Lyle Spencer has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2005, covering the Padres and Angels. He has covered Major League Baseball as a reporter and columnist since 1971.
|From a distance Stephen Vogt watched Billy Beane's wild winter adventure -- nine trades, 27 players involved -- with a vested interest, keeping tabs on incoming and outgoing A's teammates.
More»Stephen Vogt on becoming the A's starting catcher|
|Let's take a look at the game's best teams last season in delivering runners in scoring position and how roster changes could impact them in 2015.
More» Puig plates game's first run with RBI double|
|Jorge Soler has managed to fly under the Cubs' radar in spite of soaring skills calling to manager Joe Maddon's mind the great Vladimir Guerrero.
More»Maddon talks about the expectations for Jorge Soler|
|Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers' pillar of quiet strength, is Major League Baseball's most underappreciated superstar.
More»Gonzalez appreciates Mattingly's wisdom at first base|
|In the company of one of the liveliest bands of players in baseball, Alex Rios is reinvigorated. The American League champion Royals are taking the graceful, athletic right fielder back to his youth following a dark, injury-derailed season in Texas.
More» Rios looking to regain power stroke in 2015|
|Yovani Gallardo, new to the Rangers and the American League this spring after eight seasons with the Brewers, shrugged when it was pointed out that he is losing one of his best weapons in the designated-hitter league: His bat.
More» Greinke's bat, baserunning helps Dodgers|
|Big names in new places. This is one of the themes of 2015 in the afterglow of a winter of extraordinary change across the landscape. How the acquired talent adapts to a new home ballpark is one of the factors that will determine who soars and who doesn't in the new environment.
More» Kemp rips a home run to left field in the 3rd|
|Second baseman Joe Panik credits Brandon Crawford, the Giants' vastly underrated shortstop, with having a settling effect on him in October and in his 73 regular-season games when he hit .302, flourishing as a No. 2 hitter.
More»Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford demo double plays|
|Al Rosen became a driving force Dusty Baker's life at dark period, helping chart the course that made Baker into one of baseball's most successful managers -- and a happily married man, as a bonus. Baker got the news over the weekend that "Mr. Rosen," as he called his mentor, had died last Friday at 91.
More»Indians great Al Rosen passes away at age 91|
|You are starting a franchise with a focus on the future, not one season. Which three players, excluding those on your own team, would be your top choices? The question was put before 18 Major League executives and managers from 12 clubs in Arizona.
More»Debating best three players to start a franchise with|
|Micah Johnson grew up in Indianapolis but somehow managed to avoid catching hoops hysteria, the state's sport of choice. His focus was always on baseball, on honing his natural tools and riding them eventually to the top of the mountain: the Major Leagues.
More» M. Johnson hits an RBI single to left field|
|There was no more surprising success story in 2014 than Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker. Now comes the next challenge: addressing the old baseball adage that it's easier to get to The Show than it is to stay there.
More» Shoemaker throws to first to nab runner|
|In what A's manager Bob Melvin has called a "resurrection," Scott Kazmir is back on top of the heap as the co-ace in Oakland with young Sonny Gray. A remarkable story just keeps getting better, and Kazmir is looking to take it to the next level in 2015.
More»Kazmir setting higher goals, looks to repeat success|
|Teammates for two seasons in Los Angeles, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Matt Kemp faced off for the first time on a baseball field as rivals in Thursday night's Cactus League game at Peoria Stadium, Ryu getting the upper hand with his glove. The meeting of Ryu and Kemp preceded by not quite two hours the grand finale of Will Ferrell's magical mystery tour of Arizona diamonds.
More» Ryu retires ex-teammate Kemp in 1st|
|Chemistry on and off the field is a matter of ongoing debate by baseball insiders. Some believe it is absolutely essential to success; others believe it is overrated. Some general managers take it into serious consideration in personnel moves; others don't attach significant value to it.
More»Bud Black on Padres developing team chemistry|
|Mark Trumbo isn't a stellar defender in the outfield or an on-base machine at the plate, but he has elite power and D-backs manager Chip Hale is perfectly happy letting the slugger be himself.
More» Trumbo drills a two-run home run|
|The Padres' Derek Norris is a busy guy, making every Spring Training day count. Mental preparation is a quality more essential to a catcher -- especially one new to a team -- than any other player on the roster.
More»Norris learning new staff after joining the Padres|
|They come from the same Deep South soil, viewing life through similar prisms, sharing philosophies about their craft. But until last season, when they were united as Giants teammates, Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy rarely crossed paths.
More» Peavy gets out of trouble with a strikeout|
|Starter Edinson Volquez was drawn as a free agent to Kansas City by the Royals' talent-filled roster and October success. The outfield has no equal defensively, the infield is on the rise, and Salvador Perez is the game's premier young catcher.
More» Yost talks about Volquez's spring debut|
|Carlos Gomez plays baseball like a man running from a burning house. The electric center fielder sets the tone and pace for the Brewers, who, at their best, are the Golden State Warriors of Major League Baseball, born to run. When they abandon the fast break for a half-court game, as in the second half of 2014, they lose their edge.
More»Gomez on playing for Roenicke, reflects on '09 trade|