It's time to see what Shohei Ohtani can do.After all the hype surrounding the Japanese two-way sensation, Ohtani will finally take the mound for the Angels today, facing Major League hitters in game action for the first time.The 23-year-old right-hander will start the Halos' game against the Brewers at Tempe
It's time to see what Shohei Ohtani can do.
After all the hype surrounding the Japanese two-way sensation, Ohtani will finally take the mound for the Angels today, facing Major League hitters in game action for the first time.
The 23-year-old right-hander will start the Halos' game against the Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium at 3:10 p.m. ET. Fans can watch Ohtani's highly anticipated Cactus League debut live on MLB.TV.
"I feel like this will be a big step forward for me and my career in the Major Leagues," Ohtani said Thursday through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "I'm really happy at this point. This is going to be my first start in the States, so I'm pretty sure a lot of things aren't going to go my way, but that's OK. I just need to find what I need to adjust."
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Ohtani's start will be sure to draw eyes from all over the baseball world, but he won't be the only one worth watching on Saturday. Many of Major League Baseball's star players will be making their Spring Training debuts in their teams' Grapefruit and Cactus League action.
Here's a look at what else to watch for around baseball on Saturday.
#MSDStrong: TEX@CHC, 3:05 p.m. ET
All 30 teams are wearing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball caps during pregame this weekend to honor the Parkland, Fla., school community and the victims of the tragic shooting there on Feb. 14.
The tribute is especially meaningful for Anthony Rizzo, who is a Stoneman Douglas alum, and he gave a heartmoving speech there at a prayer vigil the day after the shooting. The Cubs wore the Stoneman Douglas caps on Friday for their Cactus League opener, but Rizzo's first game in the lineup will be Saturday, when the Cubs host the Rangers. The game will available on Gameday Audio.
The team will be wearing the caps again.
"Everyone has come out of the woodwork to show their love and support for the community I live in, the school, the kids," Rizzo said. "It's been really nice to see people come out and approach me and go out of their way. It's much appreciated."
MVP back in action: ATL@HOU, 1:05 p.m. ET
On Friday, the defending World Series champions played their first game since Game 7 of a historically thrilling 2017 Fall Classic -- but two of their superstars weren't in the lineup.
That will change Saturday, when reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve and his middle-infield partner in crime Carlos Correa take the field for the Astros. Altuve and Correa are both scheduled to be in the lineup when Houston hosts the Braves at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, where the Astros unveiled a World Series championship logo before Friday's Grapefruit League opener. The game will be available to watch on MLB.TV.
C-Mart gets the start: STL@NYM, 1:10 p.m. ET
The Cardinals think Carlos Martinez has all the makings of a true ace. The 26-year-old right-hander, who has electric stuff, will be in the spotlight for St. Louis this season. He makes his 2018 Grapefruit League debut Saturday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Martinez is coming off a season in which he made 32 starts and finished 12-11 with a 3.64 ERA and 217 strikeouts in 205 innings -- his first career season reaching both the 200-inning and 200-strikeout marks.
The Cardinals want him to both be a workhorse again in 2018 and to ascend even further. Saturday's outing, manager Mike Matheny said this week, will help them determine how to proceed with the rest of his Spring Training starts. The game will be available to watch on MLB.TV.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.