On April 5th, the 2015 MLB season will start with the opening game between the St. Louis Cardinals visiting the Chicago Cubs and the season will close on October 4th, 2015. This year the 86th edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game will take place on July 14th in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Some of the latest news and updates on the coming up professional baseball season include questions like: Will the Yankees end their postseason drought? Can Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout keep up their ridiculous seasons? and what are your predictions for the upcoming season?
Click here for a very interesting video on the top 2015 MLB season predictions.
Spring training performance is not always the best indicator for regular-season success, but we are nonetheless often impressed or disappointed by how an individual player or entire team performs during the MLB preseason.
Focusing on the team side of things, there are a handful of clubs of which little is expected in 2015 that have a chance to turn some heads this spring for one reason or another. With that in mind, what follows is a look at 3 under-the-radar teams poised to impress this spring.
After three consecutive 100-loss seasons, the young roster took a big step forward in 2013. It won 19 more games than the previous season to improve to 70-92 and actually finished ahead of an injury-ravaged Texas Rangers team in the standings. source: bleachreport.com
That was enough for the team to finally start spending some money this offseason. The Astros added the likes of Evan Gattis, Colby Rasmus, Jed Lowrie and Luis Valbuena to shore up the offense while overhauling the bullpen with the additions of Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek, Joe Thatcher, Will Harris and Roberto Hernandez.
However, the real storyline to watch will be the continued emergence of the Astros’ high-end young talent, particularly a healthy George Springer.
The Arizona Diamondbacks followed up a surprising 2011 NL West title with back-to-back 81-81 seasons, but the wheels fell off this past season when they finished with a league-worst 98 losses.
That led to some house cleaning from the top down, with Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart now pulling the strings in the front office and Chip Hale hired as the new manager this offseason. Center fielder A.J. Pollock was in the midst of a breakout season when a fractured hand cost him 87 games, though his absence did allow David Peralta and Ender Inciarte to flash some intriguing potential.
The starting rotation is the big question mark, as newcomer Jeremy Hellickson and Josh Collmenter look to be the only locks at this point.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays lost a ton this offseason, starting at the top with general manager Andrew Friedman and manager Joe Maddon. They also traded Ben Zobrist, Wil Myers, Sean Rodriguez, Matt Joyce and Joel Peralta.
As a result, most have them picked to finish in the AL East cellar, and understandably so, with an offense that features Evan Longoria and little else in the way of impact bats.
Alex Cobb will step into the role of staff ace now that David Price is gone, while Drew Smyly (25), Chris Archer (26) and Jake Odorizzi (24) are just entering their respective primes and coming off of strong seasons themselves.
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