Yanks-Nats matchup highlights today's Spring Training slate
By Austin Laymance
Today's packed slate of Spring Training games features seven contests on MLB.TV, headlined by a potential pitchers' duel between Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees and Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals.
In the best starting pitching matchup of the day, Tanaka and Strasburg will take the mound at Space Coast Stadium in the only scheduled meeting between the Yankees and Nats this year.
Starting with a closer look at that game, here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times ET).
Tanaka, Strasburg duel: NYY @ WSH, 5:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The Nationals return from an off-day to host the Yankees in Grapefruit League action. For Strasburg, it's his fourth start of the spring. Nationals manager Dusty Baker hinted this week that Strasburg is likely to begin the regular season as the club's third starter.
Meanwhile, Tanaka is lined up to start Opening Day for the Yankees, though the club has not yet made an official announcement. In three starts this spring, Tanaka has allowed two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts against one walk.
Martinez goes for Cards: MIA @ STL, 1:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The Cardinals return to Grapefruit League play after an off-day Tuesday and host the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Carlos Martinez will make his third spring start as he continues to progress from a shoulder injury that ended his 2015 season. The hard-throwing right-hander recorded five strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings in his last outing.
The Marlins will counter with Tom Koehler, who is lined up as the club's No. 3 starter. Koehler will have a tough act to follow, as the Marlins combined to one-hit the Red Sox Tuesday.
Rays play stateside: TB @ MIN, 1:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The Rays are back in Florida following Tuesday's historic trip to Cuba and will travel to Fort Myers to play the Twins.
Ricky Nolasco will take the mound for Minnesota as he continues to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. Nolasco has a 7.36 ERA in three appearances in the Grapefruit League. Closer Glen Perkins, Casey Fien and Fernando Abad are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins.
Rookie pitcher Matt Bush is also scheduled to appear for the Rangers. Bush signed with the club as a Minor League free agent this winter after spending over three years in Florida prisons.
The second annual Rangers-Cubs Futures Game will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Cactus League matchup. Top prospects from each organization will participate in the Futures Game and the clubs will receive a charitable donation for participating in the event.
Salazar faces champs: KC @ CLE, 4:05 p.m., MLB.TV
The Indians host the World Series champion Royals at Goodyear Ballpark following an off-day on Tuesday. Danny Salazar, lined up as Cleveland's No. 3 starter, is scheduled to work five innings. Indians closer Cody Allen is also slated to pitch. Kris Medlen will start for the Royals.
Division rivals meet: OAK @ SEA, 10:10 p.m., MLB.TV and MLB Network
The Mariners are back in action following their first off-day of the spring with a rare night game at Peoria Sports Complex. The Mariners will hand the ball to Nathan Karns, who is vying for the fifth-starter spot with James Paxton. Right-hander Jesse Hahn will start for the A's in a matchup of American League West clubs.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.