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BC-BBO--Baseball Preview, ADVISORY

March 25, 2019


To help with your planning, here are stories The Associated Press has moved or is anticipating in advance of the 2019 MLB season. All times EDT. If you have any questions, please contact Assistant Sports Editor Ed Montes at emontes@ap.org.

This advisory will be updated.

_A paginated preview of the MLB season, with the first full day of regular-season games starting March 28, is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” or “SE” under the Graphics tab. The pages look at some of the biggest players who have switched teams since last season as well as the top prospects and dates of note. For questions on the paginated preview, contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan@ap.org.

_ Graphic MLB PREVIEW 2019: Includes AP’s Power Rankings and analysis, looks at new managers and the largest contracts in major league history.

_ Previews on NL teams moved March 19.

_ Previews on AL teams moved March 20. Previews on Oakland and Seattle moved March 14.


Moving Monday:


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. _ Even in this data-driven age in baseball, when analytics and analysis are supposed to be replacing “gut feel” and sentiment when it comes to making any and all decisions, granting an opening day start to a particular pitcher because of his status rather than his statistics is something of a remnant of a bygone era. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m. ET.

Moving Tuesday:


PEORIA, Ariz. _ Aside from the attention he draws for his talent as a pitcher, Yusei Kikuchi is well aware his first season in the majors will be watched with additional interest. Because whether he wants it to be or not, Kikuchi’s rookie season is an experiment. An attempt to see whether pitchers coming to the major leagues from Asia should be handled differently in their first season. Kikuchi could be viewed as a blueprint for the future. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos.

Moved March 5


PEORIA, Ariz. — San Diego Padres prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. and Kansas City Royals counterpart Adalberto Mondesi have never met, even though their life stories suggest a cup of coffee is long overdue. They would certainly have a lot to talk about. Each of their clubs is counting on their dynamic young shortstop to form the cornerstone of a rebuild that could push them back to the postseason. Both have roots in the Dominican Republic, have fathers that played in the big leagues, and both possess the kind of five-tool stardom at one of the game’s premier position that leaves scouts and front-office executives in a tizzy. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 990 words, photos.

Moved March 6


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. _ Joey Bart already looks like a big league hitter in his first major league camp, especially when the San Francisco Giants catcher sends a misguided pitch soaring over the centerfield fence. The same with White Sox shortstop Nick Madrigal every time he makes a spinning stab deep in the hole, or Tigers pitcher Casey Mize when he leaves an unsuspecting batter befuddled, or the four young arms the Royals selected among the first 40 picks of last year’s amateur draft. All have a couple things in common: They played college baseball rather than turning pro out of high school, and they are all expected to help their clubs sooner than later. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 970 words, photos.


MESA, Ariz. _ Kendall Graveman is surrounded by new faces while he travels a tedious road back to the majors. Graveman signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs in December after his 2018 season with Oakland was cut short by reconstructive elbow surgery. It’s a chance to use major league facilities to rehab a major injury under the care of a top-notch medical staff, but it’s also potentially awkward trying to get to know a new group of teammates without taking the field with them right away. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 850 words, photos.

Moved March 7


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. _ For years, the NL East has been soft as a bunt single. Not anymore. Even before Bryce Harper decided to stay inside the division, four of the five teams spent this offseason swinging for the fences. By Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

Moved March 8


SURPRISE, Ariz. _ Bubba Starling was a first-round pick. Kyle Zimmer, too. But both of the once-touted prospects have struggled through injuries and ineffectiveness, cast off by the Kansas City Royals only to be brought back one more time. It’s hard to give up on top draft picks because there’s always that underlying feeling that they are oh-so close to getting things right. And in the case of Starling and Zimmer, they might finally make good on what the Royals thought all along. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 800 words, photos.

Moved March 17:


CHICAGO — Family ties, big bats and powerful arms are once again all over this year’s group of prospects on the brink of major league stardom. A closer look at baseball’s next wave of young talent. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 750 words, photos.


Bryce, Manny and Ichiro. London calling, and Cleveland rocks. Lots of intrigue on the baseball schedule this summer. Here are a handful of dates to mark on the calendar. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 850 words, photos.

Moved March 19:


Steve Blass spent his boyhood afternoons in Connecticut flinging a rubber ball against the side of a half-barn, fantasizing that he was pitching in the majors. Come evening, the 10-year-old would get his radio and tune into a game, delighted when Mel Allen’s voice crackled from the transistor. More than any other sport, baseball is associated with the voices that call the action and share the stories in homes and farms across the country every summer night, becoming like family to their audiences. Baseball is losing two more of its familiar voices _Blass in Pittsburgh and Marty Brennaman in Cincinnati_ when they retire after this season after careers that spanned decades. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos.

Moved March 23:


PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. _ Grueling bus rides are a hallmark of minor league life, but a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays system is determined to feel at home on the road. Jack Labosky used his $3,000 signing bonus to purchase a school bus, and he and his girlfriend plan to live out of the renovated “skoolie” during the 2019 season. By Jake Seiner. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.