Top 6 MLB Spring Training Storylines

4. How will players returning from injury perform?

While some struggle to stay healthy throughout the Spring, others are looking to March as an opportunity to battle-test their bodies for the first time in months. Off-season workout regiments can only go so far, and it is only when Giancarlo Stanton steps into the batter’s box against a Major League pitcher, or Masahiro Tanaka toes the rubber in game action, that their level of health can be accurately assessed.

Currently, both players appear back to their original form. Stanton recently hit his first home run of the spring, and touts a respectable .894 OPS in less than a dozen games played. In two starts, Tanaka has only allowed two base-runners, striking out five in just under six innings of work.

The oft-injured Troy Tulowitzki is also attempting to prove his relative health, yet the jury remains skeptical. The Rockies shortstop has missed at least thirty games in his career five times – including the last three seasons – but has played in Spring Training each March that followed. Even with a robust 1.152 OPS in this year’s exhibition games, Tulowitzki has done little to alleviate concerns going forward, as nothing matters until he carries into the regular season.

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola