Ok, so I'm going to try to stay positive throughout this post. Here's some things to watch for at spring training and beyond this season.

Starting Pitching:

1. In spring training I think both Turnbull and Funkhouser push for a spot in the rotation and one of them makes it. If it's Funkhouser look for Turnbull to go to the pen to start the season as the long arm.

2. Ross and Moore- Both will start out on the roster but one will fail, IMO. My hope is that Moore shows strong because a LH starter is more valuable than RH starters at the trade deadline. If it's Ross we may be able to get a Fieres type deal but Moore would be a bit more valuable.

3. Zimmermann- I think this is the year he finally breaks the curse. I don't know who cursed him but man did they curse him. The problem is will any team trust his health enough to trade for him and his contract. It's possible and I have my fingers crossed he will bring some good prospects back.

4. Boyd/Fulmer- One of both of these guys won't be back next season and will get dealt at the deadline. Fulmer is younger and would be better to keep another year so my hope is that Boyd continues to improve and builds trade value.

5. Look for the young arms to start coming this year and keep coming. I think Funkhouser and Turnbull will be the start with Burrows coming behind them shortly. Oh, don't sleep on Grayson Long either. Kid is a workhorse that "if" completely healthy should make it to the D this year.

Bullpen:

1. Shane Greene will be the biggest asset at the trade deadline. I have a feeling he is going to revert back to his 2017 form or even better which will make him a high priority bullpen guy at the deadline. Could bring back a very nice deal if he does.

2. As mentioned, I think Turnbull will start out as the long guy in the pen but we have plenty of young arms that are on their way (Garcia, Houston, and others). Victor Alcantara, while not exciting or will strike people out, has become a solid BP guy. He's crafty and has a great SO/BB rate. I see him turning in another good season.

3. Ross or Moore, one will eventually be relegated to the pen but I'm not sure how that works out. I guess this will be one we have to wait to see.

4. Jimenez, the big fella, will be solid and after the Greene trade will step right in. They say he's conditioning better this off season so look for him to be steady throughout the long haul.

Catcher:

1. Trust in Greiner. He'll be a solid .230-.240 hitter with some power. He's very poised and good defensively. Won't be exciting but will be a rock behind the plate. Cheaper, taller, version of McCannon.

2. Hicks to me is all we need at back up. The guy is a good ball player. I see him backing up at C, 1B, and DH. Look forward to seeing him play.

Infield:

1. Look for Miggy to get most of the 1B reps with a steady mix of DH. Lets hope his heads in the season and he missed the game while he was gone. Like I've pointed out in other posts, he's here for a long time so lets just get his head on straight and point him in the right direction.

2. Second base should be an easy decision (Goodrum) but it seems as if they want to make it difficult by bringing in a ton of trash to compete with Nico. The last thing any of us want to see is Kozma, Beckham, Dixon, or Lugo at 2B for a steady amount of time.

3. SS is what it is due to the signing of Mercer. Let's just get it over with this year and get one of our young guys in for 2020.

4. Candalerio is the third baseman and deserves to be for now. I want to see him get some 1B in though during the year as I see his future there and Miggy's at DH.

Outfield:

1. Casty is here for the season now due to AA scaring away any chance we had at getting a good return. Unless he is having an "outstanding" season (yes, in the field too) then he will be with us all year. I like Nick so it doesn't bother me other than the fact we don't get anything but a first rounder for him in the draft.

2. CF is where I differ from just about anyone I've read. I don't see Jones getting a full time job done. Yes, his defense is great but his bat (mostly pitch recognition and strike outs) won't be able to keep him in as a full time OF. I see a platoon right from the start with Robson or Woodrow both LH bats and good outfielders. Eventually, probably by year end, you'll see Daz Cameron as the RH platoon guy with Robson or Woodrow. I just don't have faith in Jones.

3. Stewart is your LF for the future. I think he did well in his first taste of the MLB. Hopefully his defense will improve and he will show more power in his bat this season. I don't have much doubt he won't succeed with the bat. Defense may be another story.

4. Dustin Peterson over Mahtook would be my preference for the additional OF, especially if we have Robson or Woodrow for CF platoon. Mahtook really plays hard but it just doesn't seem he's moving the needle up.