A look at what’s happening around the majors Thursday:
WELCOME HOME, SORT OF
The Toronto Blue Jays become the first team in Major League Baseball history to play home openers in three different cities over three consecutive seasons. Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Jays are set to host Mike Trout and the Angels at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida, their spring training stadium.
The Blue Jays played in Toronto in 2019. They held home games at their Triple-A site in Buffalo last year after the Canadian government barred them over coronavirus concerns.
A limited-capacity crowd of about 1,300 is expected at night for the Blue Jays’ game at TD Ballpark, which went over a $102 million renovation a year ago.
Fans at Busch Stadium, Camden Yards, Citi Field and several other parks will get to see their teams play in person for the first time since 2019.
The Cardinals, Orioles, Mets, Twins, Pirates, Astros, White Sox and Blue Jays will hold home openers in stadiums that didn’t permit fans last year because of COVID-19 protocols.
Heckled and jeered in Oakland and Anaheim while going 5-1, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and the Astros figure to get a more friendly reception at Minute Maid Park when Cristian Javier starts against the A’s.
Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez makes his long-awaited return to a big league mound when he starts at Baltimore a day after his 28th birthday.
Rodríguez was scratched as Boston’s opening day starter because of a “dead arm.”
He went 19-6 in 2019 and had been set to start the 2020 season opener before it was delayed by the coronavirus outbreak. Rodríguez contracted COVID-19 and related heart problems that kept him from pitching at all last season.