Opening Day saw a dozen major league debuts, with top prospects Anthony Volpe and Jordan Walker recording their first appearances, as well as Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida, who got his first chance to make good on his five-year, $85-million deal. Other big names included Brewers second baseman Brice Turang and White Sox outfielder Oscar Colas. Four Rule 5 draftees took the field, with Ryan Noda (Athletics), Blake Sabol (Giants), Mason Englert (Tigers), and Gus Varland (Brewers) getting their butterflies over and done with. Nathan Lukes (Blue Jays) and Brett Wisely (Giants) played bit parts as a pinch runner and defensive replacement, respectively. And Arizona reliever Carlos Vargas lit up the radar run in his first stint as a Snake.
Here's a recap for all 12 players:
Oscar Colas, rf, White Sox. Came on as pinch hitter for starting right fielder Romy Gonzalez in the top of the seventh and grounded a Hector Neris offering into center field for a base hit. Flew out to right fielder Kyle Tucker in his only other at-bat to finish 1-for-2 on the day.
Mason Englert, rhp. Tigers. Rule 5 righthander came on for the bottom of the eighth with the Tigers trailing the Rays 3-0. After Wander Franco led off the inning by drilling a ball over the wall in left-center, Englert settled down and retired the next three batters on a pair of grounders and a fly to right. Threw 14 of his 22 pitches for strikes. Charged with one run on one hit in his only frame as Detroit lost 4-0.
Nathan Lukes, pr/dh, Blue Jays. Minor league veteran scored to bring the Blue Jays level with the Cardinals at 6-6 in the seventh inning after entering as a pinch runner for DH Brandon Belt, who had doubled with one down. A Matt Chapman single to right field plated him shortly after he came on. Lukes remained in the order as the DH, but was replaced by pinch-hitter Cavan Biggio when his turn to bat came up in the top of the eighth.
Ryan Noda, pr/1b, Athletics. Second player taken in last December's Rule 5 draft celebrated his 27th birthday by coming on in the bottom of the eighth as a pinch runner for Jesus Aguilar after the starting first baseman was intentionally walked to load the bases. He was erased moments later on an inning-ending double play. Noda stayed in the game to play first base in the top of the ninth and retired Brandon Drury on a pop out.
Blake Sabol, lf, Giants. Rule 5 selection became 17th different player to start for Giants in left field on Opening Day since Barry Bonds left. Batted eighth against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, and became strikeout victim No. 6 when he missed a 97.8-mph four-seamer with one on in the second. Grounded to first in the fifth in his only other at-bat. When lefthander Wandy Peralta replaced Cole in the seventh, David Villar pinch hit for Sabol, ending his night at 0-for-2.
Brice Turang, 2b, Brewers. Started at second base as the No. 9 hitter in the Milwaukee order. Chopped the first pitch he saw from Marcus Stroman high in the air toward second baseman Nico Hoerner. Beat out an infield single and advanced to second when Hoerner's rushed throw overshot first baseman Eric Hosmer. Moved to third on a passed ball, but that was as far as he got. Reached on a force out in the fifth, again advancing to third after a groundout and a wild pitch. Flew out to left to end the seventh in his final at-bat, finishing the day 1-for-3. Turned a 6-4-3 double play in the second.
Carlos Vargas, rhrp, Diamondbacks. Flamethrower entered in the seventh as the third Arizona reliever used against the Dodgers. Replaced Kyle Nelson with two down and David Peralta on first and blew away Miguel Vargas on three pitches: four-seam fastball 99.8 mph, four-seam fastball 99.1 mph, low cutter 92.3 mph for swinging strike three. Back out for the eighth, he gave up back-to-back singles to James Outman and Miguel Rojas before catching Mookie Betts looking at a 99.5-mph four-seamer on the outside corner for strike three. Was replaced by Kevin Ginkel after walking Freddie Freeman to load the bases, and later charged with a run after a Will Smith sac fly scored Outman. Final line credited him with 2/3 of an inning, two hits, a run, a walk, and two strikeouts as the Diamondbacks fell to the Dodgers 8-2.
Gus Varland, rhrp, Brewers. Replaced reliever Peter Strzelecki to open the bottom of the seventh with the Brewers trailing 4-0. Fanned Miles Mastrobuoni on three pitches to lead things off, setting him down on a 96-mph four-seam fastball. Retired Nico Hoerner two pitches later on a groundout to short. But singles by Dansby Swanson and Ian Happ and a walk to Cody Bellinger loaded the bases with Cubs. Varland got DH Trey Mancini to ground to first to end the threat. He was replaced by Javy Guerra to open the eighth and finished with a scoreless inning to his credit as the Brew Crew fell 4-0.
Anthony Volpe, ss, Yankees. Bombers' top prospect started at shortstop as the No. 9 hitter in the order against the visiting Giants. Drew a full-count walk to lead off the bottom of the third in his first trip to the plate, then stole second base. Grounded to third and struck out swinging in his two official at-bats, finishing the day 0-for-2. Started a 6-4-3 double play in the top of the sixth.
Jordan Walker, rf, Cardinals. Cards' top prospect got the start in right as the No. 8 hitter in the lineup against the visiting Blue Jays. Got his first base hit out of the way in his first at-bat, sending an 0-1 slider from Alek Manoah into center field for a single. Nudged the Cardinals ahead in the seventh with a force out to short that scored catcher Willson Contreras. Walker had a chance to pad a one-run lead with runners at first and second in the eighth, but grounded to third baseman Matt Chapman to end the inning. He finished the night 1-for-5 with an RBI as St. Louis dropped a wild one, 10-9.
Brett Wisely, cf, Giants. Last-minute addition to the Opening Day roster was inserted in the bottom of the seventh as a defensive replacement for pinch-hitter David Villar. Took over in center field as the No. 8 hitter in the order. Retired Gleyber Torres on a flyball to center in the eighth, but never got a turn at bat.
Masataka Yoshida, lf, Red Sox. Long-time Orix star went 2-for-4 as the starting left fielder against the Orioles. Picked up his first base hit and first RBI in the sixth on a single to center that scored Justin Turner. Singled and scored in the eighth, as Boston rallied to make it close. Grounded into a force out in the bottom of the ninth, advancing to second on a wild throw as the final Sox run crossed the plate bringing the score to 10-9. Also was hit by a pitch in the fourth. Credited with an assist in the top of the seventh when his throw to third baseman Rafael Devers was relayed to second in time to nail a sliding Adley Rutschman.