LEADING OFF: Uehara ready to return, Volquez tunes up

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

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ACE IS UP

Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to start against the Minnesota Twins. Slowed by a sore ribcage at the start of camp, Cole has appeared in only one Grapefruit League game, a two-inning stint March 13 against Detroit. He finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting last year after going 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA.

NOW WARMING

Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara, who has been slowed by general soreness, is expected to throw against Baltimore. Uehara has pitched in two games so far, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings.

GETTING READY

Royals righty Edinson Volquez prepares for his opening day start when he pitches against the Padres. This will be his first outing against major league hitters in two weeks. Next Sunday night, he'll start at home vs. the Mets in a World Series rematch.

POSEY PULLED

The Giants will check catcher Buster Posey, a day after he was scratched from a game against the White Sox because of hip tightness. The injury isn't believed to be serious and his status is day to day.

WILD THING

Matt Bush might have a big league career, after all. The 2004 first overall pick was signed to a minor league deal this offseason by Texas after finishing a three-year prison stint stemming from three DUIs. He's looked sharp over three scoreless innings this spring. ''Anytime you see an arm like Matt's, 97 to 100 (mph) with the combo of the breaking ball and what's more impressive is it's at the knees,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said, adding that Bush is ''going to be a tough customer.''

BACK ON THE MOUND

Cardinals reliever Jordan Walden, who has been resting a sore right shoulder, is expected to pitch against the Mets. He hasn't allowed a run in five appearances this spring, but hasn't pitched in a game since last Monday.

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