Now that we're two weeks into spring training, we're beginning to get an idea of what our team is going to look like for the next several months. There are some disturbing trends (such as Boston's 3-6 record and Bronson Arroyo's widespread ineffectiveness), but also some positive indications of what the season might be like.
Some of the positives include the offensive numbers from some of our key newbies, including Coco Crisp (.615 average, 3 SBs), Mark Loretta (.455 average), and Dustan Mohr (.588 OBP, 2 homers). Machado has been impressive as well, batting .500 with a triple this spring.
The question we must ask, however, is:
"When does Spring Training begin to indicate the degree of our success during the season?"
"When can we be worried about the lackluster hitting of some (Youkilis .083) and pitching of others (Arroyo 19.64 ERA)?"
Spring Training is indeed about getting into shape, and most pitchers and hitters are still working themselves into seasonal shape. It's difficult right now not to get worked up about every single element of the grapefruit season (remember Keith Foulke's disasterous 2004 Spring Training? He turned out okay...), but then again, Spring is where injuries, bad habits, and poor chemistry are formed.
The question for all of you is:
When is it time to worry? At what point can we begin to read "too much" into the games and the performances? Will is be the last week? The last 5 games? Opening Day??