Spring training in the MLB is all about getting the joints and the muscles back in action, synchronizing the eyes and the incoming fast ball as you prepare to strike and getting an overall feel of what it’s like to be back on the field.  It’s also a chance to see who’s in shape and who isn’t, and it seems like Luis Severino of the New York Yankees might need a little more time to get the body working.

The right-handed pitcher is on hand for spring training, but is already reportedly dealing with forearm soreness and some issue with his pitching elbow, and he may not be ready for the team’s scrimmage against the St. Louis Blue Jays this Saturday.

Fortunately, the Yankees have Gerrit Cole to rely on.  The club announced yesterday that he will start on the mound when the Yankees face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates next Monday as he makes his debut with the team.  It’s time to find out if his nine-year, $324-million contract – the largest ever for an MLB pitcher – was worth it.

The San Diego Padres just picked up outfielder Taylor Trammell in the offseason, and he’s determined to show the team that he has the ability to win a spot on the field.  Currently, Trent Grisham is the favorite to take center, but Trammell is doing everything he can to be called up from the Amarillo Sod Poodles.  No one could blame him, either, with a name like that.  Trammell said during spring training this week, “If you’re here, you should be trying to make the roster.”  The Padres could use a few more positive thinkers like him.

The Boston Red Sox continue to swinging away at the ball in Fort Myers, FL this week, and the team got a special surprise when former teammate, and three-time World Series champ, David Ortiz showed up.  Big Papi was on hand to provide a little motivation for the club and mix it up a bit, although the 20-year MLB veteran didn’t take to the field.  He did, however, take to the current drama surrounding the Houston Astros and their sign-stealing scandal (there’s little chance any baseball story won’t figure out how to work in a little bit of the saga).

Ortiz is one of the few people that is dimming the light on the Astros and putting it squarely on Mike Fiers.  Fiers is the one who essentially broke the news about the cheating, for which Big Papi believes he deserves the moniker “the snitch.”

This Saturday, as part of their 2020 Cactus League, the LA Dodgers will face the San Francisco Giants in a let’s-see-who-needs-to-be-benched game.  Typically, the Dodgers would draw straws to face the Chicago White Sox, but it’s time to mix things up in baseball.  In the bench-question test, Tony Gonoslin will take the mound, with Alex Wood coming in on Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.  If Gonoslin does a solid job, he could see a lot of time on the field as part of the rotation.  Clayton Kershaw had been in the lineup for the opener, but is still dealing with shoulder problems that have haunted him since last season.

The Atlanta Braves are going to do everything they can to ensure no team steals their signs, starting now with their new training facility.  Unfortunately, this has more than a few fans miffed, arguing that they haven’t been able to enjoy watching their favorite team due to the level of security surrounding the team.  It’s all in the name of making baseball a level playing field again.

Any other 6’6”-tall person would be considered lanky or gangly.  Not Logan Gilbert, though.  The pitching prospect is showing off his talent with the Seattle Mariners, and it seems to be going well.  His height is certainly going to give him an advantage, and any concerns that he might be a little awkward on the mound have already been erased when he throws.  Getting him together with veteran Kyle Seager was probably one of the smartest moves the back office could have made this year.