A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
A bunch of familiar faces will be in new places for opening day. Among them: Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick of the Astros, Edwin Encarnacion for Cleveland, Adam Eaton in Washington, Mitch Moreland with the Red Sox and a pair of pitchers who will be starting, Scott Feldman for Cincinnati and Edinson Volquez for Miami.
NO STRESS, STRAS
Nationals star Stephen Strasburg plans to pitch entirely from the stretch when he makes his fourth opening day start, at home against Miami. The right-hander is making the change in an effort to stay healthy throughout the season.
”It’s still throwing a baseball. It’s not like I’m trying to throw left-handed or sidearm or anything,” he said. ”You get this feeling when it’s right, and you want to be able to repeat it as many times as you can and make good pitches. I feel like it’s something that helps me do that.”
The Twins have planned a pregame tribute at Target Field for Yordano Ventura, the Kansas City pitcher who died in a car crash at age 25 during the winter at home in the Dominican Republic. Before facing the Royals, Minnesota also will honor its own former pitching prospect Yorman Landa, killed in an offseason car accident in Venezuela.
NOW HEAR THIS
Dodger Stadium will sound a lot different when Los Angeles hosts San Diego. It’ll be the first Dodgers opener since 1950 without famed broadcaster Vin Scully in the booth. Fans at Chavez Ravine loved to listen from their seats to Scully’s calls. Taking over the play-by-play duties is 29-year-old Joe Davis, who will work with former stars Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra.
Rick Renteria is set to manage his first game with the White Sox when they take on Justin Verlander and the visiting Tigers. He managed the Cubs for one season, was let go when they hired Joe Maddon, and later became the bench coach for the White Sox. Whether they’ll play this opener in Chicago depends on the weather, with rain in the forecast.
Mets nemesis Julio Teheran pitches for Atlanta at Citi Field, where he and his teammates got pretty comfortable in 2016. Despite a last-place finish in the NL East a year ago, the Braves have won six consecutive games in Queens – sweeping their final two series there last year. Teheran is 3-0 with a 0.73 ERA in his past five outings against New York, a stretch that included a scoreless streak of 29 2/3 innings and a one-hit shutout at Citi Field, where he’s held opposing batters to a .604 OPS. Noah Syndergaard is on the mound for the Mets.