Spring training is the perfect time of year for the little things to be absolutely blown out of proportion. This team is doing well and this team is struggling, which means the regular season will be like that.

Very often, though, the spring is a time to iron out the kinks, and the struggles in March are completely forgotten by the middle of the summer. Teams like the Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants have been awful this spring but are still favorites to make the playoffs this year.

But for every team that overcomes the problems on display in spring, there is one that ignored the warning signs and watches the struggles continue deep into the season.


Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles have been one of the more surprising teams of the past three years in MLB. Despite never developing an elite rotation, the O’s have used stellar defense and power hitting to make the playoffs in two of the last three seasons.

With Nelson Cruz, who led the American League in home runs last year, off to Seattle, Baltimore’s bats were already expected to take a hit. But the signs in spring have been worrying to say the least. Although the Orioles are third in homers with 24 so far, they are also 25th in batting average and 27th in on-base percentage.

The starting pitching issues are still there for Baltimore, and there is only so much that hitting home runs can do over the course of a 162-game season, so the poor hitting numbers aren’t a great sign for a team that hopes to take the next step this season.

The AL East isn’t the juggernaut it has been in past seasons, but something needs to be done if the Orioles are going to remain competitive and repeat the magic of last season’s run (highlights of which are in the video below).

Joey Votto

How long ago it seems the Cincinnati Reds were a dark horse pick to rally behind Joey Votto and claim the elusive World Series title the franchise hasn’t seen since 1990.

But after Votto missed 100 games last season, and the Reds finished 10 games under .500, it feels like the window might be closing on this current crop of players.

Coming into the spring, the fans were looking for signs to be optimistic. But they just haven’t been there so far. Votto, in particular, hasn’t bounced back in the way many had hoped, only hitting .250 with one home run and two RBI.

He has only played eight games so far, but the former MVP will be expected to shoulder the load for the Reds this year like he did in 2010. Highlights from that season can be seen in this highlight video, but his spring performance isn’t one that instills confidence.

While Votto’s numbers are the most likely to turn around of the players on this list, the only way the Reds return to the playoffs is if he repeats his 2010 campaign, an unlikely prospect if things continue the way they have so far.


Emilio Bonifacio

Never known as a player with the ability to tear the cover off the ball, Emilio Bonifacio has seen any hitting abilities he had completely fall by the wayside. So far this spring, the White Sox’s second baseman is hitting .097 with no RBI and five strikeouts.

The numbers are a bit deceiving, as Bonifacio still has an OBP of .243, but it is hard to ignore any player who is going to be in a regular in a lineup hitting less than .100. The White Sox will be chasing the Indians all season long and will need better production from their second baseman than what he has shown this spring.

Although a poor spring can be chalked up to just an off month, and players often turn things around once the regular season starts, Bonifacio’s numbers have been so awful that expectations are already lower than they once were.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Bonifacio wasn’t the starter to start the season, with youngster Micah Johnson hitting .455 and likely to take control of the spot. If Bonifacio does lose his spot in the starting lineup early, it could be hard to get it back at all this season.

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