I wrote about Jason Bartlett making the Twins the other day and one of my long-time readers thought I was being mean. Point taken. I am a bit of a stickler on baseball teams putting their best product forward for fans who pay big bucks to watch those games. For example, the artificial delay of a prospect's career to delay his service time clock is an egregious sin in baseball. But the reader has a point. So today, let's focus on some nice stories to come out of Spring Training.
Let's start with Dean Anna, who made the Yankees 25-man roster after being drafted in the 26th round in 2008 and toiling six seasons in the minors without a crack at the Majors with the Padres. That's a nice story.
Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton had good springs after disastrous seasons a year ago. It's hard to say if that will carry into the season in the long haul. But it was nice to see them have some success again.
It was great to see Ryan Kalish make the Cubs after having all sorts of physical problems derail his career in Boston. And for that same team, it was nice to see Luis Valbuena get the starting nod at second base. His homer total in the spring is probably a fluke though.
It was great to see Brett Anderson have such a positive spring for the Rockies. When healthy, he is very, very good, but has had trouble staying healthy. That would be a nice story. It was also nice to see young Corey Dickerson make the team as the center fielder.
It was a very nice story when Chone Figgins made the Dodgers. I'm just a second chances kind of guy.
Casey McGehee and Jeff Baker making the Marlins is a very nice story. McGehee is trying to resurrect what was a dead career. I wish him well.
I find it hard to believe that Scooter Gennett will get the nod at second base over Rickie Weeks, but it sure is nice that someone named, "Scooter," is on a MLB roster. Zach Duke making the Brewers is also a nice story.
Jeff Manship's spring for the Phillies has been a nice story. And having him in the Majors gives us word nerds all kinds of fun things to do with his last name.
Travis Ishikawa making the Pirates is a nice story, especially with what the Brewers plan on doing at first base this season...
Xavier Nady made another team as a non-roster invitee--this time, the Padres.
Ehire Adrianza making the Giants is a nice story. Yeah, he was out of options, but the guy is only 24 and has already played eight seasons in the minors. Good for him!
Peter Bourjos apparently getting the starting nod for the Cardinals as that team's center fielder is a nice story. Bourjos had a great spring and makes the Cardinals much better defensively.
It is nice to see Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan both heading north with the Nationals. Both deserve the chance, though the return of Doug Fister eventually will make a tough decision later.
Jonathan Schoop making the Orioles is both the right call and a great story.
Of course, Grady Sizemore getting the starting nod from the Red Sox is the good story above all other good stories. I am keeping my fingers crossed for him.
Marcus Semien has apparently made the White Sox and will play second base for them. That's a nice story.
Elliot Johnson making the Indians is a nice story. A guy as hilarious as him needs to be in the Majors.
Nick Castellanos has had a very good spring for the Tigers. I am excited for seeing how he does in his rookie season.
I am really excited to see what Yordano Ventura does this season for the Royals!
I am really excited to see if Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols have bounce-back seasons and for another year to see what else Mike Trout can amaze us with.
I wish Phil Hughes well in his career reboot with the Twins. I'll begrudgingly be glad that after a year out of the Majors, Jason Bartlett will get another chance.
It's a nice story that Sam Fuld made the Oakland A's as a reserve and I am excited to see what Sonny Gray can do over a whole season.
Abraham Almonte making the Mariners and being tabbed their starter in the outfield is a nice story to me because of his roots in the Yankees' minor league system.
Logan Forsythe is a nice story for the Bay Rays.
In a spring where not much has gone right for the Texas Rangers, Michael Choice making the team is a nice surprise and fun to watch.
And finally, I realize that it is out of necessity, but knowing how much Dustin McGowan has had to battle in his career, him being in the Blue Jays' rotation is really nice to see. And I am anxious to see how Drew Hutchison does too.
Happy Baseball Season everyone!