2014 MLB Spring Training Underway

Posted on March 25, 2014 by

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The 2014 MLB season has started up with spring training underway. Many teams are looking to bounce back after missing out on playoffs in 2013. There are also teams that are predicted to remain at the top of the league. Big teams that should be back on track for the 2014 season after missing the playoffs last year are the New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, and the Los Angeles Angels.

The New York Yankees had a lot of trouble last season. The much publicized scandal involving Alex Rodriguez and performance-enhancing drugs cast the organization in a negative light. Their captain, Derek Jeter, missed a huge portion of the season due to injury. Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson also missed extended portions of the season. They only ended up with 85 wins last season, falling short of the postseason.

“With the whole Alex Rodriguez scandal in the middle of the season and the injuries to key players, it was hard for them to perform well,” senior Kyle Young said.

The Los Angeles Angels were a huge disappointment last season. With an excellent pitching rotation in Jared Weaver and C.J. Wilson, the team was predicted to be a top contender of the American League. High expectations also abounded for their offensive lineup, which included Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, and Josh Hamilton. Despite an outstanding year from Mike Trout, their offense struggled, and they did not even finish .500. They are expected to bounce back this season by adding David Freese and Raul Ibanez to their lineup.

“I am curious to see how the Angels actually perform this year,” junior Frankie Talirico said.

The Washington Nationals are also looking to bounce back after last season falling 10 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the N.L. East. The Nationals were predicted to win their division last season, and, despite falling short last year, expectations are high again for the team this year.

They have one of the best pitchers in the league today with Stephen Strasburg. Their pitching rotation is also one of the deepest in the league, with Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann putting up ace-worthy numbers in their own right.

The Nationals also have a formidable offensive lineup of mostly homegrown talent that, if it remains healthy, could give them the edge over the Braves in the NL East. Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Ian Desmond are all expected to have big years. They might need one or two more hitters to step up.

Matt Williams came in to replace Davey Johnson as manager in the offseason for the Nats. Although Johnson did a fine job, he disappointed many after his lofty promises of going far into the playoffs fell flat. Williams brings a more realistic, day-to-day approach to the team.

Phillies fans can expect a disappointing year from their team, which is predicted to finish last in the N.L. East.

“I hate the Braves, and watching them win their division was awful.  I would love to see the Nationals win it this year,” junior Matt Hook said.

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