Action from Thursday:
- Jed Lowrie is set to come off the Disabled List and he is set to make his Astros debut in Miami on Friday after missing the first five games of the year due to a sprained thumb. Brian Bixler was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Lowrie on the 40-man active roster.
- They may not be very good this year, but at least they are young and interesting... so they've got that going for them.
- St. Louis is looking forward to opening the home portion of their schedule on Friday and go into it clicking on all cylinders after finishing a 5-2 road trip to open the year.
- The Cardinals open Busch Stadium today. Details for the festivities can be found here and here.
- Adam Wainwright will get the ball for the opener, completing a long journey back from injury.
- Despite a strained left calf, Lance Berkman has avoided a trip to the Disabled List, though he isn't likely to see action again until Tuesday.
- The Cubs and Cardinals renew their rivalry for the first time in 2012 beginning Friday in St. Louis. Here is a series preview from the Chicago Tribune. Manager Dale Sveum will get his first taste of the juicy rivalry.
- Here is MLB.com's look at the upcoming Cards/Cubs series.
- Despite the slow start on the North Side, not all is lost for the Cubs. There have been some positivesfor the lovable losers in spite of their 2-5 start to the year.
- A.J. Burnett hit a small snag in his rehab, getting lit up in a start for Class-A Bradenton on Wednesday night. Despite the rough outing Burnett is set to make his next rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday night.
- New Pirate Clint Barmes hasen't gotten off the the best of starts for Pittsburgh but he is looking to build off his first Home Run of the season hit in Wednesday's game.
- At least we're not Pirate fans... such optimism among the Pittsburg media has to make fans and the team feel good.
- Rick WandenHurk is the newest Pirate after the team signed the right-hander on Wednesday.
- Newly extended Second baseman Brandon Phillips is likely to be out until the weekend due to a sore hamstring. Phillips hasn't played since he was forced to leave Monday's game.
- The Reds are being cautions with Aroldis Chapman to begin the year.
- Reliever Clay Zavada is no longer a Red, having been released by the team earlier in the week.
Here are your NL Central standings as of Friday's action:
Milwaukee will look to get back on the winning track in Atlanta against the Braves. Randy Wolf and Jair Jurrjens are the scheduled starters, both looking for their first win on the year. Game time in Atlanta is set for 6:35 p.m. CDT.
The Astros and Marlins begin a three game series at the new Marlins Park. Lucas Harrell will start for the Astros and Ricky Nolasco will take the ball for the Fish. Start time for the game is 6:10 p.m. CDT.
The Cardinals open Busch Stadium this afternoon against the Cubs at 2:15 p.m. CDT. Jeff Samardzija looks to build on his outstanding first start. Adam Wainwright takes the hill for the Cards looking to pick up win no. 1 this season.
Pittsburgh will open AT&T Park in San Francisco as they take on the Giants in a game beginning at 3:35 p.m. CDT. James McDonald and Matt Cain are the probable pitchers.
The Reds and Nationals continue their series at Nationals Ballpark. Bronson Arroyo will start for Cincinnati and is opposed by Jordan Zimmerman who looks to even his record for the Nats. The game in D.C. is scheduled for 6:05 pm.m CDT.