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Legends On Deck

LOD Daily Cactus Report 2/12/18

The LOD Daily Cactus Report is your source for Cactus League news throughout Spring Training. Check back for game reports highlighting the top performers and news surrounding the Cactus League’s fifteen teams.

Welcome to the first edition of the LOD Daily Cactus Report. The goal with this series is to keep you updated on the top stories coming out of the Cactus League during 2018 Spring Training. In this series you will be able to find scores from each game with highlights and a top performer, as well as any news that may involve the 15 clubs that call Arizona their Spring home.

We are just two days away from Pitchers and Catchers having their first workout of 2018, at least for most of our clubs, and while there is still very little news to report, we wanted to put together a little primer to get you excited for the 2018 Cactus League season. Here is some important information regarding all 15 clubs.


Arizona Diamondbacks

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 21 vs. Arizona State

Home Facility: Salt River Fields (Scottsdale)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: J.D. Martinez played a key role in the Dbacks 2017 run to the postseason and after just 62 games in an Arizona uniform, he is a Diamondback no more. There were no major acquisitions in Arizona this offseason, but, despite many trade rumors, the club enters 2017 with their ace, Zack Greinke still intact. The club also has a new backstop in town as they signed veteran free agent Alex Avila to a two year deal.


Chicago Cubs

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 @ Brewers

Home Facility: Sloan Park (Mesa)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: The big news coming out of the North Side happened just days ago as the Cubs signed top free agent pitcher, Yu Darvish, to a six year deal. They will now open the season with arguably the best rotation in the National League.


Chicago White Sox

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 @ Dodgers

Home Facility: Camelback Ranch (Phoenix)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: For White Sox fans, 2018 will be all about embracing the rebuild for another year and having fun watching some young ball players get their shot. Enjoy watching the development, you will have a much greater appreciation for Eloy Jimenez launching balls all over the South Side and Michael Kopech shutting down lineups down the road.


Cincinnati Reds

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 @ Indians

Home Facility: Goodyear Ballpark (Goodyear)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: Zack Cozart was the highlight of the Reds 2017 campaign, excluding Joey Votto antics of course, as he earned his first All-Star game appearance at age 31. The Reds shortstop has since moved on and the focus for 2018 will once again be on seeing if the youngsters can produce, especially the pitchers. I am interested to see how Brandon Finnegan looks after a string of unfortunate injuries has set the promising pitcher back. Look for Finnegan to make a solid contribution if he stays healthy.
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Cleveland Indians

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 15

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 vs Reds

Home Facility: Goodyear Ballpark (Goodyear)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: There is no doubt the Indians will be a popular pick to win the AL this year, and rightfully so. However, they do have some intriguing things to watch as we head in the 2018 campaign. Will the addition of Yonder Alonso put the Indians lineup over the top? Is this the year Mike Clevinger makes his way into the club’s crowded rotation for good? But, the top storyline for the Indians will be seeing how Jose Ramirez builds on an absolutely amazing 2017 season.


Colorado Rockies

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 vs Diamondbacks

Home Facility: Salt River Fields (Scottsdale)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: The Rockies made a splash this Winter with a huge investment in their bullpen. The additions of closer Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw, plus the resigning of Jake McGee will make for a strong pen to backup the young rotation.


Kansas City Royals

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 24 vs Dodgers

Home Facility: Surprise Recreation Campus (Surprise)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: It appears as though the club has not given up hope of signing first baseman Eric Hosmer. The 2015 World Series champs are now just a shell of themselves as we head into 2018. There are a few popular names still with the club, and many Royals fans hope Hosmer will be one of them. His agent Scott Boras is set on getting his client a big pay day and there is still a very good chance that pay day may come from the Royals.


Los Angeles Angels

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 @ Athletics

Home Facility: Tempe Diablo Stadium (Tempe)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: Where to begin? Obviously the signing of Shohei Ohtani was huge for the Angels, but they made plenty of other moves to solidify themselves as real playoff contenders. The additions of not only Ohtani, but Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler have given the Angels one of the best infields in the game. Not to mention a nice combo of Justin Upton and some guy named Mike Trout roaming the outfield.


Los Angeles Dodgers

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 vs White Sox

Home Facility: Camelback Ranch (Phoenix)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: Virtually the whole crew is back for another run at the World Series in 2018, with the exception of one big name pitcher. An intriguing aspect of the Dodgers roster, especially this Spring, is the fifth rotation spot. Starting pitching depth has been a real strength for the club in years past, but a little bit of that depth has moved on. Look for top prospect Walker Buehler to make a run at the opening day roster as the fifth starter.


Milwaukee Brewers

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 15

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 20

First Game: *Split Squad* Feb 23 @ Giants and vs Cubs

Home Facility: Maryvale Baseball Park (Phoenix)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: The Brewers are gearing up for a real run at the NL Central in 2018 as their “rebuild” has seemingly come to an end. The addition of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich has been well-documented and now the club has six outfielders on their roster that could be everyday MLB starters. Surely the club will deal some of that outfield depth in an attempt to add pitching, but who knows, maybe some position changes are on the way. Regardless, the Brewers are going to be a fun team to watch in 2018.
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Oakland Athletics

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 vs Angels

Home Facility: Hohokam Stadium (Mesa)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: While none of them will put Oakland in contention in 2018, the A’s made some solid moves this offseason. They added Yusmeiro Petit to the bullpen, who had a career year in 2017, and outfielder Stephen Piscotty. A lot of eyes will be on Piscotty in 2018 after he struggled to a 92 wRC+ in a 2017 campaign that saw some injury issues.


San Diego Padres

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 vs Mariners

Home Facility: Peoria Sports Complex (Peoria)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: Can they get a deal done with their top target in Eric Hosmer? It seems like there isn’t much of a market for Hosmer outside of the Padres and Royals, so it will be interesting to see how this thing plays out. It will certainly be a storyline Padres fans will be watching closely in Spring Training. What we do know is that the Padres have a new left side of the infield after acquiring shortstop Freddy Galvis and former Padre third baseman, Chase Headley. The Padres will also be relying heavily on Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe to live up to the hype this season.


San Francisco Giants

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 14

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 19

First Game: Feb 23 vs Brewers

Home Facility: Scottsdale Stadium (Scottsdale)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: The Giants are taking a unique approach as they look to contend in the 2018 season with veterans who may be past their prime. While everyone around baseball is looking to get younger, the Giants added former MVP, Andrew McCutchen and former Rookie of the Year, Evan Longoria. We will have to see if this move pays off after making deals from what was already one of the worst farm systems in baseball.


Seattle Mariners

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 15

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 20

First Game: Feb 23 @ Padres

Home Facility: Peoria Sports Complex (Peoria)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: The rotation will be the key to the Mariners season. If James Paxton can continue to produce like an ace and Felix Hernandez is anywhere close to the pitcher he used to be, the lineup should be able to carry them the rest of the way. The Mariners were the most injured team in 2017 so if they can all stay on the field, it will be a much better summer in the Northwest. Plus, the Dee Gordon position change should be interesting.


Texas Rangers

Pitchers and Catchers First Workout: Feb 15

Full-Squad First Workout: Feb 20

First Game: Feb 24 @ Cubs

Home Facility: Surprise Recreation Campus (Surprise)

Top Storyline Heading into Spring Training: The club’s rotation was pieced together with some short term veteran arms. GM Jon Daniels has been adamant about not making any big splashes, at least since Greinke trade talks fell through. JD has also said the club will not deal top prospects like in years past as they build towards the future. Still, the Rangers expect to compete in a tough AL West this year, even with that uniquely constructed rotation. Outside of that, Willie Calhoun will be a name to watch out for. There are high expectations for Calhoun’s rookie campaign.  

Get ready folks, the Cactus League season is right around the corner and we will have games before you know it. Baseball is back!

Jake Berry
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Jake Berry

Contributing Writer at Legends On Deck®
Jake resides in Carrollton, GA and loves everything baseball. He is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan and enjoys traveling to watch their Minor League teams. He graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management. Jake is also a certified personal trainer and has a passion for fitness and weight lifting. You can find his personal site at berrysbaseball.com

You can also reach out to Jake at jberry@legendsondeck.com
Jake Berry
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