Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|There has been much attention paid to a dramatically improved Red Sox lineup, and justifiably so. But so often, entire seasons rise or fall on the performance of the pitching, particularly the starting pitching.
More»Porcello pumped to be part of Red Sox rotation|
|The Toronto Blue Jays are extremely happy to have Josh Donaldson in their lineup. Donaldson, for his part, is also very happy to be with the Blue Jays.
More» Donaldson should provide power in new park|
|You have heard, read, seen speculation about how much of a "distraction" Alex Rodriguez will be to the Yankees. Based on events Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field and the surrounding area, it appears that A-Rod could be much more of a "distraction" to the media than to the other members of the Yankees organization.
More»Joe Girardi on A-Rod's return to the Yankees|
|One of baseball's best rotations could be made up of pitchers who have left the Tigers in recent years. But that does not mean that the 2015 Detroit rotation is in tatters or even in trouble. David Price, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Alfredo Simon, Shane Greene. That rotation should pose plenty of problems for the opposition.
More»Ausmus discusses Price and his role in the rotation|
|Jung Ho Kang could make a major impact with the Pittsburgh Pirates. But for the moment, let's look at the individual and wait at least until the exhibition games before the legend is created.
More» Kang has the power to make impact with Bucs|
|If you have any questions at all about what Matheny is all about, apart from being a success as a big league manager, the answers are contained in Matheny's book, "The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life" written with Jerry B. Jenkins.
More»Nothing worth doing right is easy|
|The Brewers have to be hoping that Jonathan Lucroy's strained right hamstring keeps him out no longer than the projected four to six weeks, as he has become a focal point of this club, on the field and in the clubhouse.
More»McCalvy on Lucroy's hamstring injury, recovery time|
|After a offseason of wheeling and dealing, some teams previously categorized as "have-nots" have become big-time "haves." In an era characterized by competitive balance, the whole parity thing could be reaching record levels.
More» Samardzija may regress in new ballpark|
|The winners in the chases for the big three of the free-agent pitching class illustrate the spread of both baseball's competitive balance and its prosperity.
More»Corey Brock evaluates the Padres' busy offseason|
|The Miami Marlins have transformed their reality, their image and their chances in just a few short months. This is not a bad offseason's work. The Marlins, of course, are able to spend the winter in an area where the construction season never ends. It may be tougher to build a winner when the front walk still has to be shoveled. Still, their direction is unmistakable. That would be upward.
More»Marlins GM Jennings on team's rotation, Fernandez|
|Commissioner Bud Selig describes the final days of his 22 years in office as "very emotional, very sentimental." But emotional and sentimental haven't been much in Selig's mix. Until now. And it's understandable.
More»Commissioner Selig speaks at PBSFA|
|With the acquisition of Max Scherzer, it immediately became trendy to favor the Nationals to win the 2015 World Series, but though they should be able to once again secure the National League's best record during the regular season, there will be far less certainty come the postseason, and no club knows that better than the one in Washington.
More»Nationals unveil pitcher Max Scherzer in D.C.|
|When it comes to intangible factors, James Shields' previous employers rave about him. He is, the essence, by all reasonable accounts, of a positive clubhouse presence, a leader and a role model. However, the typical big bidders have expressed no interest in acquiring free-agent righty.
More»How does Scherzer's deal affect the pitching market?|
|It may be true that the Brewers would have had difficulty retaining Yovani Gallardo when he became eligible for free agency after the season. But simply trading him for possible improvement at some point in an indefinite future doesn't necessarily look like the move of a team committed to contending on an annual basis.
More»Callis on Brewers acquiring Sardinas, Knebel, Diplan|
|The comments by Anthony Rizzo to an elementary school class, guaranteeing the Chicago Cubs would win the NL Central in 2015, are merely the first signs of stunning events yet to come. Those events may include a division title from the Cubs -- just the fact that you can grant that possibility is a big breakthrough for the North Siders.
More»Rizzo belts three of the Cubs' longest homers in 2014|
|These are not your father's Yankees -- or the Yankees of Hal Steinbrenner's father, George M. Steinbrenner III. They will be praised for their relative restraint -- unless they don't make the postseason again.
More»Drew set to impact both sides of the ball for Yankees|
|Early last season, the Royals were slumping at the plate and the critics were calling for the dismissal of manager Ned Yost. But Yost never wavered in displaying confidence and patience in his club, which turned things around to break a 29-year postseason drought and advance to the World Series. On Tuesday, Yost was rewarded with a one-year contract extension through the 2016 season.
More»Moore, Yost on one-year extension through 2016 season|
|The Max Scherzer free-agent market has defied what we think of as normal procedure. The righty's market may currently be in the range between enigma and mystery, but there remains a widespread belief that Scherzer and his agent, Scott Boras, will end up with a contract very much like the one that they want.
More»Are Tigers interested in bringing back Scherzer?|
|James Shields' value to a club has not been measured only through pitching statistics. With Tampa Bay, and then with Kansas City, he has played a leading role in the transformation of not only a rotation, but a team.
More»MLB Tonight on the mystery offer to James Shields|
|The Hall of Fame voting process is not broken. It is simply more difficult than it used to be. We all have candidates who we wish would receive more votes, but this year's election illustrated that the underlying process still makes sense and still remains viable.
More»Newest elected Hall of Famers take in New York City|