The romance of spring training only goes so far. Sure, the weather is nice. The pace is less frenetic than the regular season. Sportswriters love the boost toward elite status in their favorite hotel rewards programs. But this is not an angst-free time.
Opening Day is just 49 days away. Until then, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi keep you up to date
For little-known relievers, one pitch in a March game could determine whether they earn $480,000 in the majors or $60,000 at Triple-A. For aging veterans on minor league contracts, a trip to the manager's office may mean retirement. And there's a lot at stake for some of the most familiar names in baseball who must prove themselves all over again.
Maybe they are coming off dreadful 2011 seasons. (Here's looking at you, Adam Dunn.) Or maybe they are entering contract years, with the difference between "good" and "great" measured in tens of millions of dollars. (No pressure, Andre Ethier.) Either way, there's nothing pastoral about one's professional future being questioned on a daily basis.
So, as we near the grand opening of spring training, here are 12 players set to face heavy scrutiny. —John Paul Morosi
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Courtesy of FOXSports.comThe opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.