Spring training 1997

February 16, 1997|By Peter Schmuck

American League

East Division


Site: Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stadium

Manager: Davey Johnson (2nd season).

Full squad reports: Wednesday.

New blood: P Jimmy Key, SS Mike Bordick, OF Eric Davis, P Scott Kamieniecki.

Old news: P David Wells, OF Bobby Bonilla, 1B/DH Eddie Murray, OF Mike Devereaux, 3B Todd Zeile, C Mark Parent, P Roger McDowell.

What's up this spring: Durability of Key and Davis could be big issues this spring, but biggest story will be Cal Ripken's moving to third base to make room for Bordick at shortstop.

Boston Red Sox

Site: City of Palms Park, Fort Myers, Fla.

Manager: Jimy Williams (1st season).

Full squad reports: Saturday.

New blood: P Bret Saberhagen, OF Shane Mack, P Steve Avery, P John Wasdin.

Old news: P Roger Clemens, OF/DH Jose Canseco, OF Mike Greenwell.

What's up this spring: Williams will spend the spring trying to piece together a decent pitching staff and trying to figure out if he has enough offensive punch to allow young Nomar Garciaparra to supplant unhappy John Valentin at shortstop.

Detroit Tigers

Site: Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, Fla.

Manager: Buddy Bell (2nd season).

Full squad reports: Thursday.

New blood: OF Vince Coleman, P Dan Miceli, P Todd Jones, SS Orlando Miller, OF Brian Hunter, C Brian Johnson, P Willie Blair.

Old news: OF Ruben Sierra, C Brad Ausmus, P Jose Lima, P Joey Eischen, SS Alan Trammell.

What's up this spring: The Tigers are building from the bottom up, so Bell will spend a large part of the spring trying to put together a pitching staff. The organization will be watching the progress of promising pitchers Justin Thompson and Mike Drumright closely.

New York Yankees

Site: Legends Field, Tampa, Fla.

Manager: Joe Torre (2nd season).

Full squad reports: Wednesday.

New blood: P David Wells, P Mike Stanton, OF Mark Whiten.

Old news: P John Wetteland, P Jimmy Key, C Jim Leyritz, 2B Tony Fernandez.

What's up this spring: The outcome of the season could hinge on the performance of expensive left-handers Wells and Kenny Rogers. Wells won't be able to pitch right away because he broke his hand in an off-season fight. Rogers needs to get out of George Steinbrenner's doghouse. Should be an interesting camp.

Toronto Blue Jays

Site: Dunedin (Fla.) Stadium.

Manager: Cito Gaston (9th season).

Full squad reports: Thursday.

New blood: P Roger Clemens, OF Orlando Merced, 2B Carlos Garcia, P Dan Plesac, C Benito Santiago, P Robert Person.

Old news: 1B John Olerud.

What's up this spring: The spring performance of Clemens, defending Cy Young Award winner Pat Hentgen and 1996 ERA champion Juan Guzman should give an indication of how serious a contender the Blue Jays might be. Gaston probably is eager to see how Merced looks after off-season surgery.

Central Division

Chicago White Sox

Site: Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, Fla.

Manager: Terry Bevington (3rd season).

Full squad reports: Thursday.

New blood: OF Albert Belle, P Jaime Navarro, P Roger McDowell, P Doug Drabek.

Old news: P Alex Fernandez, DH Danny Tartabull, P Kevin Tapani.

What's up this spring: Belle figures to be the center of attention early in the spring, but Bevington will be focused on his outfield alignment -- more specifically, who will play right field -- and the starting rotation.

Cleveland Indians

Site: Chain O' Lakes Park, Winter Haven, Fla.

Manager: Mike Hargrove (7th season).

Full squad reports: Tomorrow.

New blood: 3B Matt Williams, P Mike Jackson, OF Kevin Mitchell, OF Chad Curtis, 2B Tony Fernandez, 2B Robby Thompson.

Old news: OF Albert Belle, IF Jose Vizcaino, IF Jeff Kent, P Julian Tavarez, P Dennis Martinez.

What's up this spring: Should be rather peaceful without Belle, but Kenny Lofton contract situation figures to be an issue.

Hargrove's biggest decision may be the choice of a fifth starter, from a field of candidates that includes promising Bartolo Colon, Brian Anderson and Albie Lopez.

Kansas City Royals

Site: Baseball City Stadium, Haines City, Fla.

Manager: Bob Boone (3rd season).

Full squad reports: Wednesday.

New blood: DH Chili Davis, IF Jeff King, SS Jay Bell.

Old news: P Mark Gubicza, 3B Joe Randa.

What's up this spring: The off-season brought a slight course correction for the youth-oriented Royals, who added three veterans to their developing club. Boone has some offensive punch now but still has to sort out an uncertain pitching situation.

Milwaukee Brewers

Site: Compadre Stadium, Chand- ler, Ariz.

Manager: Phil Garner (6th season).

Full squad reports: Thursday.

New blood: No major moves.

Old news: No major moves.

What's up this spring: The Brewers made most of their major moves during the 1996 season, but Garner still has a new set of challenges this spring -- like finding a way to compete without much offensive punch. Biggest question: Who will play center field, Gerald Williams or Chuck Carr?

Minnesota Twins

Site: Lee County Sports Complex, Fort Myers, Fla.

Manager: Tom Kelly (12th season).

Full squad reports: Friday.

New blood: C Terry Steinbach, P Bob Tewksbury, 1B Greg Colbrunn.

Old news: C Matt Walbeck.

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