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Jordan Zimmermann named Tigers' Opening Day starter
Per Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire named Jordan Zimmermann the team's starting pitcher for Opening Day.
Zimmermann isn't Detroit's best pitcher but Michael Fulmer might not be 100% yet with an elbow issue. For that reason, it'll be the 31-year-old getting the ball for the first game of the year, a home matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Zimmermann is projected for a 9-11 record, 4.78 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 2018.
Bannister: Rangers' Joey Gallo batting second 'a real possibility'
Texas Rangers manager Jeff Bannister said batting first/third baseman Joey Gallo second is "a real possibility" for this upcoming season.
In the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, the Rangers will give the new lineup a shot. The idea is to bat Delino DeShields leadoff, and if he's able to steal second creating an advantage for Gallo to hit without the shift. He would be followed by Elvis Andrus hitting third and Adrian Beltre in the four-spot.
Gallo didn't hit second a single time in his 532 plate appearances a year ago. We project him for 31 home runs, 77 RBI and a .222 average for the 2018 campaign.
White Sox tag veteran James Shields as Opening Day starter
The Chicago White Sox have named pitcher James Shields as the team's Opening Day starter for 2018.
At 36, Shields isn't your usual Opening Day starter. He struggled to a 5.23 ERA a year ago, which just speaks to the lack of quality pitching for the South Siders. He will take the mount in Kansas City as he opens his year up against the Royals.
Our models project Shields for a 7-10 record and a 5.07 ERA over 143.8 innings this season.
Javier Baez (hamstring) returning to the field Sunday for Cubs
Per the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales, Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez is expected to return to playing the field on Sunday.
On Saturday, Baez was scheduled to get three at-bats as the team's designated hitter. He'll play shortstop on Sunday, 10 days after injuring his hamstring while running the bases. Barring a setback, he'll be good for Opening Day.
numberFire's models have Baez pegged for 19 home runs, 60 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 2018.
Mets' Yoenis Cespedes (wrist) will return to action on Monday
New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes intends to return to Grapefruit League action on Monday, reports the New York Times' James Wagner.
Cespedes has been dealing with a sore wrist and received a cortisone shot for it earlier in the week. He said it feels good after getting some at-bats in today in a minor league game. The 32-year-old slugger should be ready for opening day against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Our models project Cespedes for 31 home runs, 82 RBI and a .281 average in 2018.
Mariners' Erasmo Ramirez (shoudler) not expected to be ready for start of regular season
According Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez is not expected to be ready in time for the start of the season.
Ramirez is roughly four weeks removed from a lat strain that's limited his offseason participation. He isn't scheduled to throw a bullpen session until the last week of spring, so it's unlikely that he makes his start the first time around. Ariel Miranda and Rob Whalen are the primary candidates to fill in.
Over 27 appearances, Ramirez went 5-6 with a 4.39 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 2017.
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