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There was a growing consensus to rank Leiter (son of Al) above Rocker in the fall, and that's now the consensus view after they've each made their first start of the season. Leiter works in the mid-90s, has an easy plus curveball and possesses the command, plan and execution you'd want to see given his power and mostly vertically oriented arsenal.
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Evan Longoria had quite the emphatic spring debut Saturday, ripping a three-run double in his second at-bat of the spring in the Giants' 8-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Scottsdale Stadium.  Los Angeles Angels face coverings

The projection systems don't factor any of that into their spreadsheets. They assume Bryant, Baez, Rizzo, Joc Pederson and Zach Davies, all potential free agents after the season (Pederson has a mutual option), will be in Chicago all season. Aside from a potential white flag, there are on-field reasons to worry about the Cubs, particularly in the rotation. Jake Arrieta is back at Wrigley, but his ERA has risen five seasons in a row, including a 5.08 mark in 2020. Alec Mills had a 4.48 ERA in 2020, but a 5.44 FIP thanks to 13 home runs in 62⅓ innings. After that, it's Trevor Williams (5.60 ERA the past two seasons in pitcher-friendly PNC Park) and youngsters Adbert Alzolay, Brailyn Marquez, Tyson Miller and Cory Abbott. With soft-tossers Kyle Hendricks and Davies leading the way, the Cubs are zigging when everybody else is zagging for more velocity. Milwaukee Brewers face coverings

Velasquez and Spencer Howard are both said to be in the competition for a starting spot, but it seems more likely they will end up in other roles.  St. Louis Cardinals face coverings

The Marlins no longer being owned by Jeffrey Loria does mean things are different in Miami. The team did end a nearly two-decade long playoff drought last season and there appears to be a good system in place.

Before spring training began, four starting rotation spots were already locked up. Ian Anderson and Max Fried will take two of them based on what they did for the Braves last season. Veteran right-hander Charlie Morton gets a third after coming over from the Tampa Bay Rays. You can say the same rule applies to left-hander Drew Smyly after coming over from the San Francisco Giants.

"Now that I've got (the pacemaker) it's made me realize that I wasn't feeling good, just energy level, just not myself. I felt like I had to reach for it every day in a way," Boone said. "And yesterday and even more so today, I just feel kind of ready to go and ready to kind of tackle things. (My cardiologist) said, 'this will be a pretty straightforward simple procedure, nothing like you've been through in the past. And it'll work right away, you'll notice it.' And he was right. I feel great." Baltimore Orioles face coverings

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