Spring Training Is Really a Health Check

Spring Training Is Really a Health Check

A shrewd baseball man once observed that having a good record in Spring Training means exactly one thing: You're going to have a good Triple-A team. The lesson, of course, is that people who care about baseball put far too much stock in the results of games often played by Minor Leaguers.


As camps open, though, there is one very important thing that can be gleaned from just about every team's camp: health, or lack thereof. Pretty much every manager would rather have hurt players get healthy, and healthy players stay that way, than win every game of Grapefruit League or Cactus League play.


With that in mind, here's a look at some of the players and teams facing the most pressing health questions over the next seven weeks.


Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, Yankees: No biggie, just major injuries to the two faces of the franchise.


Rivera blew out his knee early last season but by all accounts has more or less recovered. He's targeted being on the roster on Opening Day, and barring any significant setbacks, that should be the case. The Yankees are somewhat less equipped to deal without Rivera this season than they were in 2012 due to the departure of Rafael Soriano via free agency. Any time without Rivera would weaken what should be a strong but thinner relief corps.


Jeter is the bigger question, in terms of both his health and of what the Yanks would do without him. All of the recent reports have been glowing as he attempts to recover from a broken left ankle, but he is 38 and his range was already declining. Moreover, that was a major injury he sustained at the end of the American League Championship Series.

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