By Patrick Trotti
We know they’ll hit home runs but what about their starting rotation, will Ubaldo Jimenez be enough in the competetive the AL East?
The young guns. Coming off a magical season the defending champs will be asking rookies Jackie bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and third year man (really only one full season of MLB games) Will Middlebrooks to step up and perform everyday for a contending team. Can the trio get it done?
Their infield situation could get very ugly now that Robinson Cano is in the Pacific Northwest. Will Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts, Derek Jeter, and Kelly Johnson play 130+ games each?
Do they try and move David Price now and get prospects back like they did for James Shields or will they go all in this year and keep their ace?
Which R.A. Dickey will show up? The one who was dominant in New York or the one with an almost 5 ERA and 35 home runs allowed?
Will the acquisitions of Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton be enough to bolster an aging lineup and make them relevant again?
Is their pitching legit? Their rotation features four pitchers 29 and younger. Combine that with a shaky closer coming off a bad year and fans of the tribe might be wondering if they’ll ever get back to the mid 90’s glory days.
Are last year’s bullpen woes behind them? They signed Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan to help stabilize the bullpen. If Nathan provides what he did in Texas they could win it all this year.
Is this the year? Every year, or at least every other year for the better part of the past decade, experts have been proclaiming that this is the Royals coming out year. They show flashes but haven’t been steady enough in recent years to warrant the hype.
Do the Twins really think that the signings of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes will make them competitive against the likes of Cleveland and Detroit? They have one starter who posted an ERA of under 4 last year.
How many times will Chris Carter strike out? Last year he set an all-time record by striking out 36.2% of the time.
Will the back of the card stats sync up with the players on the field? Pujols batted 63 points below his career average and josh Hamilton batted 45 points below his career average. If they want to play October baseball these two guys better produce the gaudy numbers that came with them when they signed on.
Does the swap of Scott Kazmir and Jim Johnson equal or exceed that of Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour? The answer will most likely decide the AL West.
Splash in the shallow end? Will all the money they threw at Robinson Cano, Corey Hart, and Fernando Rodney make an impact in the tough AL West or will it just make the team a bit more entertaining?
Even with adding premier hitters Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder the main question is do they have anyone reliable behind Yu Darvish?
The Braves were busy this offseason. They secured most of their young talent with multi year deals. But if B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla put up another year of batting under the mendoza line can their young pitching staff provide quality starts for the entire year?
Are Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez alone worth the price of admission?
When will Sandy Alderson be expected to deliver results? The General Manager of the Mets inherited a mess and has made some shrewd trades but at some point, especially in New York, the future has to turn into reality sooner than later.
They are in the “senior circuit” but will their projected starting lineup make it through the summer healthy? 5 of the 8 hitters in the lineup are 34-36 years old making them the check your fantasy team daily in case of injury team
A great roster on paper meant nothing last year. Now, a new (rookie) manager, a new #4 starter, and some backup players are in the nation’s capitol, but is that enough, is this team really as good as they seem to be or will they be a major letdown once again?
Cubs fans will be treated to some intriguing prospects as early as late this year as well as in the next few years to come. General Manager Theo Epstein has only has three people signed after this year so if they’re not spending money why should the fan?
Billy Hamilton and Aroldis Chapman. One is a freak of a speedster and the other has a lightning bolt for a left arm. But with a new manager and a tough division will the Reds continue their success?
What type of numbers will the post steroid Ryan Braun put up?
Feel good story continued? Will last year’s team that made it to the playoffs continue or will the Pirates fall back into irrelevancy once again?
Just how good can this team be? The Cardinals are loaded with talent now that they’ve upgraded their shortstop and center field positions. Combine an elite pitching staff with the best catcher and throw in one of the league’s top five prospects and you’ve got the makings of a dominant year.
They seem to be stuck in place. Will their offseason moves to get the power hitting Mark Trumbo, the reliable innings eater Bronson Arroyo, and good closer Addison Reed be enough to get back to the playoffs after a down year?
When will the Rockies put Troy Tulowitzki and/or Carlos Gonzalez on the trading block? Imagine what the Rockies could get from the Yankees for Tulo to become their heir apparent to Jeter. CarGo could also bring a nice haul from a team light on hitting.
Like the Nationals and Cardinals, the Dodgers are set up on paper to have a really good year. But will Mattingly be able to control Yasiel Puig? If he can harness that energy properly the Dodgers could take the next step and find themselves in the World Series.
Similar to Colorado, the countdown has already begun for the Padres trading third baseman Chase Headley. Again, some pinstriped team in the Bronx might need a third baseman.
Will the 2012 team show up or last year’s mediocre team? A lot is riding on the right shoulder of Matt Cain, the slimed waistline of Pablo Sandoval, and the continued health of Buster Posey.