Camps are opening, and most teams have the majority of their Major League roster spots devoted to particular players. However, each team typically has a few roster spots up for grabs, typically in the back of the rotation, on the bench and in the back end of the bullpen. Here's a look at some of those teams and the players in the hunt for the jobs …
- The White Sox will probably start the season with a four-man rotation with Jake Peavy unlikely to be ready by Opening Day, writes Mark Gonzales of ChicagoBreakingSports.com. Chris Sale will return to the bullpen, where he pitched so effectively in 2010, and when the schedule no longer permits the Sox to get by with a four-man rotation, the likely fifth-starter candidates are Lucas Harrell, Philip Humber and Jeff Gray.
- The Indians have a handful of possibilities for their infield, writes Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. The best-case scenario entails Jason Donald at third, Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop and Orlando Cabrera at second, but veterans Jayson Nix, Luis Valbuena and Jack Hannahan, and prospects Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis, Cord Phelps and Jared Goedert are also in play.
- The Orioles have two rotation spots up for grabs, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Brad Bergesen, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, Rick VandenHurk, Zach Britton and non-roster invitee Ryan Drese are among the contenders. The final spot on the bench will probably be claimed by one of Jake Fox, Robert Andino, Nolan Reimold, Randy Winn, Brendan Harris and Nick Green.
- The Yankees, too, have two available spots in their starting rotation, writes Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Among the contenders are veterans Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, and prospects Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos and Andrew Brackman. The catching situation is tricky, with Russell Martin the favorite to start, but he is coming off an injury. Finally, the bench has seen a lot of turnover but will need to be strong for a veteran-heavy team.
- The Reds have only one available roster spot for position players, writes Jeremy P. Kelly of the Dayton Daily News, and Jeremy Hermida is the front-runner to win it. Two rotation spots will be divvied up among Travis Wood, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake, but Bailey is out of options, so he might have an edge for that reason. There are a handful of qualified bullpen hopefuls vying for two spots, Dontrelle Willis and Daniel Ray Herrera among them.
- The Giants have one bullpen spot open, with Guillermo Mota and Jeff Suppan the early favorites, writes Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News. Prospect Brandon Belt, blocked by Aubrey Huff at first base, may not get his chance on Opening Day, according to Baggerly. Andres Torres and Cody Ross are likely starters in the outfield, with Pat Burrell, Nate Schierholtz, Aaron Rowand and Mark DeRosa battling for playing time, either with the Giants or "someone else," writes Baggerly.