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Real Live Baseball Today

Yes, baseball that's not called "intrasquad" begins today, and I guess Thursday, March 2 is Opposites Day, because the guy who's usually at the end is starting.

Dan Wheeler will toe the slab at 1:05 EST today at Osceola County Stadium vs. the Cleveland Indians, and throw the pitch that will be the first baby step in the Astros' defense of their National League Championship.  

The official site says that Brad Lidge, Carlos Hernandez, Brandon Backe, Steve Sparks, Matt Albers and Dave Borkowski will follow on the hill in that order.  

Wheeler and Lidge will leave immediately following their appearances for the Team USA training camp in Arizona.

The site also says Jeff Bagwell, Brad Ausmus and Preston Wilson are not expected to play, being deferred for tomorrow, or in Ausmus' case, Saturday.

Jake Westbrook will start for Cleveland.