As we wrap up spring training, I have to look back and review the things that went well, as well as the things we could have done better. Fortunately, we have been able to check many of the boxes that we needed to, in order to be ready for the start of the season. The main objective was to select the 25 men that will represent the team, and this was not an easy task. We have many players who could have made our team, and many others who showed some real potential, after they get a little more seasoning in the minors. Whether it is a young player, or a veteran, it is never a fun conversation to tell him that he is getting sent down, but most of them know what they need to work on, and if they make the most of the talent they have and the opportunities they will receive, they may be able to help us out in the future.
Another goal for the spring was to get the guys physically ready for the 162 game grind that is ahead of us. Fortunately, they all showed up in terrific physical condition, and all we needed to do was to get them into "playing shape." We ask the guys to strength train, and condition themselves over the winter months, but to slowly work their throwing arms into shape. They need to be doing some throwing, but at a slow pace that will pick up as the spring continues. We also go slow with getting their legs in game shape, by just playing a few innings at the beginning of spring, and working them up to playing full games by the end. It is a process, and many of the veterans know exactly what they need in order to be ready when the bell rings, and they all seem excited about where they are right now.
I am very proud of how hard our players, coaches, and staff worked and competed. Our trainers, clubhouse staff, and coaches put in some long days in order to get all of the guys the work they needed. The group has continued to show incredible discipline in how they prepare, and how they want to compete for each other, and the organization. I don't throw out any predictions, as I have way too much respect for the game, and for our talented opponents, but one thing that I am certain of, is this team is ready for the challenge ahead.