By: Chandler Ragsdale
February is at it’s end, so you know what that means, Spring Training is here! 2018 is going to be an exciting year in the MLB to say the least, so here are some headlines as an appetizer to get you excited about this upcoming baseball season.
THE BRONX BOMBERS HAVE A STACKED LINEUP…BUT WHAT ABOUT PITCHING?
As we all know, the New York Yankees had some phenomenal play in right field last year brought to them by the courtesy of Aaron Judge. A certain catcher named Gary Sanchez also had a break out year as these two studs lead the club to a nice postseason run. At the end of last season, Yankees fans had all of the reason to be optimistic about their future, but that optimism has went through the roof since the offseason. The Yankees now have a certainslugger named Giancarlo Stanton in the middle of their lineup as well. This lineup is poised to make the Yankees a contender, but my question is, what about their pitching staff?
This staff is one of the better ones in baseball yes, but are they good enough to pitch well enough against a Houston Astros or now Boston Red Sox lineup (newly acquired J.D. Martinez now included)? My answer to this is as of right now, I would say not. We will see how this season plays out, but I’m not sure if the Yankees as of right now have a pitching staff that can take them all the way.
THE RED SOX NOW HAVE SOME POWER IN THEIR LINEUP
The Red Sox had a pretty successful 2017 by winning the AL East for a second straight season. However, their postseason performance was disappointing to many degrees. Chris Sale seemed to run out of gas at the end of the year (specifically the postseason), and the power-hitting presence of David Ortiz was obviously missed all season. They finished 27th in homers last season, which is not going to cut it typically for a World Series run (mlb.com).
However, to combat this they have now signed slugger J.D. Martinez. This was such a critical signing being that the Yankees traded for Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason. The Sox and Yankees have now seemingly separated themselves from the rest of the teams in the AL East, and the 2018 race is already shaping up to be very interesting. The biggest question around this Red Sox lineup now is, can they produce enough power in 2018 to win the AL East again and to have a more successful postseason?
STARS GO TO THE BAY
The 2018 offseason produced some key players moving teams. We have already mentioned Giancarlo Stanton and J.D. Martinez, but there are many more key players who will be wearing a different logo on their hat for the 2018 season. Some of these players include Andrew McCutchen (San Fransisco Giants), Evan Longoria (San Fransisco Giants), Lorenzo Cain (Milwaukee Brewers), and Yu Darvish (Chicago Cubs).
These were all seemingly smart moves for these players new teams, but will they produce like expected? I believe so, and I think that some of these moves can really benefit these teams down the road. One team in particular that I see having a major turn around in 2018 is the San Fransisco Giants. After Madison Bumgarner went down last season, the whole team started to tank. Now with some established veterans in their clubhouse and lineup, I believe that this team will keep their composure better and as a result have a much better season. The NL West may seem like it’s the Dodger’s division to take, and while they may have a good team, the Giants have made some moves that have now put them in a place to make some noise this season.
Photo Sources: https://s.hdnux.com/photos/71/50/24/15107359/5/920×920.jpg