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Spring Training, much more than Preseason NFL, is great to watch because the stars actually play – and plenty of young players get to play right along/against the veterans.

These Spring Training notes are going to be posted daily by the “So-Called” Fantasy staff, normally breaking up the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues into two separate articles.

We’ll share news and notes on the events from earlier in the day, including any injuries, big performances, lame games, and even some Draft Day discussion.

Spring Training Notes for Tuesday, March 3

If you watched any games, feel free to chime in on the comments section and help us make these articles even better!

We don’t really care about the scores or even the pitcher that ends up getting the wins or losses, really, since those are irrelevant at this stage.

Grapefruit League

Who doesn’t love Florida in March?

Baltimore (2) vs. Detroit (15)

This game went down in Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., just down the road from me here. I lived there for 12 years, and it’s a great Spring Training city. It’s also the longest ongoing team-city Spring Training marriage currently going! … ESPN had Karl Ravech and John Kruk there this morning, talking with the players live.

The two biggest additions to the Tigers’ lineup in the past two seasons made their presences known, as both Ian Kinsler and Yoenis Cespedes hit home runs. Kinsler hit a three-run bomb early, and Cespedes hit a grand slam off of Kyle Lobstein in the fourth. Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez showed he’s still who we thought he was: 5 ER, 2 HA, 2 BB, 2 K in 1.1 IP.

N.Y. Yankees (5) vs. Philadelphia (5)

You have to love games that end in ties. Can you imagine this happening in the NFL Preseason, where they’re squeezing fans for tickets as expensive as the regular season games? … This game was played in Clearwater, and Alex Rodriguez was not in the Yankees lineup … The only regular Yankees hitters playing today were Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Garrett Jones. They had one single (Jones) in eight at-bats between them … The real story for the Yankees, though, is that their top two prospects played: Luis Severino, their best pitching prospect, and RF Aaron Judge, their best hitting prospect, according to It was a good news/bad news situation.

  • Severino, 21, got knocked around a bit, giving up two earned runs on four hits, with two strikeouts in 1.1 IP.
  • Judge, 22, has 80 raw power, according to BA, and he flashed some today, pounding a three-run homer in the ninth inning to force the tie.

Two other top prospects, Jacob Lindgren and Greg Bird, played as well, with Bird hitting a single and a double in three at-bats, and Lindgren striking out one in two-thirds of an inning (two unearned runs). Robert Refsnyder, who had a shot at the second base job before the Yankees signed Stephen Drew, sailed a throw into the stands. These two teams will face off again tomorrow – only this time in Tampa, at George M. Steinbrenner Field on MLB Network.

Pittsburgh (8) vs. Toronto (7)

The Pirates saw three of their players hit home runs Tuesday, including Jung Ho Kang. He’s the Korean import signed to compete for Jordy Mercer’s spot at shortstop. The most disconcerting news from this game was the shaky effort from Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez, who allowed two earned runs (five unearned) on four hits in 1.1 IP.

The Jays have to figure out where to use Sanchez — bullpen or rotation? Many are tabbing the team’s second-best pitching prospect as eventual closer in Toronto.

Cactus League

I’ve never been out to Arizona for Spring Training, but it sounds … fun.

San Francisco (4) vs. Oakland (9)

We can forgive Madison Bumgarner for a horrible spring debut, no? The A’s tapped him for four runs in 1.2 IP, as he allowed five hits. One of those hits came from shortstop Marcus Semien, who Buck Davidson tabbed as a sleeper at the position entering 2015. Semien bashed a pair of home runs in the game, including a two-run homer against MadBum, and Semien officially leads the majors in homers this exhibition season. He went 3-for-3 with two homers and four RBI.

Interesting: A’s pitcher Brad Mills started the game and pitched a near-perfect first inning (one walk) in his first game back in Mesa in 12 years. This stadium was his home field in high school!

Both A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker threw bullpen sessions, as both are working their way back from Tommy John surgeries … Matt Cain won’t pitch in a game for another week, after he had bone spurs removed from his ankle and elbow last season. He’s healthy, but they’re bringing him back slowly.

Cleveland (0) vs. Cincinnati (10)

Indians starter Zach McAllister, who’s hoping to earn the fifth spot in the Tribe’s rotation, gave up 1 ER on three hits in two innings. He also struck out three batters in the losing effort.

In the other dugout, Jason Marquis is also hoping to win a rotation spot for his team, and he pitched well with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings. He did have two walks, and manager Bryan Price said, “He was a hair erratic.”

Brandon Moss, who came over in a trade from Oakland this offseason, ran the bases without issue Monday, and he could play soon. He’s coming back from hip surgery.

Joey Votto, meanwhile, is behind the other players, as he’s trying to come back from a surgically repaired quadriceps. This is just the type of stuff you want to keep hearing – if you believe in Votto as a big rebound candidate, like we do. You want news like this to scare away other owners. Here are “4 Reasons Why You Should Draft Joey Votto in 2015,” by Dan Domenick.

The Reds will send out Anthony DeSclafani to face Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin tomorrow.

Hopefully, you enjoyed your first taste of our Spring Training notes – and we’ll see you back here tomorrow, when the games really get going full bore!

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