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Pittsburgh at Detroit, 1:10 p.m.

Minnesota at Baltimore, 3:05 p.m. OPENING DAY Chicago Cubs at Miami, 12:40 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 1:10 p.m.
Houston at Texas, 3:35 p.m. St. Louis at N.Y. Mets, 1:10 p.m.
AL N.Y. Yankees at Toronto, 3:37 p.m.
Boston at Tampa Bay, 4:00 p.m.
NL Milwaukee at San Diego, 4:10 p.m.
Philadelphia at Atlanta, 4:10 p.m.
L.A. Angels at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. Washington at Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City, 4:15 p.m. San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers, 7:08 p.m.
Cleveland at Seattle, 10:10 p.m Colorado at Arizona, 10:10 p.m.


Just the thought of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the same lineup sent fans into a frenzy.
Come opening day, all of baseball will see which teams really have the muscle.
A season of haves and have-nots begins Thursday with Derek Jeter’s pared-down Marlins playing the pumped-up Cubs.
Later that day, the New York Yankees unleash their most potent pair of sluggers since Mantle & Maris.
MVP Jose Altuve and the World Series champion Houston Astros added ace Gerrit Cole to a rotation with Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander. The Dodgers
and Indians are still poised after coming within one win of that elusive crown. The Nationals hired a new manager to help free agent-to-be Bryce Harper,
Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg reach the top. And the Red Sox got the bopper they needed.
Where does that leave the Reds, Pirates, Tigers, Rays and A’s? Well, better luck next year. Or the year after that.
Major League Baseball is in a hurry these days, with record home runs and strikeouts the new norm. But please, get that last out in under three hours.
A season that will include games in Mexico and Puerto Rico is set to start. And, if all goes as planned, the final game will come in October.

Beasts, Ohtani and watching MVs Flip-flopping

fielders may
be baseball’s
BY BEN WALKER | AP Baseball Writer

WELCOME: Slugger J.D. Martinez

moves to Boston, which hit the
fewest homers in the American
League. Andrew McCutchen and
Evan Longoria go to the retool-
latest trend
ing Giants, Jake Arrieta joins the BY ROB MAADDI
rebuilding Phillies, Christian Yelich AP Sports Writer
and Lorenzo Cain become part
of the Brewers’ outfield, Marcell CLEARWATER, Fla. — New
Ozuna provides pop in St. Louis Philadelphia Phillies manag-
and Yu Darvish is now pitching for er Gabe Kapler’s progressive
the Cubs. Also, six new managers: approach includes a strategy
Alex Cora (Red Sox), Aaron Boone straight from a slow-pitch soft-
(Yankees), Dave Martinez (Nation- ball league.
als), Mickey Callaway (Mets) and Kapler plans to flip-flop out-
Gabe Kapler (Phillies) try for the fielders in the middle of an
first time, and Ron Gardenhire inning to put his best defensive
(Tigers) returns after a four-year player in the position where the
absence. spray charts indicate a batter is
most likely to hit the ball.
WORTH WATCHING: Babe Ruth This isn’t the typical infield
or bust? We’ll see whether new- shift and old-school thinkers
comer Shohei Ohtani becomes the will scoff at the idea, but Kapler
most successful two-way player feels so strongly about it that
in the bigs since the Bambino. he has these words written on
The 23-year-old Japanese star a white board in his office:
struggled at the plate and on the “We know that different play-
mound this spring, but it’s early. ers have different skills. One
Tampa Ray reliever Jonny Venters hitter may crush fastballs.
has been out of the majors since MATT YORK | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Another may hammer change-
2012 while having three Tommy CHICAGO CUBS PITCHER YU Darvish throws during the first inning of a spring training game against the Los Angeles ups. That doesn’t mean either
John surgeries. Alex Rodriguez, Dodgers on March 6 in Mesa, Ariz. is a better hitter. They just have
meanwhile, keeps getting more different strengths. Outfielders
popular in retirement as he moves banged-up stars who will miss the Dilly Dog is a dill pickle, hol- um, the A’s are opening a garden are similar. Whenever we have
into the ESPN booth for Sunday opening day. Dodgers catalyst Jus- lowed out and stuffed with a hot beyond the outfield seats, growing a chance to maximize a man’s
night telecasts. tin Turner, Red Sox second base- dog, served up battered and fried. produce and flowers in redwood strengths to get an additional
man Dustin Pedroia, Orioles closer PNC Park presents Greens and planters. ... At Dodger Stadium, out, we’ll do so.”
HIYA: In a game of numbers, make Zach Britton, Milwaukee starter Grains that includes kale, quinoa, there will be bar stools behind the Strange shifts are nothing new
way for some new letters to go Jimmy Nelson and Blue Jays sunflower seeds and other healthy plate, plus a painted blue seat in to baseball. Chicago Cubs man-
along with ERA, OPS and WAR: shortstop Troy Tulowitzki are out, items. Fenway Park provides des- right field to mark where Kirk Gib- ager Joe Maddon tried a four-
MVs. Mound visits will be posted Nationals second baseman Daniel sert, a creme brulee French toast son’s home run landed to win the man outfield last season against
on scoreboards, tracking how many Murphy is doubtful. Mariners ace topped with Vermont maple syrup. 1988 World Series opener. Cincinnati’s Joey Votto. Third
times catchers, infielders, managers Felix Hernandez is recovering from Want a bolder option? Try the baseman Kris Bryant moved to
and coaches go talk with a pitcher. being hit by a line drive in spring Rocky Mountain Po’Boy at Coors THE EX FACTOR: From Triple-A left-center field and shortstop
It’s part of MLB’s new pace-of-play training, which is how Bumgarner Field. That’s Rocky Mountain oys- Pawtucket down to rookie Pioneer Javier Baez remained on the left
rules, designed to cut down the broke a bone in his pitching hand. ters, topped with guacamole, pico League Idaho Falls, extra innings side of the infield. Votto hit a
incessant back-and-forth between Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel de gallo and more, on a roll (um, will have a different look in the double down the first-base line.
batteries. Teams are allowed six is healing from hand surgery, then Rocky Mountain oysters aren’t minors. Every half-inning will start Houston Astros manager A.J.
trips without making a change. will serve a five-game suspension really seafood. In Colorado, that’s with a runner on second base. Hinch took the strategy a step
After that, every visit requires a for making an offensive gesture what they call cattle testicles). They say it’ll shorten games and further against Miami’s Justin
new pitcher. For sure, this will take toward Dodgers pitcher Yu Dar- help preserve the arms of pitch- Bour this spring. Third base-
a few weeks to sort out. And no vish during the World Series. Twins FAN-TASTIC: All 30 teams will ing prospects. They do this in the man Alex Bregman moved to
shenanigans — what if a shortstop shortstop Jorge Polanco begins have expanded netting to protect World Baseball Classic, interna- left field and shortstop Carlos
thinks a reliever is out of gas, and an 80-game drug ban and will be fans, reaching at least to the far tional baseball and — heck — even Correa slid over to the right
trots to the mound on his own to ineligible if Minnesota makes the end of the dugouts. ... At Camden Central Park softball. Purists, note: side of the infield, giving the
force a switch? playoffs. Yards, the Orioles will offer free Commissioner Rob Manfred has Astros no fielders between sec-
tickets in the upper deck to kids stated this idea isn’t being consid- ond and third. Late in the count
OUCH!: Giants ace Madison YUMMY: The plate will be tasty 9 and under for the first month ered for any major league games both Correa and second base-
Bumgarner is among several — at concession stands. In Texas, of the season. ... At the Colise- that count. For real, right? man Jose Altuve dropped deep,
essentially playing short right
field, so that only first baseman
Marwin Gonzalez was on the
Angels’ two-way player The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and young outfielders Ronald Acuna of the Braves and Victor Robles of the Nationals are among the rookies
to keep an eye on this season in the major leagues. Ohtani is trying to become the first player in nearly 100 years to play regularly as a
infield dirt.
among rookies to watch pitcher and hitter. A look at some other touted prospects hoping to make a name for themselves this year: Hinch also experimented
with four infielders on the right
side of the diamond in a game
against Washington.
But these shifts aren’t as dras-
tic as Kapler’s plan. Moving
outfielders back-and-forth mid-
Shohei Ohtani Ronald Acuna Victor Robles Eloy Jimenez Francisco Mejia Alex Reyes Gleyber Torres • Miguel Andujar inning is a bold concept. It might
RHP/DH • L.A. Angels OF • Atlanta Braves OF • Wash. Nationals OF • Chi. White Sox C • Cleveland Indians RHP • St. Louis Cardinals INFs • New York Yankees
require ego-massaging because
The 23-year-old is The future is now for Another athletic Slowed this spring The Indians love his The 23-year-old could There’s not a lot of room in New
trying to become the the crown jewel of 20-year-old outfielder by left knee tendinitis, bat so much they are return in May after he York’s infield after the Yankees some players may be offended if
first player in nearly
100 years to play
Atlanta’s loaded farm
system. The 20-year-
in the NL East, made
his major league
is widely regarded as
baseball’s top hitting
trying the catcher in
a couple of different
hurt his elbow in spring
training a year ago,
traded for Brandon Drury and
signed Neil Walker, but Torres and
they are moved away from the
regularly as a pitcher old will begin the debut last September prospect. He was spots to help carve leading to Tommy John Andujar could help at some point this ball. Even weekend warriors in
and hitter, but he had
mixed results during
season at Triple-A
Gwinnett to push back
and got into two
playoff games in the
acquired in last
summer’s Jose
out a place for him in
the majors. He played
surgery. Whether he
works as a starter or
summer. Torres hit .309 in 23 games
with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
beer leagues would be embar-
spring training. He his eligibility for first round against the Quintana trade with third base in the reliever, he could last year before he was shelved by rassed if a coach makes that
spent the previous arbitration. He hit .325 Cubs. Could get into the crosstown Arizona Fall League provide a big lift after a season-ending elbow injury, and
five seasons with the with 21 homers, 82 the outfield mix if Cubs – destined to and will begin this year going 4-1 with a 1.57 Andujar looked great this spring. kind of switch. Kapler insists
Nippon Ham Fighters,
showing off a big fast-
RBIs and 44 steals
over three minor
Adam Eaton falters in
his return from a torn
be a barroom debate
in Chicago for
with Triple-A Columbus
so he can spend
ERA and 52 Ks in 46
innings in his first major
Manager Aaron Boone believes
they can be impact players
it’s more about taking advantage
ball and a powerful bat. league stops last year. left knee ligament. years to come. time in the outfield. league action in 2016. for a long time. of the superior defender than
AP hiding a weaker fielder.

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