Cleveland is expected to activate Michael Bourn from the disabled list for Friday’s game after the center fielder missed the past six weeks with a hamstring injury.
Bourn has battled hamstring problems since last season and underwent surgery, so it’s not surprising that a 3-4 week recovery timetable turned into a longer absence.
Because of all the leg problems Bourn has ceased doing damage as a base-runner, swiping just 30 bases while being thrown out 15 times in 196 games since last season. He stole 40-plus bases every year from 2008-2012, leading the league in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: