LEADING OFF: Opening day for Grapefruit, Cactus league game


By The Associated Press



St. Louis Cardinals' Mike Matheny (22) walks onto the field between innings of a spring training intrasquad baseball game Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey keeps a close eye on the ball at spring training baseball practice in Dunedin, Fla., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT


Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds (25) jokes with members of the team between drills during a spring training baseball workout Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


A look at the highlights of what’s happening all around spring training in Florida and Arizona today:

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LEAPING AHEAD

March means the start of major league exhibitions. Four games open up the spring schedule: Orioles-Braves, Blue Jays-Phillies, Pirates-Tigers and Reds-Indians.

NOT SO FAST

Reds speedster Billy Hamilton will sit out the exhibition opener vs. Cleveland at the complex the teams share in Goodyear, Arizona. He injured his right shoulder in September and is recovering from surgery. The center fielder stole 57 bases last year, but is trying to improve his career .287 on-base percentage and regain the leadoff spot.

TAKE IT SLOW

Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion is expected back in camp, two days following the extraction of an abscessed tooth. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Jose Bautista will ease into the exhibition lineup — Tulo will skip the first three games, Bautista will wait a week to 10 days before playing.

LET’S SEE

Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson is being examined by a doctor after arriving at camp with redness in an eye. The team is concerned the three-time All-Star might have conjunctivitis and be contagious.

REMEMBER US?

Pirates starter Kyle Lobstein and righty reliever Neftali Feliz are set to pitch against Detroit. Lobstein went 3-8 with the Tigers last year while Feliz finished up the season with them.

St. Louis Cardinals’ Mike Matheny (22) walks onto the field between innings of a spring training intrasquad baseball game Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_108978759-035b87064d0544cb84b6833ac874a96c.jpgSt. Louis Cardinals’ Mike Matheny (22) walks onto the field between innings of a spring training intrasquad baseball game Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey keeps a close eye on the ball at spring training baseball practice in Dunedin, Fla., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_108978759-733843a506d64672a4602e4bc888e336.jpgToronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey keeps a close eye on the ball at spring training baseball practice in Dunedin, Fla., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds (25) jokes with members of the team between drills during a spring training baseball workout Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/web1_108978759-f46eb5c9528e4514a5653b2c0dba8726.jpgMiami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds (25) jokes with members of the team between drills during a spring training baseball workout Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

By The Associated Press

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