MLB Teams With Spring Training Questions
As pitchers and catchers begin to report to Major League Baseball spring training, teams around the league prepare for a season in which they hope to contend for a World Series Championship. However, some of those teams have some important questions to answer in the spring before they can be considered contenders for MLB’s biggest prize. These are the three teams with the biggest questions to answer heading into this season.
1. New York Yankees
While the New York Yankees did a good job of bringing in two key pieces in Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman, the team still has a number of questions to answer at positions other than the ones they answered Castro’s second base and in the bullpen with Chapman. Mainly, their ability to score runs is a concern that could take a roster that is beginning to come together and make into one responsible for yet another failure of a season in the Bronx.
Last season, in the MLB wild card round, the Yankees’ season ended at home against the Houston Astros, who simply shut the Yankees down offensively in that game. New York simply didn’t have a batting order good enough to put up runs consistently, and that lineup hasn’t changed significantly enough to believe that they can all of a sudden become a good enough scoring team to win the American League East.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
They used to be one of the worst teams in MLB year in and year out, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have turned things around to the point where they are consistently a playoff team now. And while that improvement is a positive step, it hasn’t been enough for them to win a championship. The question surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates now is whether or not they’ll be able to make a leap forward despite not making a big move to vastly improve their team.
In the National League wild card round last season, the Pirates lost to the Chicago Cubs, who ended up losing in the National League Championship Series to the eventual World Series runner-up New York Mets. While Pittsburgh has been very good in recent seasons, their finish to the 2015 season looked like the rest of their recent playoff trips, as they were able to make the playoffs but weren’t able to make a deep run once they arrived there.
3. New York Mets
Everything seemed to break the right way for the New York Mets last season until they got to the World Series, where the Kansas City Royals decimated them to claim an MLB championship. The big question for the Mets heading into 2016 is how they plan on following up on last year’s success, fully knowing that they aren’t likely to get an historic postseason out of Daniel Murphy again, as Murphy was the engine behind their run to the World Series last year.
All three of these playoff teams have significant questions to answer heading into spring training, questions that could be the difference between mediocrity and immortality.
By:Jason M. Sanin