Newly acquired Pittsburgh pitcher A.J. Burnett is expected to miss two to three months while recovering from surgery for a facial fracture, forcing the Pirates to rearrange plans for Opening Day.
The Pirates had hoped Burnett would be able to start April 5 in the opener at home against Philadelphia. Pittsburgh got the 35-year-old righty Feb. 19 from the New York Yankees in a trade for two minor leaguers and cash.
Burnett had surgery Friday in Pittsburgh for a broken orbital bone near his right eye. He was injured when he fouled a ball off his face Wednesday during a bunting drill.
The Pirates said the injury didn’t affect Burnett’s vision and that there was no impingement to the muscles and nerves around his eye.
RAYS: The team is being cautious with Evan Longoria after the slugger was hit on his right hand by a pitch during an intrasquad game.
Longoria was injured Thursday. X-rays of his bruised hand were negative, but he won’t be in the lineup for the Rays’ spring opener against the Minnesota Twins today.
“This isn’t something that I would anticipate keeps me out for longer than a couple of days,” Longoria said Friday.
Manager Joe Maddon said Longoria likely will play Monday against the Orioles.
RED SOX: David Ortiz seemed as surprised as anybody when he found out he would be starting at first base tonight.
“I am?” the slugger asked Friday.
New manager Bobby Valentine wants to see how Ortiz looks in the field and plans to get an early gauge. Boston begins exhibition play with a college doubleheader.
INDIANS: Justin Masterson will start Cleveland’s opener April 5 against Toronto, a reward for the right-hander who was the one pitcher manager Manny Acta knew he could count on last year.