LEADING OFF: Keuchel, Arrieta in action at spring training
A look at what's happening all around spring training in Florida and Arizona today:
The reigning Cy Young Award winners in each league are in action. Dallas Keuchel makes his second spring start when the Houston Astros take on the Washington Nationals in Florida. Jake Arrieta takes the mound when the Chicago Cubs face the San Diego Padres in Arizona. Keuchel, who pitched two scoreless innings Wednesday against Atlanta, went 20-8 last year and led the American League with a 2.26 ERA and 232 innings. Arrieta had a 22-6 record and a 1.77 ERA last season. He also pitched two shutout innings Wednesday against Cleveland. Corey Kluber, the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner with Cleveland, also pitches Monday when the Indians take on the Rangers.
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said the Rays will have an ''unofficial'' roster by Monday afternoon for their trip to Cuba on March 21 and 22. ''It won't be finalized, but we will have a list of guys who are going,'' Cash said. The Rays play an afternoon game against the Cuban National Team in Havana.
San Francisco left-hander Madison Bumgarner was scratched from Sunday's spring start against San Diego due to tightness in his rib cage and a nerve condition in his left foot. Bumgarner said both issues were minor, but he wanted to take care of them now rather than let them linger. He said he would have pitched had it been a regular-season game. Bumgarner developed neuroma, a nerve condition affecting toes on his left foot, during the offseason and said it was under control following treatment. The 2014 World Series MVP felt something pull in his rib cage while taking batting practice a few days ago. An MRI revealed no oblique damage.
ON THE MEND
New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner batted nine times Sunday in his first simulated game since bruising his left wrist in last year's AL wild-card loss to Houston. He could play in Wednesday's game against Toronto. Gardner hit .259 with 16 homers, 66 RBIs and 20 steals in 151 games last year.
SO FAR SO GOOD
Pedro Alvarez made his spring debut with Baltimore on Sunday and hit an RBI double in the first inning of the Orioles' 14-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Alvarez went 1 for 3 in his first game since he finalized a $5.75 million, one-year contract with Baltimore last week. He drove in Ryan Flaherty in the first and eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Hyun Soo Kim.