With the Grapefruit League under way, here are a few friendly reminders for navigating the beast that is spring training. These notes are applicable for fantasy baseball, reality baseball, and life in general...
Do: Pay attention to position battles and playing time (with a special emphasis on positional eligibility if you are a fantasy player.) Make sure your sleepers are set up to get regular at-bats, and watch out for platoon situations brewing!!!!
Don't: Pay attention to the stats for the first few weeks or fall in . Most pitchers are trying to locate fastballs and won't mix in many off-speed pitches until later. Veterans honestly don't care about spring training until about March 28th.... Also, younger position players typically start fast because they started workouts a week or two earlier and are looking to make a name for themselves. The fact that Brandon Allen is batting 1.000 means very little for your fantasy team. I promise.
Do: Enjoy the return of baseball after a grueling off season of .....box scores, the crack of the bat, checking out the new faces on your team...
Don't: Believe the spring hype and optimism. Everyone is in the best shape of their life. Literally everyone had corrective eye surgery. Everyone throws a new pitch, and 90% of them or a cutter or a slurve that you will never see once the real games start. Everyone is feeling ten years younger and a step quicker. Everyone will lie to your face.
Do: Pay attention to manager's statements regarding the lineup or running philosophy. If Matheny says the Cardinals are going to run more often, watch for this in spring. If Ichiro is expected to bat 3rd, watch to see if he'll stick there.
Don't: Get carried away. It's a marathon not a sprint, and most of your draft preparation should be done by this point. Don't adjust your fantasy rankings daily and the only adjustments should be injuries/questions regarding playing time as stated above. Do not fret. Sit back and relax.