CC makes first start, Verlander opposes Strasburg, MadBum stretches out
By Austin Laymance
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.
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.