Omar Infante cleared for Opening Day despite battling elbow, shoulder problems all spring

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Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star has the update

Infante also dealt with some right shoulder inflammation early on in camp, but tests were taken on his right arm and came back negative so the Royals will march forward. The 32-year-old second baseman signed a four-year, $30.25 million free agent contract with Kansas City in December after batting .318/.345/.450 with 10 home runs and 51 RBI in 118 games last season for the Tigers. He is expected to bat second this year in the Royals’ lineup, behind Norichika Aoki and in front of Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Alcides Escobar. It’s a pretty dangerous offense.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.