Everyday we are fighting for a limited number of spots on both the Major League and 4 long-season Minor League rosters. We can be moved around at will...like chess pieces. We get paid less than minimum wage for the hours we put in. We are commodities that can be traded for other commodities or simply discarded without any heads up. There is, what we like to call in the economics world, scarcity.
All Spring Training I have been doing everything I can possibly do to ensure myself of a spot in the St. Lucie starting rotation. I knew full-well that there were more starting pitchers than rotation spots and that I was relatively low on the "prospect" totem pole. At the same time, I know that I can compete with anyone, so I wasn't surprised when I got the nod for the 5th starting spot down here. I was very pleased, don't get me wrong! But not surprised.
For me, the most important mental aspect of baseball is confidence. We have to believe that we are capable of whatever is placed in front of us, even if we never get there. The reality of the situation is that not all of us will get there, and not all of us who get there will stay there. But we have to be ready if the circumstance presents itself. I was fortunate today that the opportunity presented itself. There were many guys who had prepared just as hard as I did that didn't get the spot they wanted. It is now my responsibility to capitalize on the chance I've been given.
I'm looking forward to it!