Almost a week into the exhibition games of spring training, some of the storylines of the upcoming season are gaining clarity, and among them is the case for which teams might surprise us by making the postseason after missing it in 2017.
In the National League, the Phillies have a strong case thanks to their youth, and in the American League, the addition of a few key veterans has the Angels poised to make their own surprise run at the postseason.
The Angels acquired Justin Upton at the waiver deadline last season, and he has been a steady power hitter for about a decade. Upton’s defense has always been a little wobbly, but with a career ISO of .210, he can more than make up for a weak glove with his bat. Upton was acquired to try to make a push for the wild card last season, but his greatest contribution to the Angels will come with what he can offer over a full season.
In Green Bay, Kizer will have time to develop and the Packers can attempt to mold him into the player the Browns thought they were getting when they took him at No. 52 overall.
Aaron Rodgers is still the starter, but the Packers saw very little to believe that Brett Hundley is a player worth developing much longer. Kizer can be that player and learn from one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks without the pressure that he had in Cleveland.
If pitchers and catchers could communicate with each other with actual words, with headsets or earpieces, the trips to the mound wouldn’t be necessary. Opposing teams can’t steal signs if there aren’t signs to steal, y’know? And if there are no signs to steal, there’s no need to be worried about stolen signs and far fewer reasons for time-consuming mound visits.