The annual spring training picture day was held Wednesday at Texas Rangers camp, and players were up early smiling for the camera with temperatures in the 30s.
(No complaining about the weather here after hearing what is transpiring weather-wise back home. Be safe, everyone.)
It's a fun day, usually, when head shots are snapped and players pose for portraits that can be used for long feature stories down the road. The Rangers also take care of some of their in-game spots and other ads, and they let players get goofy.
The players with no service go first and are followed by veterans until they've all be through the circuit. Tenure, indeed, comes with perks.
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And everything was done in plenty of time for the Rangers to hit the back fields on time.
Here's the Surprise Five from Wednesday.
1. Curiosity got the best of me Wednesday, when I asked the principals involved what would have happened had Jurickson Profar never missed two seasons because of a shoulder injury that cost him a future as the Rangers' second baseman.
Considering his lofty status as a prospect, it's safe to jump to the conclusion that he would have vied for an All-Star nod or two by now after replacing Ian Kinsler following the Prince Fielder trade.
Rougned Odor would not have jumped to the majors in 2014 from Double A Frisco, and likely wouldn't have made his MLB debut until late that season or in 2015. There's also the possibility that he would have made his debut with another team after being included in a trade.
But what if the Rangers held onto Odor and thought he needed to be in their lineup. Maybe they would have asked him to switch positions, say to left field or center field. Maybe they would have pressed harder to trade Elvis Andrus and play Profar at shortstop and Odor at second base.
But, as those who were asked Wednesday all said, there's really no point in looking back. Injuries are part of baseball, and with every injury comes an opportunity for someone else.
That's the best course, but it's still hard to not wonder what if.
2. The ball was coming out really hot on one of the back fields at the Surprise Recreation Campus as Matt Bush and Connor Sadzeck threw live batting practice.
Each worked two "innings," sitting once while the other threw to simulate a between-innings breather. Each came out firing with their heaters and breaking off come quality breaking pitches.
Of note from Bush's session is that he will work from a full windup in his bid for the starting rotation. It's not the classic windup, where the pitcher squares up to the plate and his first motion is a step back.
Bush called it a modified windup, where he is essentially in the stretch but his step backward is actually a step toward first base. He said that he really likes it because he gives him some rhythm.
For those looking for someone to help from the minors this season, look at Sadzeck. He's hard to miss as one of the largest players in Rangers camp, and he is a power pitcher who has been told that he is a full-time reliever.
Sadzeck's fastball has been clocked above 100 mph, and his curveball is another power pitch. His ability to power through multiple innings is something the Rangers like and could have use for if they go with seven relievers.
3. Carlos Tocci's name was brought up for the first time this spring during a Jeff Banister morning briefing. Tocci is the Rule 5 pick who has to make the Opening Day roster and stay on the 25-man roster or be subjected to the convoluted Rule 5 rules.
He is considered a plus-defender in center field and can play all three outfield spots, but his bat is lacking and his speed isn't special. He's not a slowpoke, but he's not Delino DeShields.
The Rangers could very well have a need for him. However ...
The Rangers could very well have a three-man bench and a six-man rotation. One of the bench players will be a catcher, and one will be a utility infielder who can play shortstop.
That leaves one spot for a reserve outfielder and pinch hitter. No sweat, right?
Well, the catcher is non-negotiable and the infielder at this point is going to be Profar, who has no minor-league options remaining. The Rangers might not have an everyday player in left field, but a platoon instead.
In that case, Tocci would have to be the right-handed-hitting compliment to, presumably, Willie Calhoun or Drew Robinson, who can play center field. But the Rangers have always liked Ryan Rua, and Trevor Plouffe says that he can play left field, too.
If the Rangers went with Tocci as the third and final bench player, they would be asking a players who has never been above Double A and whose bat is his biggest question to sit at times for multiple days in a row but be able to provide a competitive at-bat when called upon.
The Rangers did it not too long ago with DeShields, but an injury to Leonys Martin opened a door for him that he plowed through. Maybe Tocci could do that. Maybe he'll get the chance.
It just doesn't seem like a very good chance.
4. The Rangers are three days away from their first Cactus League game, and they will enter it without having played an intrasquad game. They might also enter it without many regulars in the lineup.
The spring schedule is condensed this year, and teams have been advised that it's OK to play fast and loose with the spring rule that requires at least four regulars in the lineup for every A game.
Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that none of his regulars will be playing until next week. It's difficult to envision the Rangers throwing Adrian Beltre on the field, even if for only an at-bat or two.
Their goal is to keep him healthy. To that end, he didn't do any on-field work Wednesday. Neither did Andrus, who is dealing with his annual case of back spasms.
He might get on the field Thursday but seems doubtful for any game action anytime soon.
Starting pitchers, though, will be making their starts as usually. Spring training is for pitchers, and they will ramp up as if the schedule hadn't been condensed.
Cole Hamels might not pitch in many Cactus League games, but that's standard operating procedure for the veteran left-hander.
5. Finally, it's time to play catch up. I'm all caught up and want to make sure all you readers are as well.
Rather than heading to Twitter and sending out a bunch of those "in case you missed it" tweets, here are links to stories from the past few days that might have missed your Twitter/Facebook timelines.
More linkage coming Thursday. Click away. My 5-year-old needs new clothes.