"When we were playing really well, I wasn't one that was getting too excited about it, knowing that there's storms coming and there's a long way to go," manager Don Mattingly said. "We try to get our guys thinking like that."
Whether the team was as good as it played at the peak of its spring success, the winning baseball was an investment that is paying dividends two months into the season.
"It's nice to know that we've put a little money in the bank for that rainy day," Mattingly said. "Right now, we're having to spend some of our savings. We're spending a little bit right now, but we're going to get back on track."
The rash of injuries that has spread across the roster has created a challenge for Mattingly as he fills out the lineup card each day, and there has been a fair amount of flux that is beyond his control, but he's remained a steadying influence in the dugout and he has resisted any urge to panic.
"We know there's going to be periods of time where things aren't going our way and we're going to hit a tough stretch," Mattingly said. "That's not when you start changing everything. Stay with your plans, stay with what you've done. Keep getting ready to play. And really just keep believing in what we do and what we're trying to get done."