Horses, suspension, history. Games galore next

Horses, suspension, history. Games galore next

Baseball looks to be in midseason form, just two days into March.

It's been an eventful start to Spring Training, from the unusual (Yoenis Cespedes and the Mets signifying the start of the Diamond Derby by riding around camp on horseback) to the serious (Aroldis Chapman getting suspended for 30 games and accepting the punishment without appeal after a domestic violence incident) to the historic (the announcement of an exhibition game in Cuba) to the fraternal (Byung Ho Park joining his Twins teammates to watch "The Bachelor") to the spectacular (Scott Schebler's leaping, tumbling, run-saving catch). 

So the Mets set the stage well. Baseball is off to the races. The show continues today, kicking into higher gear on the field with 13 exhibition contests, three of which will be available for streaming live on MLB.TV. Here are a few things to watch for in those games (all times in ET):

•  Watch the action on MLB.TV

• Shark makes Giants debut: LAA@SF, 3:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The Giants will begin their Cactus League schedule with offseason acquisition Jeff Samardzija on the mound against the Angels in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Outlook: Samardzija, SP, SF

San Francisco revamped its rotation behind ace Madison Bumgarner this past offseason, making a splash in free agency by signing both Samardzija and right-hander Johnny Cueto. Samardzija will be accompanied on the field by regulars Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Joe Panik.

For the Angels, Hector Santiago draws the spring opener assignment, looking to build on his 2015 All-Star campaign. Neither starter is expected to toss more than two to three innings their first time out.

• World Series champs take the field: TEX@KC, 3:05 p.m.
The defending-champion Royals begin their quest to protect their title, opening their Cactus League schedule with a matchup against the Rangers at Surprise Stadium.

Fans will be treated to a look at right-hander Kyle Zimmer, Kansas City's No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Zimmer will get the start, joining regulars Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon and Jarrod Dyson.

Top Prospects: Zimmer, KC

The Rangers will make their spring debut with a familiar lineup, including Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo. Justin Ruggiano will start in left field as the recently signed Ian Desmond adjusts to his new club after arriving in camp earlier this week. With Desmond joining the fold, Ruggiano will work out at first base, a position he's never played before, this spring.

• Dickey toes the rubber: PHI@TOR, 1:05 p.m.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey will take the mound for the Blue Jays' first home game of the spring, an afternoon contest against the Phillies at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Dickey is returning to live action for the first time since undergoing offseason surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. The 41-year-old veteran doesn't anticipate any lingering effects from the procedure.

Opposite Dickey will be Phils right-hander David Buchanan, who will start with righty Vincent Velasquez and southpaw Brett Oberholtzer scheduled to follow. Both Velasquez and Oberholtzer were acquired in the Ken Giles trade with the Astros this past offseason.

• Pelfrey debuts for Detroit, Yanks open spring slate: DET@NYY, 1:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The Tigers will divide for their first split-squad set of the spring, with Mike Pelfrey making his first appearance with Detroit against the Yankees. Pelfrey signed with the Tigers in December and likely will fit into the back end of their rotation. Ian Kinsler and Anthony Gose are also among the regulars making the trip to Tampa, Fla.

The Yankees will be without Alex Rodriguez, who will sit out the Grapefruit League opener, though he is expected to play Thursday and Saturday. Right-hander Luis Severino will start for New York, and he is expected to go two innings on a 30-pitch limit. The 22-year-old is competing for a spot in the Yanks' rotation.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.