Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004.
|How does the American League East stack up, position by position? Here's a stab at predicting who will be the best player at each position in the division this season. Think of it as the preseason All-AL East team.
More» Bautista drills a solo home run to left|
|Any number of factors can conspire to decide a division. But at the dawn of a new season, these are the five factors that look like they'll loom largest in the American League East.
More»MLB Tonight makes predictions for 2015 Yankees|
|The Tigers will only go as far as their stars take them, but there is still some important young talent in the mix, and their performance could prove pivotal as Detroit looks to nail down a fifth straight AL Central title.
More» V-Mart hammers mammoth two-run dinger|
|If the Twins thought Joe Mauer's move from behind the plate to first base was going to boost his bat to yet another elite level last season, they were sorely mistaken, and Mauer was pretty sore, too.
More» Mauer on spring so far, playing first base|
|Tough decisions are good decisions. Tough decisions mean that the players didn't settle things for you by blowing out their elbows or striking out every trip to the plate or injuring themselves sneezing. Tough decisions mean all those things you liked about these guys on paper are here now, in real life, and it's your job to decide what to do with them. If things continue as is, the Cardinals are going to have an awfully tough decision to make at the back of their rotation.
More»Matheny details the message he gave his 2015 ballclub|
|Brian Dozier might have been an eighth-round pick who didn't stick at his natural shortstop position, but now he is nothing short of a top-five second baseman in the big leagues. The Twins rewarded him for sustaining the second-half breakout he displayed in 2013, giving themselves some cost certainty through Dozier's arbitration years with a four-year, $20 million extension.
More»Ryan, Dozier on second baseman's extension with Twins|
|Mookie Betts has taken a laid-back and humble approach at Red Sox Spring Training, but his performance on the field has been anything but quiet as the 22-year-old has hit and hustled his way to a virtual lock on the center-field job.
More»Betts dashes around bases for home run|
|Matt Wieters' situation is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Not only do we not know exactly when to expect him back from right elbow tendinitis, but there is absolutely no telling what level of performance to expect from him when he does return.
More»Ghiroli on O's shutting down Wieters|
|The first sign of Didi Gregorius' flash came when he strolled into the clubhouse on this March morning wearing gold-plated headphones, shining brightly. The gold wasn't real, for the record, but the flash Gregorius brings to the field for a Bronx ballclub that has reinvented its defensive reputation in the last calendar year is as authentic as it comes.
More» Gregorius makes sliding stop as run scores|
|It's the primary trio that is of the utmost interest, and it's a safe bet that neither the Marlins nor Pirates would trade their own outfield for the other. The rest of baseball, meanwhile, would happily grab either one.
More» Stanton belts his first homer of the spring|
|Christian Yelich is the second member of the Marlins' elite young outfield to lock arms with the organization. Giancarlo Stanton signed a 13-year deal in the offseason, and young center fielder Marcell Ozuna is under contract until 2019.
More»Yelich, Marlins come to terms on seven-year extension|
|Internally, the Braves think they project to be better than anticipated, squeaking past .500 and maybe getting into the National League Wild Card mix. Externally, little is expected of these Braves, and that's just fine.
More» Gonzalez on competition, 2015 season|
|Everybody is expecting big things from this Nats' rotation. It's a loaded and lethal group that makes this ballclub a prohibitive favorite in the NL East and a popular pick to win the World Series, too. Really, any one of these guys could start Opening Day for any number of clubs. But count the days. It might all start with Stephen Strasburg.
|Spring is in full swing, with those initial and sometimes awkward first games out of the way and starters creeping toward more recognizable workloads. It's still way too early to make a call on any of the earnest position battles taking place in a variety of camps, but it's not too early to at least check in on a few of the more prominent ones and see how things are trending.
More» Betts collects three hits against the Yanks|
|If Pedro Alvarez rebounds from his down 2014 season, and several other players break out, the Pirates have the potential for a monster offense in '15.
More» Alvarez connects for a three-run homer|
|Any player who compels you to drop everything -- work, lunch, the baby (not literally) -- to tune into Gameday Audio (shameless plug) and listen to him hone his craft in a Spring Training game in the far-off planet of Jupiter, Fla., is a special player, indeed. So it is with Matt Harvey.
More»Harvey on return to Mets rotation, preparing for 2015|
|In their bid to rebuild and become a viable contender sooner rather than later, the Philadelphia Phillies lack leverage, even with Cole Hamels. Between now and Opening Day, the Phillies need to find the best possible offer they possibly can for Hamels and make it happen.
More»MLB Tonight on when Phillies could trade Cole Hamels|
|No matter how long Denard Span is out or how affected he is by his recent surgeries, the Nationals still have plenty of pieces to get themselves a ring. But no ring comes without overcoming obstacles like these.
More» Taylor goes yard on first pitch of game|
|Even in a subpar and injury-ravaged season, Josh Hamilton did contribute for the AL West champion Angels last year, and the Halos are going to need that kind of production out of left field in 2015. But it doesn't necessarily need to come from Hamilton, writes columnist Anthony Castrovince.
More»Angels GM Dipoto, Scioscia discuss Josh Hamilton|
|Once taboo, eight-man bullpens seem to be gaining traction in today's game. Obviously, it's more applicable for American League teams, for which glaring pinch-hit opportunities are presented less frequently. But last year even the Cubs went with an eight-man 'pen for much of the season.
More»Nelson, Footer discuss bullpens and their importance|