Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004.
|Maybe Barry Bonds' stint as a guest instructor in Giants camp will serve as some small reminder of the unique talent that existed beyond the hints and shouts and court dates and public persecution and, yes, beyond the general jerkiness, too.
More»Bonds on returning to Spring Training as a mentor|
|For skippers in their first seasons at the helm, the procedure of determining what to challenge and when to challenge has been yet another challenge in the long list of areas in which these leaders of men are attempting to develop and establish their managerial personalities.
More» Sandberg on expanded replay, Phils' offense|
|You'd be hard-pressed to find a single analysis of the D-backs' trade for Mark Trumbo that doesn't somehow incorporate the words "lineup protection" in it. The problem, though, with this assumption is twofold: 1. The concept of "lineup construction" is statistically dubious to begin with, and 2. manager Kirk Gibson seems to have no plans to pair Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt, anyway.
More» Trumbo drives in Goldschmidt in the fourth|
|On the Angels, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout work in tandem. The veteran is a daily, present reminder to Trout of the commitment level it takes to maintain annual MVP-type production, and the young superstar serves as a daily, present reminder of the value of youthful exuberance.
More»Angels looking for long-term deal for Trout|
|Here are the "make-or-break" seasons that are on the horizon in the American League, because every team has at least one player with a lot on the line, either because of what 2014 will mean for his future or what his performance will mean for his team's bottom line.
More» CC pitches two scoreless in spring debut|
|Brandon Phillips has gone "media mute" again here in Reds camp. Only this time, it's a selective form of media muteness. He's not talking to the Cincinnati beat reporters, the guys around him essentially on a daily basis.
More» Phillips' RBI tally masks eroding skill set|
|Here are 30 "make-or-break" seasons that are on the horizon. One for every team, because every team has at least one player with a lot on the line, either because of what 2014 will mean for his future or what his performance will mean for his team's bottom line.
More» Upton looks to regain form as dual threat|
|They call this guy "Nasty Masty" because of the weaponry he brings to the mound, fastballs and sliders flinging out of the hand attached to that 6-foot-6, 250-pound frame. Off the mound, as we've learned, Justin Masterson is anything but nasty. It should be no surprise, then, that he is going about the sometimes brutal business side of the game in such a genial manner.
More» Masterson looks to become No. 1 option|
|Joe Maddon may be the modern pioneer of the defensive shift, but the Rays no longer retain an edge in this particular defensive department. If anything, their shifting strategy is the new norm.
|You could feel it again, in that fleeting moment when a red-clad crowd went crazy during lineup introductions, celebrating a Wild Card-winning Indians club that unexpectedly brought playoff baseball back to Cleveland.
More»Hart on the Indians' fanbase throughout the years|
|On the heels of a winter that saw the Mets commit more than three times as much money to three free agents than they had spent in the previous three offseasons combined, the club will rely on veterans and the potential of young starters.
More»Wheeler wants to start on Opening Day|
|The Cardinals got good news on Jaime Garcia on Wednesday, but they won't know how good until they see how his shoulder, which reportedly has no structural damage, responds to a cortisone injection to treat inflammation. But they are uniquely positioned to take a hiccup such as the Garcia news in stride.
More»Mozeliak, Matheny discuss Garcia's status|
|Success -- wild, enthralling, beard-bearing and city-strengthening success -- didn't alter the course of caution and strict sensibility by which the Boston Red Sox now operate. If anything, it only strengthened the organizational stance that this is not just a baseball team but a baseball business.
More»Browne on expectations for Bogaerts, Middlebrooks|
|The Rays were holding live batting-practice sessions Monday on the back fields of Charlotte Sports Park, a typical sight on a late-February morning in a Spring Training camp. What wasn't so typical was what was happening on the periphery.
More»Moore feels good about early progress at camp|
|Would a deal that marks brave new territory in terms of a guarantee to a 22-year-old be fair for Mike Trout and the Angels? Will the revamped Tigers be improved this season? MLB.com columnist Anthony Castrovince answers these questions and more in his Inbox.
More»Trout has his sights set on big 2014 season|
|Cliff Lee turned 35 last summer, but there's no regression in sight for the left-hander, who believes "age is just a number" -- and the Phillies need to follow that mantra in order to succeed.
More»Palmer chats with Lee about the Phils' expectations|
|All along this winter, the thought was that the Blue Jays, whose two protected first-round Draft picks put them in a solid spot to add a guy attached to compensation, were waiting in the wings, ready to pounce when the price is right. But as you might have noticed in today's game, the price is rarely right, in the old-fashioned sense.
More»Reyes on his health, expectations for Blue Jays|
|The Pirates used an application of advanced analytics -- namely defensive shifts -- to help turn the once-woebegone franchise into last year's National League Wild Card winner.
More»How the Pirates used information to become a winner|
|Two years ago Cam Perron, then a high schooler, began using his time to track down and help former Negro League players. His story has attracted much more attention since then, including calls from Hollywood producers.
|Maybe they were made and meant for each other, this Draft-pick-pestered pitcher and this franchise frustrated by what had been a fruitless starting pitching pursuit.
More»Duquette, Showalter welcome Jimenez to the Orioles|