Monday's Spring Training action featured plenty of exciting storylines with Justin Verlander flawless in his debut, Noah Syndergaard lighting up the radar gun and Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani reaching base in each of his first three plate appearances with the Angels.It's not yet clear what highlights today will bring, but below
Monday's Spring Training action featured plenty of exciting storylines with Justin Verlander flawless in his debut, Noah Syndergaard lighting up the radar gun and Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani reaching base in each of his first three plate appearances with the Angels.
It's not yet clear what highlights today will bring, but below is a look at three cool things to watch for throughout the day's Cactus and Grapefruit League slates:
1. Kluber makes Cactus League debut
The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner will be back in action Monday as Corey Kluber makes his spring debut for the Indians. Kluber will start for the Tribe in their 3:05 ET matchup with the A's in Goodyear, Ariz. The veteran hurler is working through his regular throwing program and whatever ailed him in last year's AL Division Series appears to be behind him.
"He looks and seems to feel, from what he's saying, really good," Indians general manager Mike Chernoff said earlier this month. "He had a really good offseason. He was able to refresh a little bit and looks really strong and good."
2. Windy City rivals clash in Mesa
This year's Crosstown Classic doesn't begin for another few months, but Chicago fans can get a preview of what's to come when the city's big league teams go head-to-head three times this spring. The first meeting is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET at Sloan Park, the Cubs' Spring Training home.
The Cubs are built to contend in 2018 with Jonathan Lester starting Tuesday's contest as part of a rotation that may be among the best in baseball, while the White Sox, led by former Cubs skipper Rick Renteria, are gearing up for the future with a number of promising young prospects. Carson Fulmer, who will start opposite Lester, is among them, rated as the club's ninth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. The 24-year-old righty is competing for a spot in the White Sox rotation this spring.
3. Eovaldi makes long-awaited Rays debut
More than a year since signing with Tampa Bay, Eovaldi will make his debut in a Rays uniform against the Orioles at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday. Eovaldi signed with the Rays last offseason but did not play in 2017 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. The Rays picked up his $2 million club option in November and now that he's healthy, he's competing for a rotation spot this spring.
Another intriguing arm will pitch out of the opposing dugout with Hunter Harvey making his Grapefruit League debut for the Orioles. Baltimore's top pitching prospect is out to prove he's healthy after missing all of 2015 with a right elbow strain and undergoing Tommy John surgery in July 2016.
"I'm excited about it," Harvey said of his debut, which is expected to last two innings. "I'm ready to get going, ready to get back on the mound."
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.