Opening Day is on Sunday, April 3. It's one of my favorite days of the year, and I plan on watching baseball all day long. Starting pitchers are being announced throughout the league, and roster moves are being made.
The Red Sox had a pretty easy decision when announcing the Opening Day starter in David Price, which we knew since the day he was signed.
Clay Buchholz started Sunday's Spring Training game, along with quite a few other Red Sox probable Opening Day starters. Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo all started as well.
The Sox ended up winning the ballgame despite a ninth inning push by the Orioles. Travis Shaw stood out when he subbed in for Ortiz. Shaw went three for three with a run and two RBI's.
Buchholz was the most interesting part of the game to me, though. I thought he pitched pretty well and just didn't get a lot of help from the defense. Bogaerts bobbled a would-be double play, and the sun and wind were an obvious reason the Sox' outfielders had trouble in the outfielder.
Buchholz started on Opening Day last season, but he'll be the number two starter this season behind the obvious choice in David Price.
As we all know, Buchholz is a streaky pitcher that can't stay on the field. He's had his moments of dominance, like in 2013, when he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA. He's also had his bad spurts, like his 2014 season when he went 8-11 with a 5.34 ERA.
Buchholz also has never thrown 200 innings in a season, and that's my biggest worry about him. The closest he came was in 2012 when he threw 189.1 innings.
Hopefully he can stay on the field this season. I think with less pressure to be an ace, he can have a great season.
I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about Spring Training. The games really don't matter. The starters go out after a few innings or at bats. A veteran like David Ortiz took three games to even make an appearance.
So why do we still watch? Why do we care? I'm watching a Baltimore Orioles v. Toronto Blue Jays game with maybe three players I recognize still playing in the sixth inning as I write this. Games only started on March 2, and I've already heard announcers tell viewers not to pay attention to performance or numbers in these games.
Spring Training is interesting because we, as fans, get to see players working to win a spot and we get to see the future of our team.
You will often see young hitters hustling for an extra base on an outfielder's bobble. You don't see that kind of thing from veterans. So that in itself is fun to watch.
Then there's the future of our team. Yoan Moncada, who won't be playing in the MLB for a few years in the best case scenario and didn't even get a big league invite for Spring Training, made an appearance earlier this week.
He entered as a pinch runner and went two for two with a single and a double.
Another reason Spring Training is interesting for the Red Sox this season is Hanley's move to first. The Red Sox game against the Rays today wasn't aired on television, but Twitter told me how that seems to be going.