TAMPA, Fla. — Oft-injured New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton will likely miss Opening Day because of a strained right calf.

Manager Aaron Boone said Stanton was injured near the end of defensive drills on Tuesday. An MRI found a Grade 1 strain.

“It will probably put us against it a little bit,” Boone said Wednesday. “I would say it’s time for him to get back, but then getting built up and stuff. We’ll see.”

This was the second straight day New York announced an injury to one of its stars. Pitcher Luis Severino needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season, the team said Tuesday.

The AL East champion Yankees open on March 26 at Baltimore.

Stanton played in just 18 games due a number of injuries last season, batting .288 with three homers in 59 at-bats. He hit 38 homers in his first year with the Yankees in 2018, one year after a going deep a career-high 59 times in 2017 with the Miami Marlins.


The outfielder/designated hitter signed a $325 million, 13-year contract after the 2014 season.

RED SOX: Interim manager Ron Roenicke said Chris Sale came through his bullpen work fine on Wednesday.

Sale is expected to throw live batting practice on Saturday and likely another round of that to follow before a game. Roenicke said there’s nothing official, but it seems unlikely Sale will be on the Opening Day roster.

Sale’s start to spring training was delayed while he recovered from pneumonia.

If Sale is a no-go for Opening Day, look for lefty Eduardo Rodriguez to start for Boston on March 26 against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

• Michael Chavis and Jarren Duran hit their first homers of the spring as the Red Sox beat the Pirates 6-3 in Bradenton, Florida.


ASTROS: The Houston Astros leadoff man had no choice when he stepped into the batter’s box a bit too early and was showered with loud boos in an exhibition game against the New York Mets at Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard turned and looked at the scoreboard clock that showed 1:09 p.m. – he waited for the minute to change so the game would officially reach the 1:10 start time, leaving Springer nowhere to go as the crowd heckled him.

“Cheater! Cheater! Cheater!” one Mets fan along the first-base side chanted at Springer.

The normal tranquility of a February game again was broken as a split squad of Astros continued the team’s latest stop on their spring training tour of derisive boos and catcalls, the result of their exposed sign-stealing scheme.

Two days after Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel got jeered for a game at Detroit’s park in Lakeland, it was the Mets’ turn to host at newly renovated Clover Park.

Vilified this offseason by the baseball world due to the their scam, the Astros brought a pedestrian lineup from their West Palm Beach complex to face the Mets. Springer and fellow outfielder Michael Brantley were the top Astros who started.


Springer flied out in the first, and Brantley batted next. Brantley grew up playing baseball in this area, starred in high school in nearby Fort Pierce and is an offseason resident of Port St. Lucie.
Despite the local roots, he also drew a heaping dose of boos from his locals, though not like Springer did. Brantley joined the Astros last year and struck out to end the World Series.

Justin Verlander’s spring training debut will be postponed at least a few more days while he deals with tightness in his groin.

Verlander had been scheduled to start Thursday against Washington. Instead, he will throw a simulated game at the Astros’ complex before that exhibition.

• Alex Bregman was hit on the back by a breaking ball from St. Louis reliever Ramon Santos, the seventh Astros player plunked in five spring training games.

“It was a splitter,” Bregman said. “It just got away from him.”

Some opposing players have called for retaliation against the Astros following Major League Baseball’s finding that Houston broke rules against electronic sign-stealing en route to its 2017 World Series title and again in 2018.


Dustin Garneau was hit Sunday against Washington, and Jose Altuve was grazed Monday against Detroit, when Osvaldo Duarte and Alex De Goti also were hit. Aledmys Diaz and Jake Meyers were hit Tuesday by Miami.

WBC: Tim Tebow, the Mets’ minor league outfielder and former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, will play for the Philippines next month in the World Baseball Classic.

Tebow was born in the Philippines in 1987 when his parents were serving as missionaries in the country. The family moved to Florida when he was 3.

The Philippines will play in a qualifying tournament March 20-25 in Tucson, Arizona, with teams from Panama, New Zealand, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Spain.

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