LEADING OFF: Dodgers to unveil Jackie Robinson statue
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson will become the first to be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, the 77-inch tall bronze piece being unveiled on the 70th anniversary of him breaking baseball’s color barrier. The statue depicts Robinson stealing home as a rookie with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a nod to the aggressive baserunning of the six-time All-Star. Now 94, widow Rachel Robinson is traveling from the East Coast to attend the unveiling along with daughter Sharon and son David.
CY YOUNG DUEL
A pair of former Cy Young Award winners are scheduled to square off when Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Cleveland’s Corey Kluber match up at Progressive Field. The appearance for Kluber, who won the American League’s top pitching honor in 2014, will be his first at home since the Indians lost Game 7 of the World Series last year. Meanwhile, Verlander — the AL’s 2011 winner and Most Valuable Player — was nothing short of dominant in his last outing, throwing seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 win against Boston.
Yankees DH Matt Holliday is playing against the Cardinals this weekend for the first time since ending his eight-year run with St. Louis. The slugger hit 156 homers in 982 games with St. Louis before signing a $13 million, one-year deal with New York in the offseason. A procession of Cardinals players and staff members greeted Holliday with hugs during batting practice at Yankee Stadium on Friday, including Matt Carpenter, Kevin Siegrist, Jonathan Broxton and Seung-hwan Oh.
Boston starting pitcher Chris Sale has been as good as advertised since his offseason trade from the Chicago White Sox, allowing just two runs in nearly 15 innings of work. The Red Sox left-hander, however, still has yet to earn his first win with his new team — something he’ll try and rectify when Boston hosts Tampa Bay.
Chicago Cubs prospect Ian Happ has carried over his hot spring training to Triple-A Iowa, leading the Pacific Coast League with five home runs in his first 33 at-bats entering the weekend. Happ, Chicago’s first-round pick in 2015, hit .417 for the Cubs during the spring, had five home runs and led the Cactus League in RBIs.