LEADING OFF: Opening day for Grapefruit, Cactus league games
A look at the highlights of what's happening all around spring training in Florida and Arizona today:
March means the start of major league exhibitions. Four games open up the spring schedule: Orioles-Braves, Blue Jays-Phillies, Pirates-Tigers and Reds-Indians.
NOT SO FAST
Reds speedster Billy Hamilton will sit out the exhibition opener vs. Cleveland at the complex the teams share in Goodyear, Arizona. He injured his right shoulder in September and is recovering from surgery. The center fielder stole 57 bases last year, but is trying to improve his career .287 on-base percentage and regain the leadoff spot.
TAKE IT SLOW
Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion is expected back in camp, two days following the extraction of an abscessed tooth. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Jose Bautista will ease into the exhibition lineup - Tulo will skip the first three games, Bautista will wait a week to 10 days before playing.
Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson is being examined by a doctor after arriving at camp with redness in an eye. The team is concerned the three-time All-Star might have conjunctivitis and be contagious.
Pirates starter Kyle Lobstein and righty reliever Neftali Feliz are set to pitch against Detroit. Lobstein went 3-8 with the Tigers last year while Feliz finished up the season with them.