Cys to see: Kluber, Felix, Price set to start today
Syndergaard, Lester also among notable hurlers on the schedule
By Paul Casella
The final Friday in March brings with it a full day of Spring Training action, highlighted by a number of staff aces prepping for potential Opening Day starts.
The 16-game slate features two pitchers in Corey Kluber and Felix Hernandez who have already earned the season-opening nod for their clubs and another in David Price, who will likely be named Boston's Opening Day starter in the coming days. All three of those pitchers will take the hill today in games available on MLB.TV, while a number of other front-end starters will also be toeing the rubber throughout the day.
Here are some things to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Kluber, Miller duel in the desert: CLE@ARI, 4:10 p.m., MLB.TV
Kluber will look to continue his dominant spring when he makes his fifth Cactus League start opposite D-backs newcomer Shelby Miller. Kluber has tallied 16 strikeouts over 14 innings this spring, all while allowing only one run, resulting in a 0.64 ERA.
As for Miller, he enters today's contest with a 2.70 ERA over 10 innings through his first three starts with the D-backs. He allowed three runs (all unearned) off three hits and three walks over five innings on Sunday against the Reds, all while recording his first six strikeouts of the spring.
King Felix, Quintana square off: CWS@SEA, 4:10 p.m., MLB.TV
Hernandez, a perennial Cy Young Award candidate, will take the rubber for the Mariners when Seattle welcomes the White Sox to Peoria Stadium. Hernandez, who has received at least a share of Cy Young votes in seven of the last eight seasons, will be looking to build off Saturday's start against the D-backs, in which he allowed just one run off three hits over four innings.
The White Sox, meanwhile, will hand the ball to left-hander Jose Quintana, who will be aiming to take another step forward this season. The 27-year-old southpaw has posted a 3.34 combined ERA over the last two seasons, while notching 178 and 177 strikeouts, respectively.
Price back in action: PIT@BOS, 6:05 p.m., MLB.TV
Price will return to Grapefruit League action when Boston hosts the Pirates for an evening game at JetBlue Park. Price, who signed a seven-year, $217 million deal this offseason, made his last start in an intrasquad game at the Red Sox camp, due to weather concerns surrounding that day's Grapefruit League matchup with the Mets. The potential Opening Day starter has allowed three runs and struck out seven over seven innings of action this spring.
Lester takes on divisional foe: MIL@CHC, 4:05 p.m., MLB.TV
Cubs co-ace Jon Lester will make one of his final tuneups for the regular season when Chicago hosts the Brewers. It will be third start this spring for the southpaw, who has allowed eight runs (four earned) over seven innings in Cactus League action.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.