MLB Spring Training games begin on Friday and several former Crimson Tide players are camping in Florida and Arizona.
Alex Avila (C, Arizona Diamondbacks) - Signed a two-year deal worth $8,250,000. The 31-year old veteran split time with the Tigers and the Cubs last season hitting .264, 14 HR, 49 RBI. Avila looks set to take over for Chris Iannetta who signed with Colorado.
Tommy Hunter (RHP, Philadelphia Phillies) - Signed a two-year deal worth $18,000,000. Hunter had a 2.61 ERA, 64 Ks and only 14 walks as a reliever for Tampa in 2017. His WHIP [Walks & Hits per Inning Pitched] was a minuscule 0.972 (Clayton Kershaw’s was 0.949.).
Wade LeBlanc (LHP, New York Yankees) - Non-Roster Invitee. LeBlanc, 33, has played for seven MLB teams plus a season in Japan in 2015. He will be auditioning for a role as a long-reliever.
Adam Morgan (LHP, Philadelphia Phillies) - Beginning his fourth season in Philly. Morgan, 27, is part of the youngest team in the major leagues (25.6 average age). They are definitely in full-on rebuild mode.
Jimmy Nelson (RHP, Milwaukee Brewers) - Avoided arbitration signing a one-year deal worth $3,700,000. He was having an outstanding 2017 season in the Brewers’ starting rotation, compiling a 12-6 record with a 3.49 ERA, plus 199 strikeouts to 48 walks. Unfortunately in early September, he had right rotator cuff strain and a partial anterior labrum tear which required surgery. The Brewers report that he is ahead of schedule in his recovery.
David Robertson (RHP, New York Yankees) - In the last year of a 4-year deal that will earn him $13,000,000 this season. He has evolved into one of the most valued set-up men in the game. He finished the 2017 regular season with a 9-2 record, a 1.84 ERA, a 0.849 WHIP, 14 saves and 98 strikeouts across 68 1/3 innings playing for the White Sox and Yanks. After being traded back to Gotham, Robertson was lights out compiling a 5-0 record, 1.03 ERA and a microscopic 0.743 WHIP.
Josh Rutledge (INF, San Francisco Giants) Non-Roster Invitee. The 28 year old has spent three seasons in Colorado and three in Boston as a utilityman. He will be fighting for a roster spot this spring. Good thing his wife has a decent job, just in case things don’t work out.
Spencer Turnbull (RHP, Detroit Tigers) Spring Training Invitee. At 25, he is still relatively young. He is expected to make his Major League debut sometime this season. Nice write-up on him by the Tigers’ SBN site.