Spring Training Records Meaningless

The Giants started off poorly in the 2003 spring training year, but quickly rebounded to a more solid record. Here we look at some of the reasons why the Giants have been doing better recently and why spring training records are not an accurate predictor of a team's success.

The Giants did not begin their spring training season very well, going 1-4-1 in their first 6 games. But now, they are 14-13-1. Therefore, they have gone 13-9 in their last 22 games.

I for one do not believe that the early games of spring training mean much in terms of records. It is merely a chance for teams to decide who is making the roster and who shall be cut.

For example, the Giants starter in a 6-4 victory against the Anaheim Angels, Livan Hernandez, only pitched three innings as the Giants also tested out two young arms, Jerome Williams and Joe Nathan by having them each pitch two innings of that game.

However, those two innings were Wiliams only spring training game so far as of March 23. More often, the Giants would experiment with Jesse Foppert and Joe Nathan. Foppert started one game himself, in addition to pitching in relief for 5 others, while Nathan has relieved a starter 9 times so far in spring training.

But on Friday, Mar. 21, the Giants had a similar victory, 6-3 against the Colorado Rockies. However in this case Jason Schmidt pitched a solid six innings and no other potential starting pitchers played in the game at all.

The team, in those three weeks, was able to narrow down who was the better of their previously untested starters, hence allowing them to pitch more innings each.

The older pitchers also must start slowly, progressing from 3 innings to 6 or 7 to make sure that they are fully prepared for the upcoming season.

This is why I do not care about early spring training numbers. In previous years the Giants have performed poorly in these games. What really matters is who makes it on the 25-man roster, as that has an effect on the regular season.

I am confident that the Giants will make it to the playoffs in the 2003 year. They have an impressive team, a very solid lineup. I would predict for Rich Aurilia to return closer to his 2001 levels, and for Yorvit Torreabla to eventually take over the catching position.

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