LEADING OFF: Franco ready for April, Arrieta OK

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A look at what's happening all around spring training in Florida and Arizona today:



Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco is clearly ready for opening day. The up-and-coming slugger hit his MLB-leading eighth homer Friday. ''Hurry up and get to April,'' joked Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson. ''I don't think he'll stop, but we need to hurry up and get there.''


Ace Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta said he isn't worried about the blood blister on his right thumb that limited him to a third of an inning Thursday. ''It's business as usual today,'' Arietta said Friday. ''It won't be a problem at all.''


Rays closer Brad Boxberger is back in camp rehabbing after undergoing surgery last week to repair a core muscle in the right groin area. He said he's targeting an early-to-mid May return. ''I've already started light tossing. Then it progresses as the muscles feel well enough to do it,'' Boxberger said.


Indians outfielder Michael Brantley (right shoulder) was to be evaluated by a team doctor Friday to determine the next step in his recovery, with the goal of resuming his hitting program. He could start the season on the disabled list, and he may only play in minor league games when he does return this spring, so his time on the DL would be retroactive to his last major league appearance in spring training.


Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (wrist) is not scheduled to play against Toronto in Dunedin. Ellsbury took batting practice Friday for the second time since he was hit by a pitch on March 19. ''Today I was taking my normal swing. I feel confident in my swing,'' Ellsbury said.


Vin Scully is preparing for his 67th and final season broadcasting Dodgers games. He spoke Friday about how he got into broadcasting. ''To this day, if there is a very good play in the ballpark and the crowd lets out a roar, I shut up,'' he said. ''During that time, I'm 8 years old with my head under the radio. ... When this is over, that will be the first thing I miss.''