LEADING OFF: Cole pitches, Seager out and Stanton returns
A look at what's happening all around spring training in Florida and Arizona today:
PLAYING CATCH UP
Gerrit Cole will make his first spring start for the Pirates against the Tigers. The right-hander was the ace of Pittsburgh's staff last season but won't start on opening day because he is behind schedule after experiencing rib inflammation early in camp. Francisco Liriano will get his third straight opening-day start for the Bucs on April 3.
SEAGER TO SIT
Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager will miss one to two weeks with a sprained left knee. Los Angeles' top prospect underwent an MRI on Saturday, and Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman says it ''all looks good.'' Seager is expected to be Los Angeles' starting shortstop this season, but this injury could land him on the disabled list for opening day.
BIG BAT COMES BACK
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton returns to the lineup for a home game against the Mets. Stanton has been out since March 5 because of a sore right knee, but has taken part in the team's pregame activities recently, including throwing, fielding and taking batting practice. Stanton has only appeared in two games so far this spring.
NEW BIRD IN TOWN
Pedro Alvarez will make his Orioles debut against Minnesota after signing a $5.75 million, one-year contract on Thursday. ''Most of our guys had three or four days of the offensive work before they played in the intrasquad games, and today is Pedro's third day,'' manager Buck Showalter said Saturday.
CAIN ON MEND
Giants right-hander Matt Cain will re-evaluate his condition with coaches as he comes back after having a cyst removed from his right arm in February. He threw 35 pitches off a mound Saturday and said he feels great. ''I threw everything, the fastball, curve, changeup and I played with the slider,'' Cain said.
CORNER TO CORNER
Will Middlebrooks is doing whatever it takes to crack the big league roster in Milwaukee, including sliding across the infield from third base to first base. He played there for the first time this spring on Friday and could see more action at first going forward. ''I told the guys, anywhere you can fit me in, or anywhere that can help us out any given day, throw me in there and I'll do it,'' Middlebrooks said.