As camps opened in Florida and Arizona, pressing questions inevitably began springing up all over
While the Yankees regard Randy Johnson as a given, they also face one of the greatest uncertainties in baseball as the 30 spring training camps open in earnest this week. These are the five questions that loom largest this spring.
What kind of player is Jason Giambi?
The Yankees admit they have no idea what Giambi can do after two seasons plagued by injuries, illness and, now, the steroid scandal. Tino Martinez takes his first base job, leaving Giambi to DH, a job he has never liked. Hitting coach Don Mattingly will try to wean him from being a dead-pull power hitter and back to using the whole field.
What will the A's do without
the Big Three?
At 26, lefthander Barry Zito is the Yoda of the Oakland rotation, now that former mates Tim Hudson (Braves) and Mark Mulder ( Cardinals, above) have been traded. The Athletics do have talent, if not experience, in a pair of 23-year-olds--righthander Rich Harden and lefty Dan Meyer--as well as 24-year-old righties Joe Blanton and Danny Haren, but they'll need a deeper bullpen and insurance from Keiichi Yabu, 36, to make up for the inevitable loss of innings.
Will the Astros trade for a centerfielder before Opening Day?
Houston lost righthander Wade Miller ( Red Sox), second baseman Jeff Kent ( Dodgers) and, most critically, centerfielder Carlos Beltran ( Mets). Lance Berkman, who may be the stopgap solution, is recovering from knee surgery and is better suited to left even when healthy. Mike Cameron of the Mets or Eric Byrnes of the A's would fill the bill.
Are the Cubs better off without Sammy Sosa?