As Spring Training games continue and the World Baseball Classic looms in the distance, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Big day for the Padres
Today marks a handful of noteworthy events for the Padres. Per AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. is expected to make his spring debut today as a DH. It will be Tatis’s first official game action since October 2021 after he missed the entire 2022 season with injuries and a PED suspension. That suspension will keep him out of San Diego’s lineup for the first twenty games of the regular season, though as demonstrated today, Tatis is allowed to participate in Spring Training games as he prepares to make his return. Tatis is expected to play regularly in the outfield for the Padres in 2023.
In addition to Tatis’s spring debut, The Athletic’s Dennis Lin notes that the Padres could officially announce star third baseman Manny Machado’s extension with the club as soon as today. Cassavell also notes that yesterday’s game was the last one infielder Ha-Seong Kim will participate in with the Padres this spring until after the WBC concludes, as Kim is set to join Team Korea later today after catching a flight to South Korea last night.
2. MRIs around baseball
Clubs and fans all across baseball are anxiously awaiting the results of multiple MRIs. As mentioned in yesterday’s Opener, Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki underwent an MRI to investigate an oblique injury on Sunday, but full details were not released yesterday as initially expected. As The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney notes, Suzuki has withdrawn from the WBC, where he was previously going to represent Team Japan, and the team is expected to reveal details of the MRI and Suzuki’s path going forward at some point today.
Meanwhile, Rays ace Tyler Glasnow is set to undergo an MRI to investigate an oblique injury of his own, with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times noting that Glasnow seems likely to miss time. Glasnow missed almost all of the 2022 season (in addition to the second half of the 2021 season) while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Also set to undergo an MRI is Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux, who had to be carted off the field yesterday with a knee injury. If Lux misses significant time, LA’s infield depth will be tested. Trade acquisition Miguel Rojas would presumably shift from a utility role to become the everyday shortstop.
3. MLBTR Chats today
MLBTR’s Steve Adams will be hosting a live chat with readers today at 1pm CT. You can submit a question in advance, and that same link will take you to the chat once it begins, or allow you to read the transcript once it’s completed. In addition to Steve’s usual live chat with readers, MLBTR’s Darragh McDonald will be hosting a Tigers-centric chat at 10am CT, to go along with yesterday’s Tigers Offseason Review. You can follow this link to submit a question ahead of time, and that same link will take you to the chat once it’s live and allow you to read the transcript after it wraps up.