Spring brings hope, doubt for baseball teams, fans
Spring training opens Monday around baseball, and you'll hear fans talk about hope. Unfortunately, every team also has its doubts. Here's what teams are dealing with.
Chicago White Sox
Reason to hope: Chris Sale and Jake Peavy anchor a solid rotation, and most of the lineup returns intact.
Nagging doubts: How well will catcher Tyler Flowers replace A.J. Pierzynski?
Reason to hope: Brought in Nick Swisher to boost the division's worst offense, and Trevor Bauer could anchor the staff
Nagging doubts: Closer Chris Perez saw his numbers decline in the second half last year.
Reason to hope: Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter should boost a formidable offense, and their rotation is rock solid.
Nagging doubts: Is rookie Bruce Rondon the answer as a closer?
Kansas City Royals
Reason to hope: A rebuilt rotation will be an upgrade, and there are some good young hitters in the lineup.
Nagging doubts: Big questions remain in right field and second base.
Reason to hope: The rotation can't implode two years in a row, right?
Nagging doubts: The outfield has been rebuilt, and shortstop Pedro Florimon doesn't look great.
Reason to hope: Made playoffs in 2012 and have exciting young players in Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy.
Nagging doubts: The Orioles won a lot of close games last year.
Boston Red Sox
Reason to hope: Joel Hanrahan should upgrade the bullpen.
Nagging doubts: Mike Napoli has to stay healthy, which was a problem for the team last year.
New York Yankees
Reason to hope: CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova won 43 games in 2012.
Nagging doubts: Derek Jeter (ankle) and Mariano Rivera (knee) are coming off injuries.
Tampa Bay Rays
Reason to hope: David Price won the Cy Young, and Wil Myers could provide a needed offensive boost.
Nagging doubts: Evan Longoria has struggled to stay healthy.
Toronto Blue Jays
Reason to hope: Like the Royals' moves? Well, the Jays got Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey.
Nagging doubts: Outfielder Colby Rasmus has to start living up to the hype.
Reason to hope: Bud Norris had a 3.77 ERA in 2011.
Nagging doubts: A move to the AL West from the soft NL Central won't help a team that has consecutive 100-loss seasons.
Los Angeles Angels
Reason to hope: Josh Hamilton's addition makes a great offense even stronger.
Nagging doubts: Closer Ryan Madson missed 2012 because of an injury, and three starters are gone.
Reason to hope: Who expected the A's to win last year? They've got confidence, and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is a star.
Nagging doubts: They have a glut of outfielders who will want playing time.
Reason to hope: The new dimensions at Safeco Field should result in more offense, and Felix Hernandez is an ace.
Nagging doubts: They missed out on acquiring an impact bat (Raul Ibanez, really?).
Reason to hope: Former Royal Joakim Soria should make the bullpen better.
Nagging doubts: Hard to lose Josh Hamilton and not worry about the offense.
Reason to hope: Brotherly love. B.J. and Justin Upton were acquired and join Jason Heyward in a strong outfield.
Nagging doubts: Catcher Brian McCann has to recovery from shoulder surgery, and who will replace Chipper Jones' leadership?
Reason to hope: Giancarlo Stanton led the league in slugging percentage in 2012.
Nagging doubts: A gutted roster leaves the Marlins with the top goal of trying to avoid 100 losses.
New York Mets
Reason to hope: David Wright is an impact hitter in the middle of the lineup.
Nagging doubts: Johan Santana's health is a concern, and the Mets have not decided on a closer yet.
Reason to hope: Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay strike fear into any opposing team.
Nagging doubts: An aging team added 36-year-old Michael Young at third base; how will Delmon Young fit into the outfield?
Reason to hope: They are pitching-heavy with the NL's best rotation and Rafael Soriano added to the bullpen.
Nagging doubts: Gio Gonzalez could be distracted by steroid talk.
Reason to hope: First baseman Anthony Rizzo could be a star, and Edwin Jackson should boost the pitching staff.
Nagging doubts: Last year was a disaster, and the rebuilding project will take time.
Reason to hope: Shin-Soo Choo was a great pickup, and the Reds have some big boppers in Jay Bruce, Ryan Ludwick and Joey Votto.
Nagging doubts: What if former closer Aroldis Chapman struggles as a starter?
Reason to hope: The Brewers led the NL in runs last year despite losing Prince Fielder.
Nagging doubts: Ryan Braun again faces PED questions, and the Brewers' bullpen was awful last year.
Reason to hope: Andrew McCutchen had a breakout year in 2012.
Nagging questions: Back end of rotation is a question mark, and they need to cut down on strikeouts (1,354 last year).
St. Louis Cardinals
Reason to hope: There are a bevy of young arms (including Lee's Summit native Trevor Rosenthal).
Nagging doubts: Chris Carpenter's injury makes the rotation look a lot shakier, and Carlos Beltran's numbers fell off in the second half, raising concerns.
Reason to hope: Trevor Cahill and Wade Miley are two outstanding young arms.
Nagging doubts: Outfielders Chris Young and Justin Upton were traded, so that's a new-look outfield.
Reason to hope: Carlos Gonzalez, Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki are big hitters.
Nagging doubts: Injuries took a toll on Helton and Tulowitzki, and how will new manager Walt Weiss do going from high schools to the big leagues?
Los Angeles Dodgers
Reason to hope: Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw lead the pitching staff, and the offense has Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Either.
Nagging doubts: They've spent big, and the pressure to succeed could be too much.
San Diego Padres
Reason to hope: The Padres will try to build off a great second half of 2012 (47-36).
Nagging doubts: The last three spots in the rotation are up for grabs, and they are in serious need of another bat.
San Francisco Giants
Reason to hope: They've won the World Series in two of the last three seasons.
Nagging doubts: Can Tim Lincecum (5.18 ERA) bounce back?