Jon Lester has been named the Cubs' Opening Night starter.
The Cubs will open their regular-season schedule on Sunday, April 5 against the visiting Cardinals and Lester will get the nod after joining the rapidly-improving Chicago roster this winter on a massive six-year, $155 million contract. Adam Wainwright should be the starter for St. Louis in MLB's first game of 2015.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Monday that Luke Hochevar (elbow) should be ready on Opening Day or "real soon afterwards."
Hochevar underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last March, and the rehab for that surgery usually takes relievers around 13 months. He's a week behind the other setup options in Royals camp.
Brandon League has given up drinking alcohol.
League told the Los Angeles Daily News that he never had a problem with alcohol but "was enjoying myself more than I should've been" and feels much more energized off the booze. He dropped 20 pounds this winter. The right-hander will work as a setup man in 2015.
Corey Hart needed stitches after slicing his foot while getting into a hot tub at the Pirates' spring training complex on Sunday.
The gash will sideline him for a couple of days, but he should be fine to begin appearing in Grapefruit League games by early next week. Hart signed a one-year, $2.5 million free agent contract with the Pirates in December and could fit into a first-base platoon with Pedro Alvarez if his health cooperates.
Ryan Madson was scratched from the Royals' throwing schedule Monday due to back stiffness.
It's not a serious issue. Madson hasn't appeared in a major league game since the 2011 season due to chronic elbow issues and is doubtful to crack the Royals' Opening Day bullpen. He signed a minor league contract with Kansas City in January.
Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-2 with a groundout and flyout in Monday's intrasquad game.
It was against a pitching machine, not a live thrower. A-Rod served as the designated hitter, which is where he'll get the majority of his playing time this season. He's expected to take some reps at first base this spring in the Grapefruit League.
Jorge Soler bulked up to 242 pounds over the winter.
And it was muscle, not fat. Soler carries breakout potential into 2015 after posting a .903 OPS in his first 24 major league games last season. The 23-year-old right fielder from Cuba is expected to be the Cubs' primary cleanup hitter.
Andrelton Simmons (oblique) probably won't make his Grapefruit League debut for another week.
Simmons is thought to be over his oblique strain, but the Braves are going to play it extra safe here in early March. He should be 100 percent for the start of the 2014 season and will try to rebound offensively after batting just .244/.286/.331 with seven home runs in 146 games last year. Simmons is only 25 years old.