3/6/2014 12:01 A.M. ET
Tex's return to action highlights today's slate
MLB.TV will have slugger's return, which comes in Tanaka's first start
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
Although all 30 Major League clubs have been playing Spring Training games for a week, there are still a number of star players scheduled to make their spring debuts today during another full slate of action in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.
Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano are set to make their Grapefruit League debuts when the Yankees visit the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. ET in a game that can be seen live on MLB.TV. Soriano has been sidelined with a persistent illness that started as the flu. Teixeira was limited to 15 games last season because of a wrist injury, and is eager for his first game action since June.
"I'm very excited -- as excited as you can be for a Spring Training game," Teixeira said. "Getting back in real game conditions will be nice. What's it been now, eight months? That's longer than I've ever taken in my life. I'm looking forward to it."
The Yankees will send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound for his first start of the spring. Tanaka, who signed a seven-year, $155 million contract in January, tossed two scoreless innings in relief on Saturday.
Adam Wainwright will make his first spring start for the Cardinals when they visit the Twins at 1:05 p.m. ET in a game that can be seen live on MLB.TV. St. Louis has already named Wainwright its Opening Day starter. Wainwright will be opposed by Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco, making his second start with his new club.
In another key pitching matchup on MLB.TV, Dan Haren makes his second start for the Dodgers on the road against the Angels and left-hander C.J. Wilson at 3:05 p.m. ET. Haren spent parts of three seasons with the Angels from 2010-12, and was in the same rotation as Wilson his final season with the Halos.
The rest of the MLB.TV action today includes: Mets vs. Astros (1:05 p.m. ET), Rockies vs. Brewers (3:05 p.m. ET) and Rangers vs. Padres (3:05 p.m. ET).
Tigers ace Justin Verlander also is scheduled to make his first start of the spring. However, the right-hander's debut could be pushed back because there is a strong possibility of rain around Lakeland, Fla., for the 1:05 p.m. ET game against a Phillies split-squad. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said Verlander "will throw in the batting cage, more than likely" if the game is canceled.
Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia will face his former team for the first time when Miami hosts the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. ET in a game that can be heard on Gameday Audio. Saltalamacchia was a key part of Boston's World Series championship team last year.
Meanwhile, in the Cactus League, Travis Wood is on track for his first start when the Cubs visit Goodyear, Ariz., for a 3:05 p.m. ET game against the Indians. Darwin Barney will make his first spring start at shortstop with Starlin Castro unavailable due to a hamstring injury. Broadcasts of the game will be available for free in exclusive webcasts on cubs.com and indians.com.
Closer Fernando Rodney is set to make his Mariners debut when Seattle goes on the road to Glendale, Ariz., for a 3:05 p.m. ET game against the White Sox. Rodney inked a two-year, $14 million deal last month. The live radio broadcast of the game will be available for free in an exclusive webcast on mariners.com.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.