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BC-FL--Florida Sports Digest, FL

February 27, 2019

The supervisor is David Fischer. All times are in Eastern Time unless otherwise noted. If there are questions about stories, photos or photo contributions please call the Miami bureau at 1-800-824-5498 or 305-594-5825. Ian Mader is the News Editor and can be reached directly at imader@ap.org. If you have other statewide stories or breaking news of interest to AP members in Florida, send them via email to miami@ap.org or fax to 305-594-9265. The AP’s general website is www.ap.org. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (800-838-4616) or from the Miami bureau.



JUPITER _ New Miami Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro showed up for the team’s first full-squad spring training workout wearing a T-shirt that read, “I talk (trash) about you in Spanish,” with a word more pungent and less publishable than “trash.” The Marlins’ English speakers are onto him. By Steven Wine.


JUPITER _ Miami Marlins outfield prospect Víctor Víctor Mesa has been diagnosed with a grade one right hamstring strain and reassigned to minor league rehabilitation, a setback in the development of the highly regarded Cuban defector. Mesa underwent an MRI after being hurt Sunday in a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had been expected to play a lot for the Marlins in spring training before heading to the minor leagues to start the season.


JUPITER _ St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez had an injection to stimulate healing in his weak pitching shoulder, and likely will not be in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season. St. Louis said Tuesday that Martinez won’t throw for two weeks after he received a platelet rich plasma injection on Monday at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze. By Chuck King.


JUPITER _ Three days after being announced as the Cardinals opening-day starter, Miles Mikolas agreed to stay in St. Louis much longer. St. Louis and the All-Star right-hander agreed to a $68 million, four-year contract covering 2020-23, a deal announced Tuesday that raises his pay to $75.5 million over the next five seasons. By Chuck King.


PORT ST. LUCIE _ The Mets are missing a pair of injured infielders, and the calendar hasn’t even reached March. Third baseman Todd Frazier injured his left oblique muscle and will return to New York for a cortisone injection, the second Mets infielder to get hurt at spring training after fellow infielder Jed Lowrie. By Bill Whitehead.


KISSIMMEE _ Brian McCann left Atlanta five years ago as a full-time catcher. After three years with the New York Yankees and two with the Houston Astros, the 35-year-old McCann was back behind the plate for the Braves on Tuesday as a platoon player. By Dick Scanlon.


TAMPA _ Masahiro Tanaka, among the most unhurried starters in the major leagues, does not support a 20-second pitch clock. “As players, we have to go by the rules so we do that,” the New York Yankees right-hander said through a translator Tuesday. “With that said, for me personally, I’m not in favor of that.” By Mark Didtler.


LAS VEGAS _ A request from Major League Baseball to gambling regulators to ban betting on spring training games was quickly rejected in Nevada and is under consideration in at least three other states that recently legalized sports betting. The league asked for the ban on Wednesday last week — the day before the first scheduled spring training game — arguing in letters to regulators that the exhibition games are “more vulnerable to manipulation” because teams are focused on getting players ready for the season, not on winning. MLB said its concerns have grown because of the spread of legal sports gambling after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last year opened the possibility of new American markets. By Regina Garcia Cano.

College Basketball:


GAINESVILLE _ Florida spent the last two weeks piecing together a solid NCAA Tournament resume. Vanderbilt and Georgia could tear it apart. After winning a season-high four straight, including road victories over Alabama and then-No. 13 LSU, the Gators (16-11, 8-6 Southeastern Conference) now face the last two teams in the Southeastern Conference standings. They are games Florida simply can’t afford to lose. By Mark Long.


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. _ Two of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s worst teams meet when Miami visits Wake Forest. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 500 words. Game starts at 7 p.m.



GLENDALE, Ariz. _ The surging Arizona Coyotes. look to move closer to moving into a playoff spot against the Florida Panthers. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.


BKN--MAGIC-KNICKS. Upcoming: 600 words, photos.


The AP, Miami