Tomorrow is Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Each team will suit up for the first time with new faces, familiar foes and everything that comes with a full day of baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees will square off at 1:05 p.m., and 14 games will follow. Here’s what to watch for.
MLB home run leader starts on IL
Speaking of the Yankees, first baseman Luke Voit, who led the league with 22 home runs last year, will start the season on the injured list after having surgery on a partially torn meniscus. He’s expected to miss about a month.
New homes for familiar faces
During the offseason, many players switched teams. Longtime Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor was traded to the Mets. Former Astros center fielder signed with the Blue Jays for six years. Rockies standout third baseman Nolan Arenado was shipped to the Cardinals. Defending Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer left Cincinnati to join the defending World Series champion Dodgers. All in all, it was quite the eventful offseason.
MLB cracking down on foreign substances Some pitchers like to use some substances, such as pine resin or a mixture that they’ve perfected, to help them grip the ball. In the past, the MLB has looked past this, even though it’s against the rules. A lot of hitters don’t mind it, and pitchers like to have a better sense of where the ball is headed. Some batters, naturally, like it better that way, too. This year, however, MLB is cracking down on the use of foreign substances. MLB will collect balls to analyze and also look through data for any related statistical anomalies.