It does not matter how cold it is in western Pennsylvania, it starts to feel warmer and sunnier as soon as spring training begins. Pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton today, and the first workout is scheduled for tomorrow at noon. It is time to get flooded with irrational optimism. It is time to feel good when walking outside into the 25-degree Pittsburgh air. It is time for baseball.
One thing that caught my eye was this excerpt from today’s Post-Gazette:
Second baseman Freddy Sanchez, hampered by a wonky shoulder and subpar vision most of last year, remains uncertain about both, though guardedly optimistic.
There are many folks, myself included, that expect Sanchez to bounce back near his 2007 numbers this season. Freddy’s BABIP was a little lower than expected last year, indicating some improvement may be likely due to regression. He also played most, if not all, of the season with an injured shoulder. Being healthy in 2009 should greatly improve his production. But the statement above leaves me skeptical that he will be. He has had an entire off-season to rest his shoulder, and he is still unsure of its condition. Something tells me that we may have seen the last of a healthy, productive Freddy Sanchez. Now 31, injuries have been a major issue in his career. I will be keeping a close eye on this during spring training, desperate for some encouraging signs.