and track their progress against other major league players to gauge when they may be ready for the call up to the team. Most clubs will invite around 20 minor leaguers, looking for their chance to make the team. Additionally, spring training is the time that major league pitchers and catchers get back into their groove, improving their communication with each other in game situations with no penalty for a bad performance. After a long offseason pitching mechanics lose their edge and must be honed in before the regular season begins. Even the position players must take the time to improve their hitting skills and fundamentals, or else the regular season will be a shock. Spring training is the “major league tryouts” so to speak, but is often seen as their practice or warmup before the season begins. With games almost every day for 162 days, there’s not much time during the season to work.

Inevitably, spring training is just the precursor to the regular season. All goals for the spring are aimed towards one thing: a World Series Title. To do this, teams must play around with different lineups, try guys at new positions on the field, pitchers in new situations during games. After all, players have to prove their worth on the big league level and must show that they can help the team in any way they can to reserve their spot on the roster. Finding the best lineup to play every day during the spring can save teams an early season slump, which can be the reason they miss the postseason. Also, those guys that may not make the everyday lineup still get their chance to prove their worth during spring training to become a bench player, as many teams already know their main starters before spring training.

Fans should be excited to watch their favorite teams start up 2019 in spring training, as they will witness the next generation of talent within Major League Baseball. Even for teams undergoing a rebuild, there is always the future generation of players to look forward to. Sometimes all a team needs is one or two small offseason acquisitions to become a championship caliber team. 2019 looks bright for many teams, and spring training will reveal more teams looking for a title this season.

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