Helpful things to do before Spring Training starts.
1. Add minor league players to the Spring Training Squad
2. Set the Manager Settings for Spring Training. I try different things here but have replacement and rest settings so more players get into the action as early as possible, like the 6th inning.
3. Set the Player Rest, Defensive Replacements and Pinch Hitting. I normally save the Show Recs, too hard with 25 to 30 players to do individually.
4. Edit Player Settings to limit pitch counts. Get more pitchers into the game to evaluate and you don't want starters pitching 6 or 7 innings a start in Spring Training. I usually set it to Show Recs then manually change the pitch counts, time consuming. Normally 45/50 for starters and long relievers and 15/20 for setups.
5. Set the lineups. I normally use my opening day lineup for the first 5 games or so then get the backups some starts before letting the invitees into the game. Of course you might want to see that special not ready for prime time rookie earlier.
6. Limits AB's to about 22 to 25 for the opening day players, catchers 18 to 20. I save a few AB's for the starters near the end and use them as Pinch Hitters. If you have a rookie you want to take a long look at, I usually go to 30 AB's.
7 Limit starting pitchers to about 10 innings and pen pitchers 5 to 8. I usually use a 6 man rotation (or Tandem) in Spring Training and flip flop pitchers around and work them from the pen also. A helpful hint for the last game of Spring Training, rest your ML pitchers as there are no off-days between Spring Training and the start of the season for rest.
Note: If you select a Rule 5 player, the roster will unfreeze after the draft so you can get them on the roster before the first game but you will have to redo steps 3 or 4 or both depending. An advantage to the West Coasters as midnight might be too late for us Easterners.
Don't Forget: After Spring Training you have a little over a day to set all these settings again to your liking before the ML season starts. About two days for the minor league clubs, yes don't forget about them.
Someone always asks about the rookie call up to squeeze an extra year, it is 23 ML games if I remember right, 25 to be on the safe side. Personally I wait until after the first advancement boost that occurs around 30 minor league games.