*Dallas Keuchel threw 43 pitches (1.2IP) in his Spring Training debut yesterday and said that his arm feels as good as it has since 2014/2015. Keuchel:
That's one of the things that I was very happy about, was the couple of times I was looking back at second base after the pitch and I saw a few mph on the scoreboard and it was above what I'm usually at my first start. That's encouraging.
Lance McCullers threw 53 pitches in 2.2IP.
Survivor: West Palm Beach update:
Tyler White: 0x2, .967 OPS
A.J. Reed: 1x1, HR, .490 OPS
J.D. Davis: 1x3, 1.309 OPS
Jack Mayfield was 2x2 with a homer, double, walk, and 2RBI.
*Justin Verlander is the 2018 Opening Day starter, snapping Dallas Keuchel's three-year streak. Keuchel:
He's got a chance to have an HOF in front of his name. I wasn't happy by any means, but I'll gladly let him go Game One.
It's Verlander's 10th career Opening Day start in his last eleven years. Tigers' Opening Day starters, non-Justin Verlander division:
2015: David Price
2007: Jeremy Bonderman
2006: Kenny Rogers
*Brian Arbour has a good explanation of what he's looking for in Spring Training.
*The Astros placed Anthony Gose on outright waivers. If he clears waivers, he has to be offered back to the Rangers. So the best way to make sure Folk Hero Anthony Gose stays on the Astros is for 29 teams to decided they don't need him, and the Rangers to decide they don't want him back.
*Hector Rondon has yet to make a second appearance in Grapefruit League games, and that second appearance keeps getting pushed back.
*Related, Jeff Sullivan: So you want to have a good bullpen.
*Here's KHOU with a look at the Astros' acculturation, language, and education program for Latin players.
*Check out this World Series painting by Opie Otterstad.
*The Yankees and Dodgers, both of whom lost to the Astros in the ALCS and World Series, respectively, finished higher than the Astros in ESPN's Future Power Rankings metric.
*News out of Seattle: Outfielder Ben Gamel has a strained oblique and so the Mariners are turning to Ichiro.
From 2001-2010 Ichiro averaged a .331/.376/.430 line, good enough for an average 117 OPS+. Since 2011, however, his offensive output has dropped to .269/.310/.345, an 84 OPS+. Now he'll try to recapture his Seattle glory years in his Age-44 season.
*Former UH pitcher Seth Romero (who isn't new to getting kicked out) was sent home from Nationals camp yesterday.
*Baseball America's JJ Cooper asks if ERA qualifying standards are becoming obsolete.
*Tom Verducci wrote a column and got some feedback to prop up his Verducci Effect theory.
*Praise be to Aaron Judge, who has single-handedly saved the sport of baseball, now The Athletic asks if he can save the baseball card industry.
*Angels Great Chris Carter has decided it's probably time to start making more contact.
*The Rangers straight up stole this guy's painting:
Looks familiar, did you have to cut my signature off though? Can it get a little credit for my drawing at least? #MaybeABeltreAutograph #MaybeSomeTickets pic.twitter.com/e4s0T67twt— Joshua Sooter (@JoshuaSooterArt) March 5, 2018
*The recent Nor'easter uncovered - again - the remains of a Revolutionary War-era ship.