Four MLB Teams That Actually Try In Spring Training

Four MLB Teams That Actually Try In Spring Training

Four MLB Teams That Actually Try In Spring Training
By Jason Logan
Covers.com

Betting on MLB Spring Training baseball can be a sign that winter has gotten the best of you. Like any preseason, spring ball is a craps shoot. Managers have their own agenda, as do players, so consistency in the Grapefruit and Cactus League schedules is about as hard to come by as a Derek Jeter jersey in Boston.

However, if you can’t help yourself – and god knows some of us can’t – you may want to stick to these four clubs who have excelled in the spring season for the past few years.

Detroit Tigers (61-33 in Spring Training since 2010)

The Tigers have plenty of wrinkles to iron out this spring, what with slugger Prince Fielder being dealt to Texas and manager Jim Leyland hanging up his spikes (He did actually wear spikes for most of his career). Ian Kinsler is a more reliable bat but will need to find his role in the lineup. The pitching staff is also working in some new faces and new skip Brad Ausmus is cooking up chemistry with his team.

Seattle Mariners (54-33 in Spring Training since 2011)

The Mariners got off to a strong start in spring ball last year, with a 22-11 record. Seattle, of course, made the biggest splash this offseason by adding second baseman Robinson Cano. That wasn’t the only move the M’s made on and off the field. They opened their wallet to names like Corey Hart and closer Fernando Rodney, and welcome new manager Lloyd McClendon. This is an aging club so spring ball could be played at half speed for Seattle, with player just hoping to stay healthy for Opening Day.

Kansas City Royals (61-33 in Spring Training since 2011)

The Royals are on the rise and used a strong 2013 tune-up campaign – going 25-7 - to springboard an 86-76 regular season. Kansas City kept its young core mainly intact and added an innings-eater in Jason Vargas, bolstering the rotation. The Royals added a couple of table setters to the top of the order, which should allow big bats like Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon to post some big numbers.

San Francisco Giants (80-54 in Spring Training since 2010)

The Giants have cooled off a bit in the spring after dominating the exhibition schedule in 2010 and 2011. However, San Francisco has still won more often than not in Cactus League play. This spring, the Giants have a lot of question marks in the air. Can the starting rotation return to a World Series class? Can the lineup stay healthy enough to support them? And what’s up with Tim Lincecum’s high school freshman mustache?

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