Welcome back baseball! Spring Training games started today, with 15 games to kick off the schedule. Here are some important notes and interesting tidbits from games around the league:
- Reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton made his debut for the New York Yankees, and went 0-1, with a walk and a ground into double play.
- Padres top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. (#9 according to Baseball America) hit his first home run of the spring in a 3-2 loss to the Mariners.
- Outfielder Austin Meadows, top prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, went 3-3 with two doubles in a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Meadows will likely get a look in the outfield by the end of the year, as the Pirates look to replace the departed Andrew McCutchen.
- Scott Van Slyke got a leg up on the outfield competition for the Marlins, as his two homeruns and five runs batted in propelled the Marlins to a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis. Former Miami outfielder Marcell Ozuna made his Cardinals debut in this one as well, finishing 0-2 with an RBI.
- The reigning World Series champion Houston Astros started Spring Training the same way they ended last year, with a win. They defeated the Washington Nationals 3-2.
- Blue Jays off-season acquisition Curtis Granderson started off his spring in the best fashion possible, leading off the bottom of the first with a homerun in an eventual 2-1 victory.
- Both of the Brewers major winter acquisitions made their debuts in different split squad games. Christian Yelich batted second and played left field, finishing 1-3 in a win over the Cubs. Lorenzo Cain finished 2-2 in a separate game, and helped propel the Brewers to a win over the Giants.
- The Dodgers came out swinging, scoring 13 runs against the Chicago White Sox. Los Angeles got home runs from Justin Turner, Matt Kemp, Logan Forsythe, and Enrique Hernandez in the process.
- Finally, the Tampa Bay Rays received some bad news to start the day, as top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell will miss 2018 due to Tommy John Surgery. Honeywell was set to make his debut sometime this year, and was looking to replace the recently traded Jake Odorizzi in the Tampa rotation.