Today features a flurry of prominent Spring Training debuts across both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.The Mets will unveil a first look at their vaunted rotation when Noah Syndergaard becomes the first in a string of star-studded starters to debut this spring, followed by Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven
Today features a flurry of prominent Spring Training debuts across both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.
The Mets will unveil a first look at their vaunted rotation when Noah Syndergaard becomes the first in a string of star-studded starters to debut this spring, followed by Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, in order, Saturday through Monday.
Stephen Strasburg will see his first game action since being shut down last September, and a pair of likely Opening Day starters, Julio Teheran and Rick Porcello, will square off as well.
• Spring Training:Coverage | Schedule | Gear | Travel packages
Fans can follow much of this spring's action live on MLB.TV Premium.
MLB.TV Premium is only $112.99 for the entire season. In addition to getting every out-of-market game live or on demand during the regular season, you can watch nearly 300 Spring Training games live and blackout free, plus the World Baseball Classic live (U.S. only). This package has the best value and provides access to more than 400 devices and a free subscription to the MLB.com At Bat Premium app (a $19.99 value). It offers the best picture quality ever -- at 60 frames per second -- for supported devices, while other great features include choice of home or away broadcasts, live game DVR, multi-game viewing and more. Monthly signups for MLB.TV Premium are now underway as well for $24.99, and the MLB.TV Single Team package is also available as an $87.49 yearly subscription.
Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Thor debuts: HOU@NYM, 1:10 p.m., MLB.TV
The Mets have been easing their starters into action this spring, reserving the first week to try out others and showcase some of their lesser-known prospects. But in sending Syndergaard first among their assured quartet of starters, the Mets could be hinting at what their Opening Day rotation will look like. More >
Syndergaard was among the very first to be named an Opening Day starter -- before Clayton Kershaw, Jonathan Lester, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke -- when manager Terry Collins revealed his plans two weeks ago.
Even after a Cy Young-caliber season in which Syndergaard led the Mets in ERA (2.60), WHIP (1.15), strikeouts (218) and a slew of other categories, such an early bode of confidence among the stars in the Mets' rotation speaks conviction.
"It's just a huge honor," Syndergaard said at the time. "It's something I've been working for ever since I was with the Mets, to be the Opening Day starter at one point. I'm extremely thrilled that Terry instills that kind of confidence in me. I'm going to go out there and get the job done."
AL East foes meet in Dunedin: NYY@TOR, 1:07 p.m., MLB.TV
Luis Severino will make his second and final Spring Training start before he departs for the World Baseball Classic, which begins Monday and where he'll pitch for the defending champion Dominican Republic.
Severino was strong in his Spring Training debut -- also against the Jays -- throwing two hitless innings. The right-handed fireballer is looking to bounce back from a disappointing '16 in which he began 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA before being sent to the Minors for two and a half months.
For the Jays, Francisco Liriano -- competing for the final rotation spot with Mat Latos -- will make his first Spring Training start.
Forsythe, Seager return for banged-up Dodgers: KC@LAD, 3:05 p.m., Gameday Audio
The Dodgers' double-play tandem of John Forsythe (right knee) and Corey Seager (right shin) are expected to return after each missing three games, as lefty Rich Hill makes his second spring start after tossing two hitless innings against the Brewers on Sunday.
The Royals' Ian Kennedy will see his first spring action as he enters the second year of a five-year, $70 million deal signed last offseason. Kennedy impressed in his first year in Kansas City, going 11-11 with a 3.68 ERA in 195 2/3 innings.
Stras returns after September shutdown: STL@WSH, 1:05 p.m., Cardinals audio webcast
The Nationals have eased Strasburg back from a torn pronator tendon that ended what was developing into the best of his seven big league seasons. After a 23-pitch outing in an intrasquad game on Feb. 23 and continued bullpen sessions, Strasburg will face opposing batters for the first time in nearly six months.
Strasburg started the year 13-0 and was a National League Cy Young favorite going into August before a string of poor starts. He went on the disabled list on Aug. 22 and suffered the injury in his first start back.
"Last year's last year," manager Dusty Baker said. "It's gone. And I hope it never returns." More >
Duel between favorites for Opening Day starts: BOS@ATL, 1:05 p.m., Gameday Audio
Porcello will take the hill for the first time as the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner when he squares off against the Braves and Teheran, who is seeking his fourth consecutive Opening Day start. Teheran pitched two scoreless innings and gave up one hit against the Astros on Sunday.
Porcello's delayed debut aligns with manager John Farrell's plan to withhold his front-end stars this spring, and comes a day after concerns were raised about David Price's health. More >
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.