Spring training excites me for about 4 days.  It’ s the unofficial official start of a new season.   The excitement starts to subside when I realize that the band of new players brought in over the summer is nothing to get real excited about.  Even when a new player flashes some serious potential it’s still only spring training.  It’s as if the training wheels still need to come off to see the proof.   It reminds me of fake baseball.  It’s not real.

All this being said, three players have actually caught my attention this spring so far.  Those players are Travis Wood, Joe Mather, and Jeff Samardzija. 

Let’s start with Samardzija.  Earlier I posted asking folks to list this years breakout player.  There were a few who chose Shark purely because he was due, yet it seemed as though they regretted it.   So far in Spring ball, Shark has delivered.  A lot of people may not be so high on Jeff, but take away that 10 million dollar albatross signing bonus and possibly being rushed to the majors a bit, and you have a guy coming into form.  Then again, it is only spring training, this is yet another perfect example of what could be a desert oasis that could turn into a dry bed of sand once we remove our spring goggles.  All that aside,  I am pretty sure he will secure one of the 2 remaining spots in the rotation.  See you in April Jeff!

Joe Mather is yet another in a long line of utility guys, who I have never heard of, that light up spring training pitching.  Do I trust that Mather will keep this going come April? No.  Should I? No.  He is the carbon copy of spring fling.  He looks great in a scaled down uniform, but throw on those pinstripes and he will probably fade back to reality.   However, with the likes of Tony Campana getting one hit so far it looks as though the squad could use a speedy outfielder on the bench.  Joe Mather, see you in April!

Where to start with Travis Wood?  A lot of people wanted to see this guy shine.  Spring training has been a personal hell for Travis on the field however.  He currently totes a 25.00 + ERA in three outings.  I know it’s early and ERA doesn’t say everything, being an overrated stat and all, but that number is a little too large to ignore.  I personally wanted to see Travis get that fifth rotation spot if for no other reason than I didn’t get excited with the other candidates.  Oh well, we still have half of spring left.  He could always have an epiphany and turn this thing around. 

Other then these observations I took a look at our schedule.  Feast your eyes on April and you will notice we play a heavy diet of NL Central teams to start the year.  I will be curious to see where this team sits at the end of the month.  I think the question on everybody’s mind right now is, will they be competitive?

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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19