What to watch for in today's games

What to watch for in today's games

Spring Training action will continue today, with one of the game's marquee pitchers making his spring debut. As for the Cactus League, a handful of games will feature an unexpected special guest, and one of the offseason's most talked-about free agents will get acquainted with one of his new rivals.

Here are a few things to watch for:

Tanaka set to make spring debut: ATL@NYY, 7:05 p.m. ET (MLB.TV, MLB Network and Gameday Audio)
Yankees ace right-hander Masahiro Tanaka is set to make his Grapefruit League debut against the Braves. Tanaka, 26, who missed two and a half months last season after suffering a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in July, finished his rookie season 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA over 20 starts last season.

Girardi on his pitching staff

Tanaka returned for two starts in late September but allowed eight runs (six earned) off 12 hits over just seven innings -- for a 7.71 ERA. Tanaka, who faced nine batters over two innings in a simulated game on Saturday, feels fully healthy this spring.

"Whenever, wherever they want me to go, I think I'm ready to go into a game," Tanaka said.

Shields faces new rival in second spring start: LAD@SD, 9:15 p.m. ET (MLB.TV and Padres audio webcast)

The Dodgers will face one of the offseason's biggest pitching acquisitions for the second straight day when they take on James Shields and the Padres in a rare Cactus League night game. This comes one day after the Dodgers squared off against new Cubs ace Jon Lester.

Shields, who last month signed a franchise-record four-year, $75 million contract, tossed just 11 pitches over one scoreless inning on Saturday against the Giants in his spring debut. He'll likely work a bit longer in tonight's game in what should be the first of multiple run-ins this season with the rival Dodgers.

This game will also be the final stop for actor/comedian Will Ferrell, who plans to appear at all 10 positions while playing for 10 teams in five Cactus League games.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.