MLB Spring Training 2013: All 30 MLB Teams' Mid-March Status Report

Doug Mead@@Sports_A_HolicCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2013

MLB Spring Training 2013: All 30 MLB Teams' Mid-March Status Report

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    Having reached mid-March, MLB teams have just two-plus weeks left in spring training to prepare for the 2013 regular season.

    With the World Baseball Classic coming to a conclusion early next week, each team will have its full complement of players back in camp. There will still be more than enough time to make proper evaluations and final determinations before teams depart from Arizona and Florida.

    Here is a status report for each MLB team as we head into the final days of spring training. Outlooks for the starting rotation, bullpen and lineup, as well as health and prospect reports will all be included. Each component will be given a score of between 1 and 10.

    Note: Statistics courtesy of MLB.com and Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted. Prospect rankings courtesy of Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. Injury reports courtesy of CBSSports.com and ESPN.com unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Diamondbacks

1 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 8

    Starting pitcher Daniel Hudson is on the 60-day disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery. He likely won't be back until the All-Star break at the earliest, so any production the Diamondbacks get from him this season is a bonus.

    Right fielder Cody Ross suffered a calf strain in early March and can't resume weight-bearing exercises of any kind until next week. His status for Opening Day remains unclear.

    Wade Miley suffered what many pitchers go through after two or three starts in spring training. The Diamondbacks will of course monitor his progress, but Miley has admitted to suffering from a dead arm in the past and was able to work through it. He looks to be on schedule for an April 3 start.

    All in all, the Diamondbacks have thus far come through spring training relatively unscathed medically.

    Rotation

    Score: 7

    The rotation, with the exception of Miley, has gotten its work in thus far, with a healthy competition ongoing for the fifth and final spot between Patrick Corbin, Randall Delgado and Tyler Skaggs. Corbin has the upper hand at this point.

    Bullpen

    Score: 9

    The bullpen has been completely healthy and getting its work in. Arizona's 'pen will have a different look with two left-handers in Tony Sipp and Matt Reynolds. If Heath Bell returns strong from last year's disaster in Miami, this unit could be Arizona's biggest asset.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    Didi Gregorius finally made his way back to the lineup after experiencing pain in his right elbow. Thus far, he's looked good with the bat, hitting .375 through six games. Ross' current calf strain could potentially have him uncertain for the start of the season as well.

    Adam Eaton is making a strong bid for a starting spot, and newcomer Martin Prado is back from the WBC and will have plenty of time to get re-acclimated at third base after playing left field for Venezuela.

    Prospects

    Score: 6

    Tyler Skaggs has been shaky in his bid to win the final starting spot in the rotation. He's currently posting a 12.79 through three appearances.

    Zeke Spruill has looked outstanding, posting a 1.29 in his four outings. Archie Bradley gave up a run on two hits in his spring training debut.

    Adam Eaton looks like he's ready to bust out after hitting .370 thus far with two home runs and nine RBI. Third base prospect Matt Davidson has been up and down, hitting .200 with no homers and three RBI.

Atlanta Braves

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    Health Status

    Score: 7

    Catcher Brian McCann is progressing in his return from shoulder surgery, but he likely won't make his season debut until mid-April. Shortstop Paul Janish is also recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and likely won't make his return until May.

    Relief pitcher Jordan Walden went down early in camp with a bulging disc. Walden recently received an epidural shot and could return some time in the next week. If all goes well, he'll be ready to go on Opening Day.

    Eric O'Flaherty was suffering from a strained left groin, but he's already returned, throwing a scoreless inning earlier this week against the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Rotation

    Score: 9.5

    Solid progress by the Braves starting rotation with no setbacks. Julio Teheran has looked terrific in his bid to lock down the final rotation spot, posting a 1.29 ERA in four starts.

    The rotation will receive a major boost when Brandon Beachy returns midseason from Tommy John surgery.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    Early injury scares from O'Flaherty and Walden looked ominous, but O'Flaherty has already returned and Walden could be back shortly as well. This is an outstanding unit that will once again be a major asset for the Braves.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    So far, so good for the Braves starting lineup. Second baseman Dan Uggla is starting to bounce back a bit after a horrific start, now hitting .205. B.J. Upton has looked right at home, hitting .429 with one home run and seven RBI. Brother Justin has chipped in with two homers and eight RBI.

    Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson are waging a mighty battle for the everyday job at third base. With both having good springs, manager Fredi Gonzalez might be very comfortable with a platoon.

    Prospects

    Score: 9

    Top prospect Teheran has been outstanding and looks ready to mature into his role as a starter in the majors.

    Catcher and No. 2 prospect Christian Bethancourt is definitely the future Braves backstop, but he will likely start the season in the minors to further develop his bat.

    No. 4 prospect J.R. Graham has also shined, with four scoreless appearances and two saves. While he'll likely start the season in the minors, he could have an impact on the Braves roster at some point later this season.

    No. 5 prospect Sean Gilmartin is also destined for the minors, posting a 6.75 ERA thus far, giving up six runs on 12 innings in his eight innings of work. A solid season in the minors could have him in the discussion for the starting rotation next year.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Health Status

    Score: 9

    Right fielder Nick Markakis will be out another week after an MRI revealed a slight herniation. He consulted a bone specialist in Baltimore on Tuesday as well. If he's able to resume baseball activities next week, he'll have more than enough time to be ready for Opening Day.

    Starting pitcher Chris Tillman was shut down for precautionary reasons last week after experiencing soreness in his abdomen. He threw pain-free earlier this week and should be returning to action soon.

    Left fielder Nolan Reimold is suffering from right shoulder soreness. He was back in action as the starting DH on Thursday and is working on a throwing program to strengthen his shoulder.

    All in all, the Orioles are a fairly healthy bunch right now. Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada is on the mend from Tommy John surgery and could be back with the O's some time in May.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez have all looked sharp thus far, and Tillman was throwing well before his injury last week. The battle for the fifth spot in the rotation has been the biggest draw in camp, with a bevy of arms auditioning for the role.

    Bullpen

    Score: 9

    The bullpen thus far is absolutely rounding into shape. Four of its mainstays—Jim Johnson, Pedro Strop, Luis Ayala and Darren O'Day—have yet to be scored upon in Grapefruit League action.

    Mark Hendrickson is vying for a spot in the bullpen as a lefty specialist, posting a 2.45 ERA thus far in four appearances. Overall, manager Buck Showalter has to be impressed with what he's seen thus far, and the O's bullpen once again will be a major strength for Baltimore in 2013.

    Lineup

    Score: 5

    The injuries to both Markakis and Reimold are definitely a concern given their recent history. The designated hitter role is also in flux, especially with Wilson Betemit hitting just .105 for the spring.

    Prospects

    Score: 9

    Dylan Bundy, the O's No. 1 prospect, looks like he's ready right now after posting a 1.13 ERA in his four outings. No. 2 prospect Kevin Gausman has at times looked dominating, with 11 strikeouts in his 10.1 innings of work with a 3.48 ERA.

    No. 4 prospect Jonathan Schoop is taking advantage of the grand stage with the WBC with two home runs and six RBI. It's not a stretch to think that he could impact the Orioles roster this season, especially if Brian Roberts goes down.

Boston Red Sox

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    Health Status

    Score: 3

    The Boston Red Sox definitely have some issues on the health front. David Ortiz had an MRI that revealed inflammation in both heels. It's uncertain when he will return, but indications are he's definitely a no-go for Opening Day. Ditto for outfielder Ryan Kalish, who underwent right shoulder surgery in January and likely won't be ready until midseason.

    Shortstop Stephen Drew suffered a concussion when hit by a pitch last week and still hasn't been cleared to resume baseball operations.

    Relievers Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales are both hurting—Breslow with left shoulder soreness and Morales with lower back stiffness. Both Morales and Breslow are slated to start the season on the disabled list. There is worry that Breslow could be out long-term, as he hasn't been able to throw in over a month.

    Rotation

    Score: 9

    The rotation has looked outstanding thus far. Jon Lester has been lights-out, Clay Buchholz hasn't been scored upon in his three outings, Ryan Dempster has a 2.13 spring ERA and Felix Doubront has a 3.86 ERA through his two outings. John Lackey is throwing free and easy after his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

    Bullpen

    Score: 7

    With the injuries to Morales and Breslow, Andrew Miller figures to have a key role as a lefty in the bullpen. In five spring appearances, Miller has posted a 3.60 ERA. Newcomer Koji Uehara has looked dominant, allowing just one hit in six appearances thus far. Daniel Bard looks like he may be over the hump that produced a dismal year last season, allowing just two hits with six strikeouts in four outings.

    Lineup

    Score: 6

    With the injury to Ortiz, it's a complete guessing game right now as to how new manager John Farrell will handle DH duties. It could be by committee at this point. Drew's injury hurts as well. If concussion symptoms linger, Jose Iglesias could get the starting nod.

    Prospects

    Score: 9

    No. 2 prospect Jackie Bradley has been the hottest among all Sox hitters with his .517 average. What's even more impressive is that he's had more walks (five) than strikeouts (four)—a very encouraging sign. No. 4 prospect Allen Webster has been stellar, striking out 14 in 11 innings with a 1.64 ERA.

    No. 1 prospect Xander Bogaerts will be biding his time for the next few days while his WBC team, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, prepares for the semifinals. But no doubt the international exposure on the grand stage has done him well.

Chicago Cubs

5 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 6

    The biggest health issues for the Chicago Cubs are with the starting rotation. Matt Garza remains sidelined with a left lat muscle strain. Progress has been reported, but he'll start the season on the disabled list and could miss the entire first month.

    Scott Baker is also progressing in his return from Tommy John surgery. He has thrown a simulated game and will be appearing in a spring training game by the end of this weekend.

    Shortstop Starlin Castro has returned after missing time with a hamstring injury, and third baseman Ian Stewart is also returning after suffering a left quad injury.

    Rotation

    Score: 6

    Cubs manager Dale Sveum has set his rotation with Jeff Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood, Scott Feldman and Carlos Villanueva. Garza and Baker will likely replace Feldman and Villanueva when they return.

    Chris Rusin has thrown himself into the rotation conversation as well with his hot start. Rusin has a 0.69 ERA in his four outings. On Thursday, he shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers —who featured many of their regulars in the lineup —by allowing just one hit through five innings.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    Newcomer Kyuji Fujikawa has impressed early, posting a 1.80 ERA with seven strikeouts in five innings. Fujikawa will be pushing Carlos Marmol—a 3.16 ERA in early games—for the closer's role.

    The bullpen hasn't been completely sorted out as of yet. Rusin could make the team pitching out of the bullpen, and Sveum will have some decisions to make once Garza and Baker return. Feldman and Villanueva will likely both work out of the bullpen at that point.

    Lineup

    Score: 6

    With Castro and Stewart returning from injuries, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo returning from the WBC, manager Dale Sveum will finally get a chance to see his full regular lineup in spring games. He'll likely give them plenty of looks over the next two weeks to give them a chance to develop a semblance of chemistry.

    Prospects

    Score: 9

    No. 1 prospect Javier Baez has been unfazed in facing major leaguers this spring. Baez is hitting .290 with two home runs and six RBI. No. 3 prospect Jorge Soler has also looked solid, hitting .259 with a homer and three RBI. Both will be reassigned to the minors at some point soon.

    No. 4 prospect Brett Jackson is making a bid to be on the field for the Cubs on Opening Day. Jackson is hitting .313 with four RBI and two stolen bases in Cactus League play. No. 9 prospect Junior Lake was hitting .304 with a homer and three RBI before being sidelined with a cracked rib. He'll be out for four to six weeks before heading to Triple-A.

    Cubs management has to be happy with the progress made by its top prospects this spring.

Chicago White Sox

6 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 10

    The Chicago White Sox seem to be the picture of health already this spring. Reliever Jesse Crain made one appearance in late February but suffered a right adductor strain. He recently began throwing bullpen sessions and expects to be ready by Opening Day.

    Matt Thornton and Jeff Keppinger both dealt with some soreness early in camp but have since been just fine. It has been a remarkably injury-free camp for the White Sox considering their woes of past seasons.

    Rotation

    Score: 9

    With John Danks back healthy and showing no ill effects from last year's surgery, the White Sox rotation has looked solid thus far. Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and Danks haven't posted gaudy numbers in early exhibition games, but they're getting their work in nonetheless.

    Bullpen

    Score: 9

    Aside from the injury to Crain, the bullpen has rounded into shape. Thornton had some early elbow issues but has recently started dialing it back up, working in a minor league game earlier this week.

    Prospects

    Score: 4

    No. 2 prospect Trayce Thompson was extended an invite to spring training and hasn't necessarily made the most of it. Thompson has yet to collect a hit in 14 at-bats.

    No. 4 prospect Carlos Sanchez hasn't fared much better, with just two hits in 21 at-bats.

    No. 3 prospect Eric Johnson has posted an 8.53 ERA in three outings with four strikeouts in 6.1 innings.

    No. 5 prospect Jared Mitchell has been one of the better-looking prospects in camp, hitting .367 with one home run and five RBI.

Cincinnati Reds

7 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 10

    About the only health concern for the Cincinnati Reds involves reliever Nick Masset. Masset missed the entire 2012 season and underwent surgery to repair the anterior capsule in his shoulder on Sept. 7. He's currently on a light throwing schedule with no timetable for his return.

    For a team that at one point lost many games each year to injury, the Reds have been among the majors' healthiest teams for the last couple of seasons.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    Apparently, the plan to move Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation may be in jeopardy.

    According to several reports, the Reds are still undecided on Chapman's future. He has been preparing this spring as a starter, but manager Dusty Baker appears to be wavering.

    “I’d like to decide soon and get my team together,” Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I don’t like having guys in the middle. That’s a bad situation when you’re in the middle of anything. An unknown. Then everybody else is in an unknown situation. That’s unfair to him or us — the situation he’s been put in. He was in that same situation last year.

    “I’d like to make a decision in the next week or so, so I can get my team together. The decision is not only mine, it’s ours. But I got my opinion.”

    Also, it appears Chapman "wants to close," according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.

    Mike Leake would move back into the rotation if Chapman indeed moves back into his former closer role. Leake has given up just one run on six hits in five innings of work. Either way, the Reds rotation will be a force once again.

    Bullpen

    Score: 9

    If Chapman does make his way back to his former role, Jonathan Broxton once again will be a primary late-inning man for the Reds—a position he filled out quite well in 2012. Broxton has been rock-solid in spring training, as has setup man Sean Marshall.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    New center fielder Shin-Soo Choo has been on fire in his new home, hitting .435 in Cactus League action. Backup catcher Devin Mesoraco is showing life with the bat as well, hitting .474 with two home runs and 10 RBI. It has been a solid effort thus far from the entire batting order.

    Prospects

    Score: 3

    No. 1 prospect Billy Hamilton has struggled, hitting just .111 with two hits. He'll be making his way back to the minors at some point soon.

    No. 3 prospect Tony Cingrani has seen his share of struggles as well, giving up four runs on five hits in his four official innings of work. Cingrani was optioned to minor league camp earlier this week.

    Daniel Corcino was also sent to Triple-A Louisville after posting a 6.75 ERA in three outings, and No. 6 prospect Kyle Lotzkar was optioned to Double-A Pensacola.

    All in all, none of the top prospects for the Reds shined in their brief stays.

Cleveland Indians

8 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 8

    The injury to closer Chris Perez is definitely a bit of a downer, but the Indians have remained relatively healthy all spring. Perez was shut down in late February with shoulder stiffness, but he is expected to throw off a mound on Saturday. His status for Opening Day remains in doubt.

    Reliever Frank Herrmann, bidding for a bullpen spot, underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday and will be lost for the season.

    Rotation

    Score: 7

    After a tough start to the spring, Ubaldo Jimenez pitched five strong innings on Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. Jimenez gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings, lowering his spring ERA to 5.54.

    Justin Masterson has looked solid with a 4.15 ERA in three starts, while Brett Myers has had mixed results thus far with a 6.23 ERA in his three outings.

    Meanwhile, in his bid to win a spot in the rotation, Trevor Bauer gave up two runs on five hits in four innings against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Bauer has a 3.27 ERA in four outings. Zack McAllister gave up three runs in 3.1 innings in the same game and now has a 5.02 ERA in five appearances.

    Scott Kazmir continues to be a contender for the rotation after throwing eight innings of scoreless ball, giving up just five hits and striking out eight batters.

    Bullpen

    Score: 6

    With closer Chris Perez on the shelf, manager Terry Francona will likely turn to Vinnie Pestano, currently on loan to Team USA in the WBC. Matt Albers, Joe Smith and Matt Capps have been somewhat inconsistent thus far, but Bryan Shaw has been excellent with a 1.80 ERA in his five outings.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    Newcomers Mark Reynolds and Nick Swisher have been outstanding in their spring debuts with the Tribe, both currently hitting above .400. But second baseman Jason Kipnis has struggled a bit out of the gates with a .176 average. Kipnis faltered in the second half of last season, but it's doubtful his current performance is a carryover from last year.

    Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs are starting to round into form, and newcomer Ryan Raburn is shaking off a horrible season with Detroit last year with a .444 average, four home runs and 11 RBI.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    No. 1 prospect Francisco Lindor, the possible future at shortstop, has enjoyed a nice spring with a .273 average. At just 19 years of age, the Indians will continue to be patient with Lindor as he continues to develop.

    As mentioned above, No. 2 prospect Bauer is bidding for the starting rotation. No. 4 prospect Ronny Rodriguez, 20, is enjoying the big league exposure, hitting .143 thus far.

Colorado Rockies

9 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 9.5

    Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon has been cursed with spring training injuries; he was once again struck down this year, this time by a knee infection. But Blackmon has returned and will now work to catch up, with just seven spring at-bats thus far.

    No other major injuries thus far, and for the Rockies, that's a major blessing considering the spate of injuries incurred last season.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    So far so good for the Rockies rotation, at least on the health front. Juan Nicasio, Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa have all gotten their normal work done after injuries felled all of them last year.

    Chris Volstad, Jeff Francis and Tyler Chatwood have all looked solid as well as first-year manager Walt Weiss works to solidify his rotation for Opening Day.

    Then again, the Rockies aren't pitching in the rarefied air of Coors Field yet.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    The Rockies bullpen figures to have Rafael Betancourt, Wilton Lopez and Matt Belisle as the big three, and all of them are healthy and getting their work in. Beyond that, Weiss will have some difficult decisions to make as the end of spring training nears.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    No. 2 prospect Nolan Arenado has stated his case with a strong spring, hitting .308 with four home runs and 10 RBI. He will push incumbent third baseman Chris Nelson for the starting nod.

    As expected, No. 4 prospect Chad Bettis was sent to minor league camp. He made one appearance this spring, giving up one hit and striking out one in one inning of work.

    No. 7 prospect Tim Wheeler is hitting .200 with a homer and two RBI and could start the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he hit .303 last season.

Detroit Tigers

10 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 10

    The Detroit Tigers have stayed remarkably healthy for almost the entire spring. Brennan Boesch suffered an oblique injury earlier this spring and was released by the Tigers on Wednesday.

    Rotation

    Score: 9

    The rotation has been healthy and good for much of the spring. Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly have been dueling for the final spot, and neither has been willing to give in.  

    Porcello has posted a 2.50 ERA in his five starts and has walked no batters in his 18 innings of work. Smyly has been a touch better, posting a 1.46 ERA in his four outings. Smyly could end up in the bullpen if Porcello wins out.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    There were worries for prospective closer Bruce Rondon early on in spring, but his last three outings have allayed some of those fears. Rondon now has a 4.05 ERA in seven outings and worked a one-two-three ninth inning on Thursday against the New York Mets. Manager Jim Leyland plans on using Rondon on both Saturday and Monday this weekend.

    Most of the bullpen is currently set, with one spot remaining for a lefty reliever. Smyly could get the nod if he doesn't beat out Porcello for the fifth spot in the rotation.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    Andy Dirks appears to have a leg up for the role of everyday left fielder. Dirks is hitting .290 with one home run, three RBI and three stolen bases. Quintin Berry is hitting .188 with just three singles to his credit.

    Victor Martinez has gotten plenty of looks this spring as he works back from a torn ACL that forced him to miss the entire 2012 season. V-Mart is hitting .237 with a homer and two RBI.

    Prospects

    Score: 9

    No. 1 prospect Nick Castellanos has made a fine showing of himself, hitting .381 with one home run, five RBI and a .500 on-base percentage. In fact, with Castellanos logging time in the outfield, he has thrown his name into the left-field mix as well.

    No. 2 prospect Rondon is finally showing some consistency, and No. 3 prospect Avisail Garcia is definitely in the hunt for a role in the Tigers outfield.

    No. 5 prospect Casey Crosby was solid, posting a 1.29 ERA in his four outings. However, Crosby struggled with his control, walking six batters. He was sent to Triple-A Toledo on Thursday.

Houston Astros

11 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 9

    All is fairly quiet on the health front for the Houston Astros. Starter Lucas Harrell skipped a turn in the rotation with a groin injury, but he will be starting on Saturday against the Washington Nationals. Erik Bedard will work in relief in that game after returning to action this week following a strained gluteal muscle.

    Rotation

    Score: 7

    As of right now, Harrell and Bud Norris appear to be locks...but then the picture gets muddy.

    Jordan Lyles has struggled, posting an ugly 19.13 ERA in four outings. Brad Peacock is making a push, pitching three scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Phillies last Sunday and backing it up with a one-run effort in five innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.

    Philip Humber has looked outstanding as well, posting a 1.29 ERA in his four outings.

    Meanwhile, Alex White looked a bit better on Thursday after a rough start to camp, allowing two runs in four innings against the Nationals to lower his spring ERA to 6.97. Bedard has given up just an unearned run in his two outings as well.

    Astros manager Bo Porter still has two weeks to evaluate the candidates for the final three spots, and his decision could come right down to the wire.

    Bullpen

    Score: 3

    Jose Veras is the new Astros closer, but his spring has been a bit shaky with a 6.00 ERA in three outings. Porter's bullpen won't have much experience under its belt when the regular season starts; he could be using a trial-by-fire method to figure out his best bullpen strategy.

    Lineup

    Score: 4

    The Astros are hitting .271 as a team this spring, so even with a young and unproven offense, it hasn't been a disaster. Justin Maxwell could be playing himself out of a role, though, if he doesn't improve on a .152 average. So too for shortstop Tyler Greene, hitting just .133.

    New addition Chris Carter has a whopping 14 strikeouts in 39 at-bats, and Carlos Pena has another 12. This could become a lineup loaded with a lot of whiffs.

    Prospects

    Score: 6

    The top two prospects, Jonathan Singleton and Carlos Correa, will make their spring debuts for the Astros this Saturday against the Nationals. Singleton will have to serve a 50-game suspension at the start of the season.

    No. 3 prospect George Springer has been reassigned to the minors but looked good in camp with a .333 average. No. 4 prospect Delino DeShields was also re-assigned, hitting .333.

Kansas City Royals

12 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 7

    The biggest issue concerning the health of the Kansas City Royals is with elbow ligament replacement surgeries. Both Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino will likely be non-factors until the All-Star break. Reliever George Sherrill could be back by mid-May.

    Wade Davis skipped a start with shoulder soreness last week but threw innings in a minor league game on Friday. Shortstop Alcides Escobar had some back spams last week as well, but he could be back in spring training games next week.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    So far so good for the new Royals rotation. James Shields, Davis and Ervin Santana appear ready to do battle with their new team, and Jeremy Guthrie is ramping up as well, throwing four solid innings against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

    As of right now, Bruce Chen appears to have the advantage for the fifth and final rotation spot. Luke Hochevar has been officially moved to the bullpen, while Yordano Ventura, Will Smith and Luis Mendoza continue to try and overtake Chen.

    Bullpen

    Score: 9

    Without question a major strength, the bullpen has looked solid and is rounding into form. While Tim Collins and Kelvin Herrera have been off doing battle in the WBC, the rest of the bullpen has looked stout in helping guide the Royals to a 16-2 record in Cactus League play.

    Lineup

    Score: 9.5

    Considering the Royals are hitting .337 as a team in spring training, it's pretty hard to knock anything.

    Every meaningful player is hitting above .250, with Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas leading the way at .471 and .444, respectively. If this lineup can stay healthy, it appears ready to do damage.

    Prospects

    Score: 9

    No. 3 prospect Ventura is pushing for the final rotation spot, posting an excellent 2.08 ERA through four outings. No. 5 prospect John Lamb has been optioned to Double-A but appears to be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.

    No. 7 prospect Donnie Joseph could be in line to pick up a lefty specialist role in the bullpen. Joseph has struck out 11 batters in six innings with a 1.50 ERA.

Los Angeles Angels

13 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 6

    The Angels don't have a lot of injuries, but the ones they do have are for key players. Albert Pujols still hasn't taken the field yet, working solely as a DH while he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery. His timetable to play at first base is uncertain.

    Ryan Madson, recovering from Tommy John surgery, just started throwing off the mound for the first time in six weeks. He's looking at a late-April return at best.

    Lefty reliever Sean Burnett will have to work the rust out of his game after making his first spring appearance this week. Burnett gave up two runs on four hits in one-third of an inning earlier this week after suffering from back stiffness.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    All five starters—Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas and Joe Blanton—are getting their work in and progressing. Garrett Richards has also looked solid with a 2.25 ERA in his three outings.

    Jerome Williams will provide depth for the rotation; he has posted a 5.00 ERA in his three appearances.

    Bullpen

    Score: 4

    The injuries to Madson and Burnett haven't helped. Chad Cordero's efforts thus far (24.75 ERA in five outings) clearly show that he's not yet ready to jump back into the majors after missing the last two seasons. Nick Maronde has struggled in his efforts to nail down a bullpen slot as well, with a 10.80 ERA in his five outings.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    With the exception of Erick Aybar participating in the WBC, the starting lineup is getting its work in and rounding into shape. Pujols' inability to take the field thus far is still a bit of a concern as Opening Day draws near.

    Prospects

    Score: 7

    No. 1 prospect Kaleb Cowart is hitting .250 thus far and showing the Angels that he's not far from being major league-ready. He's been reassigned to minor league camp.

    No. 2 prospect Maronde is struggling in his efforts to land a coveted roster spot.

    No. 4 prospect Taylor Lindsey has been assigned to minor league camp, but not before hitting .417 with one home run and six RBI, impressing his bosses.

    No. 5 prospect Kole Calhoun is trying desperately to win the final outfield spot, hitting .229 with a homer and nine RBI.

Los Angeles Dodgers

14 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 4

    The biggest news for the Los Angeles Dodgers is the status of Zack Greinke's elbow. After being scratched from a start and having his elbow examined in Los Angeles, Greinke threw from 60-90 feet on Friday. It's uncertain whether he can get stretched out enough to make his first start on April 2.

    Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported that left fielder Carl Crawford, recovering from Tommy John surgery, could possibly make his first spring start on Sunday as a designated hitter. Crawford has been playing in minor league games this week and is progressing with his throwing program. His status for Opening Day is still uncertain.

    Reliever Scott Elbert will start the season on the disabled list as he works his way back from two arthroscopic left elbow surgeries within six months. Starter Ted Lilly has made two appearances in his bid to come back from shoulder surgery. A bout with the flu slowed him down last week.

    Rotation

    Score: 5

    With the uncertainty surrounding Greinke and his elbow, the Dodgers have some issues to resolve in their rotation prior to Opening Day. Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are locks, and newcomer Hyun-jin Ryu is making a bid to lock down a spot as well. He's posted a 5.91 ERA in four appearances with 12 strikeouts in 10.2 innings.

    The fifth and final spot is still up in the air. Lilly, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Stephen Fife are all in the chase. Harang and Capuano are trying their best to pitch themselves out of the competition with ERAs of 10.00 and 10.61, respectively.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    With Brandon League, Kenley Jansen and Javy Guerra, manager Don Mattingly will have no shortage of closers to turn to this season. Jansen has looked terrific after recovering from last season's heart scare. Guerra has also looked solid, with two scoreless appearances.

    Provided the bullpen remains healthy, it will likely be a major asset this season.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    Manager Don Mattingly has played mix and match with several regulars participating in the WBC this spring. Matt Kemp appears to be fully healthy, and while he's hit just .136 thus far, he hasn't experienced any setbacks in his return from surgery.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    No. 1 prospect Yasiel Puig is showing the Dodgers that he may not be far away from the majors. He's currently hitting a sizzling .459 with two home runs and eight RBI. No. 2 prospect Zach Lee has given up two runs on three hits in one inning in his lone spring appearance.

    No. 3 Joc Pederson has just one hit in four games thus far and will likely be reassigned. No. 4 prospect Corey Seager hasn't seen much time yet either, with just one hit in three at-bats.

    No. 5 prospect Chris Reed has looked sharp, giving up just one run in four innings and holding opposing hitters to a .143 average.

Miami Marlins

15 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 3

    The Miami Marlins are project to have a pretty dismal season. They already have their share of walking wounded.

    Placido Polanco has been hampered by an oblique strain, but he was scheduled to be in the lineup on Saturday against the New York Mets. The same for infielder Greg Dobbs, who has been hobbled by a calf strain.

    Logan Morrison has yet to make an appearance this spring as he continues to recover from knee surgery. His timetable is completely up in the air at this point.

    Catcher Jeff Mathis is definitely out for the start of the season while he recovers from a broken collarbone suffered in late February.

    Reliever Jose Ceda has pitched in simulated games in his return from Tommy John surgery last year. He'll likely start the season on the DL as well.

    Rotation

    Score: 6

    Jacob Turner looked solid for the Marlins last season, posting a 3.38 ERA in seven starts following his trade from the Detroit Tigers. This spring, however, Turner has been anything but, posting a 16.20 ERA in two appearances.

    Turner got rocked in a minor league outing on Thursday, giving up two runs and walking three batters. He could lose his spot in the rotation if Kevin Slowey (2.89 ERA in four outings) continues to impress.

    Wade LeBlanc has yet to give up a run in nine innings, and Nathan Eovaldi (3.29 ERA in four outings) has also looked sharp.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    Closer Steve Cishek will return to the Marlins this weekend after Team USA's elimination from the WBC. Chad Qualls, Michael Wuertz and Mike Dunn have been sharp, but Jon Rauch has been largely inconsistent with a 6.75 ERA.

    Lineup

    Score: 6

    Not having Morrison in the lineup to start the season will be taxing for manager Mike Redmond as he tries to figure out how to score runs.

    Giancarlo Stanton returns this weekend from WBC play.

    New leadoff hitter Juan Pierre has looked excellent, with a .344 batting average and three stolen bases. Second baseman Donovan Solano leads all regulars with a .471 average, while Kevin Kouzmanoff is stating a strong case for a bench role with a .391 average, three home runs and eight RBI.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    Top prospect Jose Fernandez was reassigned to minor league camp, but not before impressing Marlins management. No. 2 prospect Christian Yelich has without question opened eyes, hitting .351 with three home runs and 11 RBI. He probably won't land a roster spot, but he's clearly shown that he's not far off.

    The same goes for No. 3 prospect Jake Marisnick. Marisnick was hitting .455 in just 11 at-bats before being hit by a pitch and suffering a fractured left hand.

    No. 6 prospect Adeiny Hechavarria is already highly regarded for his slick glove work at shortstop, but the .161 spring average is definitely a concern. Hechavarria is penciled in as the Opening Day shortstop, and the Marlins have few other options.

Milwaukee Brewers

16 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 4

    The Milwaukee Brewers have already been hit hard this spring—not by opposing pitchers, but by the injury bug.

    Corey Hart will start the season on the disabled list after knee surgery in January. He's out of the lineup until late April. First baseman Mat Gamel's return from a torn ACL ended before it began, as he tore the same ACL again and is out for the season. The two injuries have the Brewers scrambling to find an answer at first base.

    Third baseman Aramis Ramirez just returned to the lineup on Friday after missing two weeks with a knee sprain.

    Rotation

    Score: 4

    Without question, the biggest variable for the Brewers is their starting rotation. Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada are locked in the top two spots. Mark Rogers has seen his fastball velocity take a major dip this spring. He's been hit hard thus far and is throwing live batting practice in an attempt to regain that velocity along with his command.

    Chris Narveson, Mike Fiers and Wily Peralta are the other candidates. Fiers has looked solid with a 2.19 ERA in four outings, and Narveson is working his way back from shoulder surgery last year. 

    Bullpen

    Score: 7

    The additions of Tom Gorzelanny, Burke Badenhop and Mike Gonzalez will help the Brewers bullpen, and all are throwing smoothly thus far. Closer John Axford (9.82 ERA) is off to a shaky start, although he delivered a clean inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

    Lineup

    Score: 7

    With injuries to Corey Hart and Mat Gamel, the Brewers could line up on Opening Day with longtime shortstop Alex Gonzalez manning first base. Gonzalez is fully recovered from a torn ACL suffered last season and is hitting .318 with one home run and four RBI.

    Carlos Gomez is ripping the ball at a .455 clip after signing a long-term deal, while Rickie Weeks will look to erase last year's horrible start—he's hitting .345 thus far.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    Top prospect Wily Peralta is in the hunt for the final spot in the rotation, but he'll need to pick it up over the next two weeks and improve on his 6.23 ERA.

    Tyler Thornburg and Johnny Hellweg, the second- and fourth-ranked prospects, have been reassigned to Triple-A Nashville. Taylor Jungmann and Jeb Bradley, the Nos. 3 and 6 prospects, have also been sent back down.

    There's no question, however, that the future of the Brewers rotation is bright with five of their top six prospects.

Minnesota Twins

17 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 6

    Scott Diamond, the Twins' only effective starter last season, underwent surgery to have bone chips removed from his elbow in January. He is slated to make his first spring start on March 18. His status for Opening Day is unclear.

    Fellow starter Anthony Swarzak is back throwing again after breaking two ribs in January, but there may not be enough time for him to be ready by Opening Day.

    Third baseman Trevor Plouffe is due back next week after suffering a mild right calf strain.

    Starter Rich Harden, signed to a minor league deal, is working his way back and throwing from 120-150 feet, but his return to the majors is likely a ways away at this point.

    Rotation

    Score: 3

    With the current status of both Diamond and Swarzak, the Twins rotation consists of Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Cole De Vries, Samuel Deduno and Liam Hendriks. Pelfrey is returning from Tommy John surgery, so the Twins rotation has plenty of durability concerns considering its current state.

    Bullpen

    Score: 2

    The Twins have three players locked in for the bullpen: closer Glen Perkins, setup man Jared Burton and Brian Duensing. Beyond that, it's a complete crapshoot.

    Josh Roenicke, Tim Wood and Alex Burnett have all been shaky, and Casey Fien has been just average. Manager Ron Gardenhire will no doubt have difficult decisions to make in the next two weeks.

    Prospects

    Score: 7

    No. 3 prospect Alex Meyer has looked outstanding, giving up just one hit with three strikeouts in five innings. No. 4 prospect Kyle Gibson was optioned to the minors after giving up eight runs on 14 hits in eight innings. And No. 5 prospect Oswaldo Arcia was sent to Triple-A Rochester after hitting just .188.

    But No. 6 prospect Aaron Hicks could be making the jump from Double-A to the majors. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, that's the likely scenario based on Hicks' strong showing thus far (.341 average, four home runs, 13 RBI).

New York Mets

18 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 4

    The New York Mets have several concerns on the health front as they prepare for Opening Day. Starter Johan Santana remains doubtful for the start of the season. He played long-toss on Friday, but there is no current timetable for when he'll make his first start.

    Reliever Frank Francisco is back throwing bullpen sessions after experiencing elbow soreness at the start of spring training. His status for Opening Day is still very much in the air. Second baseman Daniel Murphy was shut down early by a strained muscle in his right side. However, Murphy has appeared in minor league games and is aiming to play in spring games next week.

    David Wright is now the biggest concern. Wright was diagnosed with a strained intercostal muscle after leading Team USA with 10 RBI in the WBC. His status for Opening Day is unclear.

    Rotation

    Score: 6

    Shaun Marcum looked sharp in his appearance for the Mets last Saturday, throwing one-hit ball over 3.2 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals. He allowed two runs on five hits in four innings against the Miami Marlins on Saturday.

    Jonathon Niese has been outstanding, Matt Harvey has a 2.77 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 13 innings, and Jeremy Hefner could step up to take Santana's spot in the rotation, posting a 2.93 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.

    Bullpen

    Score: 6

    "Shaky" would be the word to describe this bunch. With Francisco on the mend, Bobby Parnell takes over as the closer. He's been just okay thus far with a 3.86 ERA in seven outings. Brandon Lyon has been sharp with a 2.45 ERA in four outings. Veterans Pedro Feliciano, LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Atchison have been solid and could all be heading north.

    Lineup

    Score: 4

    In his bid to win the job in right field, Mike Baxter has struggled, hitting just .133 thus far. The same goes for Kirk Nieuwenhuis in center, who was hitting .056 before being sidelined by a knee injury. He could start the season in Triple-A just to get more at-bats.  

    Jordany Valdespin has impressed with a .343 average, three home runs and seven RBI. Left fielder Lucas Duda is starting to hit better after a slow start, upping his spring average to .229.

    With an absence of power in the outfield, it simply isn't a lineup that's going to scare opponents.

    Prospects

    Score: 7

    No. 1 prospect Travis d'Arnaud could be ready for his major league debut, hitting .292 thus far.

    No. 2 Zack Wheeler was slowed by an oblique injury after just one scoreless outing and was sent to the minors last week. That could be very temporary, however, as Wheeler is highly regarded and believed to be near ready for prime-time action.

    No. 5 prospect Jeurys Familia has a legitimate shot at a bullpen slot, although he allowed three walks and a run in 1.1 innings against the Miami Marlins on Saturday.

New York Yankees

19 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 2

    Health is right now the main concern for the New York Yankees this spring. Alex Rodriguez is already sidelined until at least the All-Star break following hip surgery. And center fielder Curtis Granderson will miss at least the first month after getting hit by a pitch and suffering a fractured right forearm.

    First baseman Mark Teixeira will also be out of action for at least the first month while he recovers from a strained right wrist tendon. Recent reports (h/t ESPN) indicate that his injury may even be more serious than a strain.

    Starting pitcher Phil Hughes (back) may miss time at the beginning of the season as well, although he has begun throwing to live hitters.

    Reliever Boone Logan is throwing again after suffering from elbow inflammation. His status for the start of the season is also unclear.

    The good news is that Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera all appear to be ready for Opening Day. At least the old guys in the group are staying healthy.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    Starter CC Sabathia made his first start of the spring on Friday, throwing five innings against the Miami Marlins, allowing just two runs on eight hits. He's on track for Opening Day.

    Hughes' injury likely means that David Phelps will jump into the rotation. Phelps has been outstanding with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings.

    Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova have all been consistent thus far as well.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    Rivera has now thrown three scoreless outings, allowing no hits and striking out three. Setup man David Robertson has also looked splendid, throwing four scoreless outings. Joba Chamberlain, Clay Rapada, Shawn Kelly and David Aardsma are all getting regular work in as well, all sporting an identical ERA of 4.50.

    If Logan can make his return by Opening Day, the bullpen will be a major asset for the Yankees. Considering the injury woes in the starting lineup, the Yankees can use all the help they can get.

    Lineup

    Score: 2

    The injury to Teixeira still has the Yankees scrambling for answers. Derrek Lee already said thanks but no thanks, leaving Juan Rivera as an option. It's simply not a palatable option.

    With the injury to Granderson, the Yankees have signed both Ben Francisco and Brennan Boesch, castoffs from the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers, respectively. Both will compete for time in the corner outfield positions, with Brett Gardner moving to center in place of Granderson.

    Neither Francisco Cervelli nor Chris Stewart has stepped up in the battle for starting catcher. Cervelli is hitting just .222, Stewart just .217.

    Prospects

    Score: 7

    No. 1 prospect Gary Sanchez got a brief look in camp before being optioned to the minors. Sanchez hit .200 in five at-bats. No. 3 prospect Tyler Austin was sent down as well, but he hit .571 (4-for-7) with two RBI.

    No. 4 prospect Slade Heathcott was sent to minor league camp on Saturday after hitting .200.

    No. 8 prospect Mark Montgomery is having trouble with control, walking six batters in 4.2 innings. Montgomery featured a 13.8 K/9 rate last year, so if he can improve the command, he could be a valuable bullpen commodity.

Oakland Athletics

20 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 9

    Terrific news on the health front for the Oakland Athletics as they prepare for Opening Day. They did lose reliever Fernando Rodriguez, who will miss the season after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament. He was considered a long shot to win a spot in a crowed bullpen.

    Still, starter Brett Anderson is now back after missing time with back and neck soreness. He's on track to be the A's Opening Day starter. And second baseman Jemile Weeks is back after shoulder soreness shut him down.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    The rotation appears to be set with Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin and Bartolo Colon. Colon still has to serve five games of his 50-game suspension from last season, so Dan Straily could be the final option until Colon returns. Meanwhile, Travis Blackley has been awful this spring with a 21.21 ERA in four appearances.

    Bullpen

    Score: 7

    Even though he tore a meniscus, closer Grant Balfour appears to be ready for Opening Day. He's expected to make his spring debut this Monday.

    Setup man Ryan Cook has struggled a bit with a 9.64 ERA in five appearances, but Pat Neshek has been lights-out with six scoreless appearances. Sean Doolittle has been consistent as well.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    The battle to win the second base job is still up for grabs, with six players vying for the role. Jed Lowrie, Adam Rosales, Scott Sizemore, Eric Sogard, Jemile Weeks and Andy Parrino are all battling furiously to land the job. 

    The rest of the lineup looks solid, although there has to be some concern at third base with Josh Donaldson hitting a paltry .111.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    Top prospect Addison Russell was optioned to the minors, but not before getting his first taste of major league action. Russell hit .250 with two RBI. No. 2 prospect Straily is trying to hang onto a roster spot, but his inconsistency isn't helping, as he's given up seven runs on 12 hits in 9.2 innings.

    The A's are definitely impressed with what they've seen from No. 3 prospect Michael Choice as well. He's hitting .333 with one home run and nine RBI. And No. 4 prospect Grant Green has also largely impressed with his .409 average.

Philadelphia Phillies

21 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 9

    The only concern for the Phillies medically is right fielder Delmon Young. Young underwent surgery on his ankle last November and could miss the first few weeks of the season.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    The rotation is set with Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan. Halladay and Kendrick have struggled a bit early but are nonetheless getting their work in without issues.

    Bullpen

    Score: 7

    Closer Jonathan Papelbon has struggled mightily with a 19.64 ERA, but the progression has been positive following a nasty first spring appearance.

    Mike Adams appears to be the picture of health with four scoreless appearances thus far. Chad Durbin, Philippe Aumont, Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes have been solid, and Jeremy Horst is struggling to lock down a spot with an 8.64 ERA.

    Lineup

    Score: 7

    No complaints thus far for the Phillies starting lineup. Domonic Brown continues to impress, hitting .386 with four home runs and eight RBI. Laynce Nix and Darin Ruf are struggling, hitting a combined .208. John Mayberry hasn't stood out either, hitting .235.

    Left field at this point is still wide open.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    No. 2 prospect Ethan Martin was optioned to the minors. He logged one outing, allowing just one hit in two innings. No. 4 prospect Jonathan Pettibone was sent down as well after giving up four runs on three hits in his only appearance.

    No. 3 prospect Tommy Joseph was also sent to the minors, but he posted a .462 batting average in six games before departing.

Pittsburgh Pirates

22 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 8

    The Pittsburgh Pirates don't have much to report on the health front. Francisco Liriano could be throwing off a mound next week for the first time since he fractured his non-throwing arm in December. He'll likely miss at least the first month.

    Charlie Morton is still recovering from Tommy John surgery but has begun his throwing program. He's likely out until June at the earliest.

    Rotation

    Score: 6

    A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald are locks for the Pirates. Jeff Karstens, Kyle McPherson, Jeff Locke and Jonathan Sanchez are vying for the final two spots. As yet, none of them have completely outperformed each other. Karstens will be making his Grapefruit League debut early next week.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    Closer Jason Grilli is back from the WBC and appears ready to take over as closer. Newcomer Mark Melancon has looked smooth with a 1.80 ERA in six appearances. Left-handers Justin Wilson and Kris Johnson have waged a nice battle for a bullpen slot, with Wilson holding the edge with a 0.90 ERA in six outings.

    Tony Watson has worked on mechanical issues since posting an ugly 21.60 ERA in his first two appearances.

    Lineup

    Score: 4

    Several regulars are scuffling a bit for the Pirates in Grapefruit League play, including Andrew McCutchen (.172), Russell Martin (.143), Pedro Alvarez (.172) and Neil Walker (.214). 

    In addition, veterans trying to grab reserve roster spots are struggling mightily as well. Brandon Inge (.120) and Brad Hawpe (.167) may say see their hopes dashed if they can't reverse course within the next two weeks.

    On the flip side, left fielder Starling Marte (.364) has looked solid all spring, and first baseman Gaby Sanchez is showing signs of returning to 2010 form, hitting .310 with three home runs and five RBI.

    The hope is that someone can step up and help better complement McCutchen in the middle of the order. Alvarez hit 30 homers last season, but the streaky nature of his play has defined his first few seasons in the majors.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, the top two prospects, have done nothing to dampen hopes for the future. Cole tossed four innings against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, allowing one run on five hits and working out of several jams.

San Diego Padres

23 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 9

    The San Diego Padres are a healthy bunch heading into the season. Andrew Cashner appears ready for Opening Day after lacerating a tendon in his right thumb while on a hunting trip in December. Tim Stauffer is back after right elbow flexor tendon surgery in August of last year.

    Prospect Casey Kelly, however, is seeking a second opinion on his sore right elbow. Tommy John surgery could shut him down for the season.

    Rotation

    Score: 5

    Clayton Richard, Edinson Volquez and Jason Marquis appear to have the first three spots nailed down. It gets muddy after that.

    Anthony Bass has a shot with a 3.00 ERA in four appearances. Eric Stults has seen his struggles, posting a 10.29 ERA in his three appearances. Tyson Ross has been OK with a 4.09 ERA in four outings. The 10 strikeouts are a plus, but that comes with five walks in 11 innings as well.

    Meanwhile, Freddy Garcia looked terrific against the San Francisco Giants, allowing just one run with six strikeouts in four innings. The rest of his starts, however, were pretty awful.

    Stauffer and Cashner are making their bids as well. Manager Buddy Black will have his hands full filling in the final two spots.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    It's certainly nice to have Huston Street healthy. He's had no issues in his five outings and appears ready for a full season. Luke Gregerson will return this coming week from the WBC. Brad Brach has been spotless all spring, while Brad Boxberger and Joe Thatcher have been consistent as well.

    Lineup

    Score: 7

    Losing Yasmani Grandal for the first 50 games will certainly hurt, but if Nick Hundley can carry his .469 spring average into the regular season, it will certainly lessen the sting.

    Jedd Gyorko continues to make a strong bid to win the second base job. In fact, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported on Wednesday that the Padres may have already made that decision.

    Prospects

    Score: 7

    The aforementioned Gyorko, the Padres' top prospect, could serve as a great complement to third baseman Chase Headley with his power.

    No. 4 prospect Kelly could be out for the year, and No. 5 prospect Austin Hedges got a very quick look before being reassigned.

San Francisco Giants

24 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 8

    The only key injuries of note right now for the San Francisco Giants is catcher Hector Sanchez, who has been troubled by shoulder and calf injuries. There is concern about whether he'll be healthy enough to start the season. Meanwhile, Brett Pill will be lost for at least a month after he undergoes surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

    Rotation

    Score: 7

    Things are rounding into shape for the Giants, even with Ryan Vogelsong away helping Team USA in the WBC. Matt Cain, Vogelsong, Barry Zito and Madison Bumgarner have all been solid.

    Tim Lincecum has been shaky, however. He gave up three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings against the the San Diego Padres in his last start on Tuesday. He now has a 14.73 spring ERA.

    A bigger issue for the Giants is a lack of depth in their rotation. If Lincecum proves unable to improve on last year's regular-season performance, GM Brian Sabean may have to look outside the organization for a possible replacement.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    Many of the regulars on the Giants have been off competing in the WBC, so manager Bruce Bochy has had the chance to give prospects a lot more time.

    This is a unit that will again be a strength, however.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt have been on fire all spring. Sandoval is hitting .435, while Belt is hitting .372 with four home runs and nine RBI. Right fielder Hunter Pence appears ready to help out for a full season as well, hitting .289 with one home run and seven RBI.

    Prospects

    Score: 6

    No. 2 prospect Gary Brown hasn't done anything to make the Giants think he won't be a solid performer in the future. Brown hit .250 with one home run and four RBI before being reassigned to the minors.

    No. 4 prospect Joe Panik got a very brief look, going hitless in four at-bats before he was sent down.

    No. 5 prospect Heath Hembree made a bid to stick with the bullpen. However, his 7.50 ERA in six outings wasn't enough to impress, and he was optioned to the minors as well.

Seattle Mariners

25 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 9.5

    The Seattle Mariners are just about as healthy as any team can be heading into Opening Day. Reliever Josh Kinney will miss several weeks with a stress reaction injury to his ribs on his non-throwing side. He'll likely start the season on the disabled list and work in the minors to regain his arm strength.

    Rotation

    Score: 7

    Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Joe Saunders are the only locks for the starting rotation. A battle is raging between Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, Jon Garland and Brandon Mauer for the final two spots.

    Garland has looked solid in his attempt to return to the majors, posting a 1.50 ERA in four starts. But Maurer has looked outstanding, posting a 0.90 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings.

    On Saturday, Ramirez threw six innings, giving up just two runs on eight hits to pick up the victory over the Colorado Rockies. Ramirez's spring ERA stands at 1.50.

    Beavan is the only one of the four who has lagged, posting a 5.63 ERA in three outings.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    The bullpen as a whole has looked solid. Closer Tom Wilhelmsen is breezing along with a 1.50 ERA in six outings, Oliver Perez has looked sharp with a 1.69 ERA, and Kameron Loe is making a bid for a spot with four scoreless appearances. Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor have been OK as well.

    If Wilhelmsen and Furbush can repeat their success from last year, this could be a strong unit.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    One has to hope that first baseman Justin Smoak can carry his spring success into the regular season. Smoak is hitting .382 with three home runs and eight RBI.

    Newcomers Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay have locked in their bids to secure roster spots, and Michael Morse has looked comfortable as well with a .375 average, five home runs and 10 RBI.

    Designated hitter Kendrys Morales looks ready to help, hitting .361 with two homers.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    Top pitching prospects Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker were both reassigned to the minors, but Hultzen could be ready to help out later in the season. Walker, meanwhile, struggled somewhat with his command, walking five batters in seven innings.

    No. 3 prospect Mike Zunino has done well in his first camp, hitting .238 with two home runs and three RBI. No. 4 Nick Franklin has struggled, hitting .179 thus far.

St. Louis Cardinals

26 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 5

    St. Louis third baseman David Freese has been experiencing soreness in the lower back area. He's been held out of action for precautionary reasons. It's not believed to be a serious issue at this point, and his status for Opening Day remains bright.

    Chris Carpenter's career may be done after experiencing of recurrence of symptoms related to his diagnosis last year of thoracic outlet syndrome.

    Shortstop Rafael Furcal had his Tommy John surgery performed on Wednesday. He's expected to be lost for the season. His loss certainly hurts, especially at the top of the batting order.

    Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski hurt his eye on a golfing excursion last week. He's expected to return to the mound on Sunday.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    While the loss of Carpenter hurts, the Cardinals have arms at the ready. Adam Wainwright has looked excellent with a 2.76 ERA in four outings; Jaime Garcia appears fully healthy, posting a 3.00 ERA in four outings; and Joe Kelly has been outstanding, posting a 2.25 ERA in his three appearances.

    With Trevor Rosenthal being sent to the bullpen, the final rotation spot will come down to Kelly and Shelby Miller, who has posted a 7.04 ERA in three outings. Kelly gave up just one run on three hits in four innings on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves. Miller followed up and wasn't as lucky, giving up three runs on six hits in 2.2 innings of work.

    Bullpen

    Score: 8

    Without question a strength for the Cardinals, the bullpen is rounding into shape. The two lefties in the 'pen, Rzepczynski and Randy Choate, have been superb, posting a combined 1.78 ERA. Mitchell Boggs tossed three scoreless outings before playing for Team USA in the WBC. Edward Mujica has struggled with a 12.86 ERA in seven appearances.

    Lineup

    Score: 9

    Jon Jay is the likely candidate to lead off for the Cardinals. He is currently hitting .222. Matt Carpenter, meanwhile, continues to state his case for everyday play, hitting .410 with a .489 on-base percentage. And Pete Kozma is showing manager Mike Matheny he deserves the everyday role at shortstop, hitting .359 with two home runs and seven RBI.

    Matt Adams is tearing the cover off the ball as well, hitting .342 with three home runs and 11 RBI. With Allen Craig firmly implanted at first, however, Adams doesn't have a position. Matheny got creative this week, using Craig in the outfield with Adams at first. He may continue doing that to get Adams in the lineup more often.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras represents the future. And considering he's hit .283 with two home runs and nine RBI, that future isn't far off. He will start the season in Triple-A, but an injury to any regular outfielder could hasten his major league debut.

    Miller, the No. 2 prospect, is in a fight with Kelly for the final rotation spot. No. 4 prospect Trevor Rosenthal will start the season in the bullpen.

Tampa Bay Rays

27 of 30

    Health Status

    Score: 10

    The Tampa Bay Rays are a very healthy team these days. Only outfielder Sam Fuld is dealing with an injury—a tight hamstring—and will be held out of action for about another week.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore and Alex Cobb have the top four spots locked down. Jeff Niemann and Roberto Hernandez are battling for the final spot. Niemann had a 2.13 ERA through his first five outings, and Hernandez had a 3.60 ERA through his first five appearances.

    Bullpen

    Score: 9

    The entire bullpen has been pretty good all spring. Whoever doesn't win the battle for the fifth and final starter could end up in the 'pen.

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    Top prospect Wil Myers is headed to the minors, but not before hitting .300 with three RBI in camp. No. 3 prospect Jake Odorizzi was also optioned to Triple-A after posting a 9.00 ERA in three outings.

    Overall, Rays prospects made an outstanding showing throughout the spring.

Texas Rangers

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    Health Status

    Score: 5

    Reliever Kyle McLellan saw his chances of making the Rangers roster sink when he was diagnosed with a strained right lat muscle. McLellan will be out of action for close to a month.

    Joakim Soria has started throwing in his ongoing recovery from Tommy John surgery. He's not expected to impact the team until early to mid-June at the earliest.

    Martin Perez suffered a broken forearm in early March when he was struck by a line drive. He's likely out for at least a month.

    Colby Lewis has also started throwing bullpen sessions, but his return isn't expected until early June.

    Rotation

    Score: 5

    The rotation depth took a serious hit with injuries to Perez and McLellan. Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando are locks, but manager Ron Washington will be challenged to figure out the final name for the last slot.

    Derek Lowe was brought in to throw his name into the hat, but there simply may not be enough time. He did throw two scoreless innings this week.

    Randy Wells could be a candidate as well. Wells threw five innings against the Oakland A's on Thursday, allowing just one run on three hits.

    Nick Tepesch could be a long shot to win the job. He has posted a 3.46 ERA in four outings.

    Bullpen

    Score: 7

    Joe Nathan, Jason Frasor and Michael Kirkman are locks. Joe Ortiz has been outstanding in seven scoreless appearances, giving up only three hits in those seven innings. Robbie Ross and Josh Lindblom appear secure in their roles as well. Cory Burns and Tanner Scheppers could also be factors.

    Lineup

    Score: 6

    Leonys Martin appears poised to take over in center field, currently hitting .359 with seven RBI. New designated hitter Lance Berkman has struggled, hitting just .154 with one home run and four RBI. Second baseman Ian Kinsler also hasn't heated up, hitting .154 as well.

    Prospects

    Score: 4

    Thus far, the Rangers' two top hitting prospects, Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt, haven't quite yet broken out. Profar is hitting .222 with five RBI, while Olt is hitting just .179 with two home runs.

    No. 3 prospect Luis Sardinas collected one single in five at-bats before being sent down.

    No. 4 prospect Cody Buckel struggled mightily, giving up seven earned runs on just four hits with five walks in just one inning. No. 6 prospect Perez is out until mid- to late April, and No. 7 prospect Wilmer Font gave up two runs on one hit with one walk in his lone spring inning.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Health Status

    Score: 6

    There are a few health concerns for the Toronto Blue Jays as they get set to debut a revamped team in the regular season.

    Reliever Brad Lincoln is battling a sore shoulder and is close to a return to compete for a bullpen spot. Sergio Santos (triceps) returned to throw a perfect inning against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. He'll likely be ready for Opening Day.

    The picture is not quite as clear for closer Casey Janssen. Janssen (shoulder) is throwing batting practice and is closer to making his spring debut. His status for Opening Day is in doubt.

    Third baseman Brett Lawrie suffered an oblique injury just one day before he was to play for Team Canada in its first game of the WBC. He has yet to resume baseball activities, and his status for Opening Day is unclear.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    The rotation is strong with R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero. There's depth with J.A. Happ as well. In fact, Happ has easily out-pitched Romero this spring, so if he's sent to Triple-A, the Jays won't necessarily be starting the season with their strongest quintet.

    Bullpen

    Score: 6

    The bullpen has issues with Janssen still not active. Santos' return certainly helps, though. Darren Oliver has been outstanding, and Aaron Loup is stating a case for inclusion with a 1.29 ERA in seven appearances.

    Prospects

    Score: 1

    It's obvious that the Toronto Blue Jays completely mortgaged their future for the present. No. 8 prospect Sean Nolin was the highest-ranked youngster in camp, and he didn't last long. Nolin posted a 13.50 ERA and was assigned to minor league camp in early March.

Washington Nationals

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    Health Status

    Score: 9.5

    Virtually no concerns for the Washington Nationals with regard to health. Pitcher Christian Garcia will likely start the season on the disabled list as he recovers from a partially torn tendon in his right forearm.

    Rotation

    Score: 8

    A rotation that's stacked is coming into form quickly. Jordan Zimmermann bounced back quickly from a dead arm, allowing one earned run on four hits in 4.2 innings with six strikeouts against the New York Mets on Wednesday.

    Stephen Strasburg has 26 strikeouts in his 19.1 innings, and Dan Haren had been pitching well before giving up five runs to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. There's still a bit of concern with Haren, who showed diminished velocity in that start as well.

    Bullpen

    Score: 9

    The bullpen has been solid and will be an absolute strength during the season. Tyler Clippard has been lights-out in not allowing a single hit in five innings, striking out seven. Rafael Soriano had one rough outing last week, but he otherwise has looked sharp.

    Lineup

    Score: 8

    The only regular who has scuffled thus far is first baseman Adam LaRoche, hitting just .125. Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper have been hot, and Micah Owings has been impressive in attempting to reinvent his career, hitting .429 with two home runs and eight RBI. 

    Prospects

    Score: 8

    Top prospect Anthony Rendon has shown he's not far off from the big leagues, hitting .375 with four home runs and 11 RBI. Rendon has been reassigned to the minors, but he opened eyes for sure.

    No. 5 prospect Michael Taylor collected two hits in six at-bats before being sent to the minors as well.

    No. 7 prospect Eury Perez was hitting .348 before he went to represent the Dominican Republic in the WBC. On Friday, he was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. He could be back before long, however.

    Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.