What to watch for in today's games

CC makes first start, Verlander opposes Strasburg, MadBum stretches out

What to watch for in today's games

All 30 Major League clubs return to action today for a full slate of games across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

A couple of former Cy Young Award winners are scheduled to pitch in Florida, including Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, who will see game action for the first time this spring.

Here are five things to watch for:

Sabathia makes long-awaited debut: TOR@NYY

In the next step in his return from right knee surgery, Sabathia makes his Grapefruit League debut against the Blue Jays at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., at 7:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. Sabathia was limited to just eight starts last season, going 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA. The southpaw pitched in a simulated game Thursday and says he's feeling better than he has in some time.

"I feel like I'm getting after it a little more than I ever have with my legs the past couple years," Sabathia said after Thursday's workout. "I have no complaints, so I'm good from here on out. I'm getting after it and getting ready to go."

Bumgarner stretching out: ARI@SF

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner is slated to make his third Cactus League start at home in Scottsdale, Ariz., against the D-backs at Scottsdale Stadium at 1:05 p.m. PT. Bumgarner, the 2014 World Series MVP, has not pitched more than 2 2/3 innings in his previous spring outings, so he's expected to be on the mound for a longer outing this time around.

Bumgarner strikes out Abreu

Bullpen battle: LAD@TEX

The Dodgers have a number of jobs up for grabs in their bullpen, as the club is dealing with injuries to closer Kenley Jansen and Brandon League. The competition continues on the road against the Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., at 1:05 p.m. PT on MLB.TV.

Five Dodgers relievers will pitch the last four or five innings, including: Paco Rodriguez, Juan Nicasio, David Aardsma, Pedro Baez and Dustin McGowan. Outfielder Yasiel Puig is also scheduled to make the trip.

 

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