LEADING OFF: Harvey takes mound for New York Mets
A look at the highlights of what's happening all around spring training in Florida and Arizona today:
Mets ace Matt Harvey pitches in a game for the first time since Aug. 24, 2013, when New York hosts Detroit in Port St. Lucie, Florida. After losing to Max Scherzer and the Tigers on that summer weekend and falling to 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, Harvey was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow. That ended the season of the NL All-Star game starter, and he had elbow ligament-replacement surgery that Oct. 22. Harvey spent all of 2014 rehabilitating and is hoping to get the ball for the Mets' opener at Washington on April 6.
Jon Lester makes his spring debut for the Chicago Cubs when they take on Tony Cingrani and the Cincinnati Reds in Mesa, Arizona. Lester went 16-11 with a career-low 2.46 ERA in 32 starts with Boston and Oakland last season, and then signed a $155 million, six-year contract with Chicago over the winter.
Cingrani is one of the favorites for the last two spots in Cincinnati's rotation after the Reds traded away Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon in December. The 25-year-old left-hander was sidelined by a sore shoulder for much of last season.
Rangers ace Yu Darvish will be evaluated again after he left his spring debut after one inning due to tightness in his right triceps. Darvish's 2014 season was cut short by elbow inflammation.
BACK TO WORK
Oakland infielder Marcus Semien puts his perfect start on the line when the Athletics take on the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale, Arizona. Semien, who got the day off on Thursday, went 5 for 5 with two homers and seven RBIs in his first two games for the A's, who acquired the San Francisco native in the trade that sent Jeff Samardzija to the Chicago White Sox in December.
HERE COMES CARLOS
Yankees slugger Carlos Beltran is expected to make his spring debut in a split-squad game against the Pirates. Over the winter, Beltran had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips. The switch hitter batted just .233 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs last season in his first year with New York.
The Indians get their first look at the team they want to catch - the Kansas City Royals. The defending AL champions travel across the valley to Goodyear, Arizona, to face one of their Central Division rivals and a team expected to challenge them this season.