BC-BBO--Baseball Preview, ADVISORY
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This advisory will be updated.
— Previews on all NL teams move March 19.
— Previews on all AL teams move March 20.
BBO--SPRING TRAINING-THE GRIND
LAKELAND, Fla. _It may look like a few weeks of relaxed fun in the sun, but make no mistake: Spring training can be a grind. Pitchers obviously need to build their arms up slowly, and position players face their own challenges, including hard, dry fields. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m. ET.
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.
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. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 7 p.m.
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.
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.