3/23/2014 12:00 A.M. ET
Pineda's latest audition opens today's .TV slate
Blue Jays-Yanks one of 10 games to watch; Turner faces club that drafted him
By Chad Thornburg / MLB.com
With the Opening Series in Australia wrapping up, the focus shifts back to home, where the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues head into the final week of Spring Training.
Highlighting MLB.TV's early afternoon schedule on Sunday is Michael Pineda's continued bid for the final spot in the Yankees' starting rotation. The right-hander will look to keep his spring scoreless-innings streak alive when he makes his third Grapefruit League start against Toronto at 1:05 p.m. ET. Veteran southpaw Mark Buehrle will start for the Blue Jays and is expected to throw six innings.
Recovering from right labrum surgery, Pineda is making great strides and building a strong case for inclusion in the Yankees' rotation. In his nine Grapefruit League innings, the righty has allowed just eight hits and one walk, while fanning 14.
"If he's healthy, if he's the guy we traded for a couple of years ago, he's a top-of-the-rotation starter -- and those guys don't come around easily," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeria said last week. "You've got to really develop those kinds of guys. He's still young, and he still has a bright future if he's healthy."
Amid speculation about his future, Jacob Turner will start for the Marlins against the organization that drafted him ninth overall in 2009, the Detroit Tigers, at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. While expected to remain with Miami, the right-hander is out of Minor League options and has been included among recent trade rumors. For Detroit, Miguel Cabrera will start at third base for the first time this spring as the Tigers prepare for an early-season Interleague series. Lefty Drew Smyly will toe the rubber in his sixth Grapefruit League start, and a few of Detroit's primary late-innings relievers will follow in Joba Chamberlain, Al Alburquerque and closer Joe Nathan.
The New York Mets will split up for a pair of afternoon contests against Atlanta and Washington, allowing John Lannan and Jenrry Mejia chances to make a late push to dethrone Daisuke Matsuzaka as the projected No. 5 starter. Lannan heads to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to face the Braves at 1:05 p.m., and Mejia takes on the Nationals in Port St. Lucie, Fla., at 1:10 p.m. Both games will stream live on MLB.TV.
Washington's Tanner Roark continues his bid for the Nats' fifth rotation spot against the split-squad Mets, and Freddy Garcia gets the nod for Atlanta. Garcia will be looking to prove he deserves not only a spot in the rotation, but the $1.5 million he's due if he makes the Opening Day roster.
Tampa Bay outfielder Matt Joyce, who has missed his club's last three games with a stiff neck, could make his return on Sunday against the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. Boston will hand the ball to lefty Felix Doubront, who will start opposite Rays left-hander Matt Moore.
In Surprise, Ariz., Matt Wisler will fill in for injured Padres starter Josh Johnson, who is expected to be out at least a month with a flexor strain in his right forearm, when San Diego faces the Rangers at 4:05 p.m. on MLB.TV. Wisler -- the No. 78 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com -- has a 3.52 ERA through 7 2/3 innings this spring. Texas will counter with left-hander Joe Saunders, who could find himself in the Opening Day rotation with a solid performance Sunday.
When the Indians take the field against the Angels in Tempe, Ariz., at 4:05 p.m., Cleveland's No. 3 starter, Zach McAllister, will look to rebound from a poor outing against San Francisco on Tuesday, when he was knocked around for six runs on nine hits, including three homers. Garrett Richards will start for the Halos.
Also at 4:05 p.m., fans can listen on Gameday Audio as a pitching phenom squares off against one from the recent past. Right-hander Yordano Ventura, who locked up a spot in the Royals' rotation with his last start, will lead take the mound for Kansas City in Scottsdale, Ariz., against Tim Lincecum. The Giants righty has a 4.30 ERA in 14 2/3 Cactus League innings, while Ventura boasts a 1.76 ERA and has struck out 15 batters, issuing just one walk, in 15 innings.
The Cubs will face a split-squad Athletics team featuring right-hander Jesse Chavez at 4:05 p.m. in Phoenix. Chicago's Mike Olt, who has been limited by a sore right shoulder this spring, is expected to make a second start in as many days at third base, while Jason Hammel is headed to the hill for his third Cactus League start. The White Sox, Chicago's South Side club, will take the field a few minutes later against against the Rockies at 4:10, rounding out Sunday's Cactus League action on MLB.TV. The Sox will send No. 2 starter Jose Quintana up against Colorado's Tyler Chatwood. On Tuesday, Quintana faced nine batters and allowed nine runs, bringing his spring total of earned runs allowed to 20 through six innings.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.