What we're watching: Pedro's Philly debut

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– Hopefully, Tuesday’s incident took care of the bad blood between the Tigers and Red Sox, but with noted hothead Josh Beckett on the mound tonight, another flareup is a possibility. Kevin Youkilis, who charged the mound after being hit in a second straight game last night, chose not to appeal his five-game suspension, so he’ll sit tonight. It’s unclear whether the Tigers will regain the services of Miguel Cabrera, who left last night’s game after being hit in the hand by a pitch. Detroit has scratched Armando Galarraga from his scheduled start, so Zach Miner, who pitched in relief Monday, will get the nod.
– While Glen Perkins’ injury helped him out, Francisco Liriano could use a strong outing tonight if he’s going to stay in the Minnesota rotation. The Twins have lost each of his last four starts, during which he’s given up 19 runs — 15 earned — in 21 2/3 innings. He’s faced a difficult schedule over the span (NYY, TEX, LAA and CLE), but he’ll have no such excuse tonight against the Royals.
Game of the Night
Philadelphia vs. Chicago Cubs – Replacing Jamie Moyer in the rotation, Pedro Martinez will make his much-anticipated Phillies debut after striking out 11 and allowed three earned runs in six innings in his final minor league start. That’d be enough for Game of the Night honors on its own, but it will also be interesting to see Jeff Samardzija make his first major league start for the Cubs. He’s struggled as a major league reliever this year, posting a 6.29 ERA and a 13/12 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings. He was 5-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Iowa.

Michael Conforto unlikely to be on the Mets’ Opening Day roster

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters today that it was “unlikely” that Michael Conforto will make the opening roster.

Not shocking given the shoulder surgery he had back in September, but given that he seems to be recovering more quickly than first anticipated, it was worth Alderson’s time to make the announcement. Indeed, back in December it was not expected that he’d see much if any game action at all during spring training, but here he is, playing DH today in the Mets game against the Cardinals.

Conforto missed the last six weeks of the 2017 season with a left shoulder injury and underwent surgery in early September to repair a tear of the posterior capsule in his shoulder. He finished the season batting .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs and 68 RBI in 440 plate appearances. By the looks of things, he should be back some time in April.