Spring training is known as the pre-season in the MLB and includes practices and multiple exhibition games in the middle of February before the season starts. This is when new players have the chance to attempt to make it onto teams by trying out for specific position spots and also practicing for their time on the field.
Spring training spans over a two-month period until opening day and is considered to be a time when baseball fans count down to the start of a new season. This tradition dates back to 1886, when it was too cold for players to warm up and practice during the winter months in different parts of the country where the teams were from. The first location where spring training took place was in Arkansas, where the climate was warmer, and players weren’t forced to play ball inside gymnasiums. Additional hot spots where spring training was hosted in the following years included California, Florida, and Arizona. Cuba was also known as a desirable location where players enjoyed traveling before kicking off the season. The teams that report to and play in Florida are known as the Cactus League, whereas the teams in Florida are a part of the Grapefruit League.
The Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and Toronto Blue Jays are a part of the Grapefruit League.
Catchers and pitchers traditionally report earlier than other players because there are typically a lot more pitchers to go through than with other positions. Pitchers also need more time to build their arm strength compared to hitters.
Not only is spring training an exciting time for players, but it’s also when fans can become spectators and watch the live action. Fans are invited to watch the 30 teams play in Florida or Arizona and see their favorite players on the field. Players are known to interact with fans due to the casual environment where stats aren’t yet a factor. It’s common to find players taking photos with fans and signing autographs.
The lower cost of prices for spring training games is also appealing to fans who can save more money and also travel to a warm destination. It can be fairly easy to obtain box seats for multiple games at a competitive price, which is exciting for fans who look forward to the ritual year after year.
Why is spring training important?
Spring training is significant because it allows new players to have a chance to make it onto a team and show off their skills. It’s also when established players can practice their skills and prepare for playing competitively in the upcoming season. Pitchers have time to build their arm strength to help them have an advantage as they get ready for future games in the MLB.
For the players
For the players, spring training is a chance to build their endurance and get off on the right foot once the season begins. Each workout helps players get back into shape and build more muscle mass as they spend time on the field. Many players are able to increase their weight-lifting goals, which improves their performance for each upcoming game to ensure they can become more competitive.
Pitchers utilize spring training to build their arm strength to increase the speed of their pitches. They work hard to ramp up their innings and pitches to prepare for opening day. Pitchers remain focused on slowly increasing their workload without encountering problems.
Spring training is also when they can increase their base running to ensure they have a speed advantage. This leads to more home runs and better field agility with ladder exercises, lateral drills, and sprints.
It can be challenging to get back into the groove of playing baseball for players who have been on break and have been relaxing. Spring training can allow players to get their heads back in the game and can shift their focus back to the sport to help them play more competitively.
Players can also be seen by team execs who are looking for new talent. This can mean getting an invitation to join the club and secure a sought-after position as an MLB player.
For the teams
Spring training is a critical time for teams because it’s when they have the chance to improve their teamwork and establish trust among the players for better performance. It’s when they can work on their leadership development by putting together the right talent on the field.
There are many different activities that players participate in during spring training, which help them get back into shape and prepare their bodies with conditioning exercises. Alternate conditioning exercises that are often practiced include chain runs, delay runs, and 40-yard sprints.
Team-building exercises are also an important component of spring training and encourage everyone to develop stronger relationships with one another. Ultimately, spring training is a chance to lay the foundation for a productive season while taking advantage of the warm weather. It’s not only rigorous but involves plenty of fun that improves the mood of team players before the start of the season.
What goes on during spring training?
There are many different types of activities that are hosted during spring training that works on conditioning players. Most players have a set schedule that includes a series of exhibition games and practices.
There’s a high level of energy and excitement at spring training as both the players and fans anticipate the start of a new season. It’s the locker rooms become packed, and the weight rooms are busy as players begin weightlifting. Most complexes have one main gym where players exercise and work out. Players also show up at the batting cages as early as 7 a.m. as they start working on their swing.
Depending on the organization, some players are blended together, whereas others are separated. It’s common for minor leaguers to wait their turn to work out if a big leaguer is lifting weights in the gym.
This is when pitchers commonly do a lot of PFP drills and begin throwing to batters. Batters start spending more time in the boxes after the long break. Getting comfortable with spending time in the box comes quickly for some players. Swings and timing quickly start to improve in the first few weeks.
The routine is consistent throughout the six to eight months that are spent training. Players wake up early and drive to the complex to put on their uniforms, stretch, and start warming up. Everyone splits into different groups to spend time practicing in the outfield, do a bit of infield work, and also practice baserunning.
Spring training is also when players try out for new spots that are available on different teams. They have a chance to show off their skills and abilities while playing exhibition games. Managers spend time watching potential players compete to determine if they want to acquire anyone as they build and modify their teams.
Pre-season games that are hosted aren’t counted in the official standings and are scheduled to help players prepare for the coming season. The pre-season games don’t contribute to the players’ stats but still allow fans to anticipate how well their team will play in the coming months.
The games are often scheduled from February or March to April, allowing players to spend time outdoors in warm settings.
The outcome of the pre-season games doesn’t influence where the teams rank once the season starts, but it still allows fans to be entertained by the live action and also consider the statistical indicators that hint which players and team will come out on top.
Many fans attend pre-season games to see some of the top MLB teams play as they follow the spring training schedule, which includes getting a firsthand look at the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and Toronto Blue Jays.
Fans can also get the chance to watch their favorite team participate in 2022 MLB spring training. The spring training action is exciting to watch as each team warms up and begins improving its skills and techniques in a warm and beautiful climate.
Training starts once pitchers and catchers begin reporting to camp as they start to participate in workouts each day. The training is open to the public, with plenty of seats available in the stands for fans to fill. The easy access to the players before and after workouts also makes it a chance to score an autograph or shake their hands. Most practices start earlier in the day, around 9:40 a.m.
Spring training isn’t just a chance to escape the freezing temperatures in different parts of the country but also allows players to build their mental and physical strength for the season. By following the MLB spring training, it can be easy to make a trip to the destination and explore the local area.