Opening Day brings with it reason for hope as players and teams embrace new opportunities. Here are some of the more interesting players getting new opportunities in the 2014 season: Grady Sizemore, CF, Boston - One of my favourite stories from the spring is the return of 31-year-old Sizemore, who was a cornerstone of my fantasy teams from 2005 through 2008, when he was ripping off 20-20 (HR-SB) and one 30-30 season before injuries limited him to 210 games between 2009 and 2011. Then, he sat out all of 2012 and 2013, at which point the baseball world would have been ready to leave him in the rearview as a player with great potential who didnt achieve greatness due to ongoing injuries. But a funny thing happened on the way to the glue factory: Sizemore won the starting centre field job for the defending World Series champs, hitting .310 with a .784 OPS in the spring. I dont know how long it will last, but Ill enjoy this resurrection. Jesse Chavez, RHP, Oakland - Acquired from Toronto in May of 2012 for cash, Chavez wasnt a particularly effective reliever, with a 5.48 ERA in 191 major-league appearances (189 in relief), but was decent in AAA Las Vegas in 2012 when he got a chance to start (8-5, 3.98 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 86 K, 95 IP) and then, last season, was good (2-2, 2.70 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 26 K, 30 IP) in a handful of starts with AAA Sacramento. When the As rotation was hammered by injuries to Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin in the spring, that opened the door for Chavez to get a look in the rotation and he was good (2.22 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 25 K, 28 1/3 IP) in the spring; good enough to see if the 30-year-old has the stuff to hold a starting job. Dustin McGowan, RHP, Toronto - Oh, what might have been. There was a time, say 2007, when McGowans electric stuff looked like it belonged at the top of a big-league rotation. Then, the arm troubles hit and hes been crawling his way back to the bigs, pitching 46 2/3 innings over the past five seasons. When he pitched out of the bullpen last season, McGowas was effective (2.45 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 K, 25 2/3 IP) and was throwing heat, with an average fastball clocked at 94.7 MPH, the same as it was in 2007. McGowans now 32-years-old and gets a shot in the Blue Jays rotation. His perseverance makes him easy to root for, yet his medical history makes it easy to expect that he wont survive the demands of starting every fifth day. Mike Morse, LF, San Francisco - Its hard to imagine that the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Morse was a shortstop when he first arrived in the big leagues in 2005, but he was, and its been an uneven road since. His high point came in 2011, when he hit 31 home runs, with a .910 OPS for Washington, and thats the kind of production that the Giants would love to add to their outfield on an everyday basis. Last seasons .651 OPS in Seattle and Baltimore, however, is decidedly less appealing, so the Giants will hope that last seasons down year helped make the price reasonable for a 32-year-old with an .808 career OPS. Mike Olt, 3B, Chicago Cubs - Acquired from Texas as part of last summers Matt Garza trade, 25-year-old Olt had eye problems (that have since been rectified) and then missed time this spring because of shoulder trouble, but he mashed five home runs, with an .886 OPS in 63 plate appearances and made the Cubs roster. With Luis Valbuena the incumbent at third base, its no surprise that Olt is going to get a good look for the Cubs. Brett Anderson, LHP, Colorado - In 2009 and 2010, when he was 21 and 22-years-old, Anderson had a 3.57 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 49 starts, striking out 225 in 287 2/3 innings. Then, the arm trouble started. Hes still only 26-year-old and going to Colorado isnt exactly a dream scenario for a pitcher trying to regain his form, but Anderson has a spot in the Rockies rotation. He has to be better than he was in the spring (3.27 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 11 K, 22 IP), but staying healthy is the first order of business. Jesus Guzman, 1B, Houston - A 29-year-old who has been a part-time player in San Diego for the past three seasons, Guzman has hit 18 home runs in 575 at-bats over the past two seasons, which is okay, but nothing earth-shattering, yet after a spring in which he hit .189 with a .753 OPS in 46 plate appearances, Guzman gets the nod as the Astros starter at first base. Hes been much better against left-handers (.818 OPS) than right-handers (.695 OPS) throughout his career, so it will be interesting to see if Guzman hits enough to keep an everyday job, even for the Astros. Drew Hutchison, RHP, Toronto - Coming back from Tommy John surgery, 23-year-old Drew Hutchison took his lumps in the minors last season (4.84 ERA, 1.42 WHIP in 35 1/3 IP) following surgery, but hes been much sharper this spring (1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 19 K, 15 IP). Thats obviously a small sample and the Jays are not likely to be good enough to warrant rushing Hutchison, but he was well on his way to being a major-league starter when he first suffered the injury, so its not unreasonable for him to find a spot in a shaky Blue Jays starting staff. Usage will be the big issue as he has yet to throw 150 innings in pro season. James Paxton, LHP, Seattle - Young pitching is going to be vital for the Mariners and 25-year-old, Richmond, B.C. native Paxton is one of their more promising arms. He was impressive in a four-game audition (3-0, 1.50 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 21 K, 24 IP) last season. Command is the issue; so far its been good in the bigs, but he walked 112 in 252 innings at Double-A and Triple-A over the past two seasons. Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis - The 22-year-old who, to this point, might be best known for getting picked off to end Game Four of the 2013 World Series, gets the nod to start for the Cardinals after a strong spring (.375 AVG, 1.080 OPS, 53 PA) and an injury to veteran Mark Ellis. Wong didnt hit when he joined the Cardinals late last season, but he hit .301 with an .811 OPS in the minors and swiped 20 bases on 21 attempts at Triple-A last season. Dee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles - The Dodgers signed Cuban import Alexander Guerrero to a four-year, $28-million contract in the off-season, but their starter at second base is former shortstop Gordon, the 25-year-old wh has a .620 lifetime OPS, but he has also stolen 66 bases in 183 career games, so if he can get on base even a little bit, Gordon has a chance to put up big numbers on the bases. Corey Hart, DH, Seattle - The 32-year-old missed all of last season with a knee injury and hes probably not right back to full speed after a spring in which he posted a .390 OPS in 43 plate appearances. He also hit at least 20 home runs in five of the previous six seasons and the Mariners could sorely use his right-handed power to help balance out their lineup. Casey McGehee, 3B, Miami - Back from a year in Japan, 31-year-old McGehee is starting at third base for the Marlins. He had some productive seasons in 2009 and 2010 with Milwaukee, but his last two major league seasons werent good. After 28 home runs and and .892 OPS in Japan last year, he gets another shot. Joakim Soria, RHP, Texas - Once a very effective closer for the Royals, 29-year-old Soria missed all of 2012 following Tommy John surgery before getting into 26 games with the Rangers last summer (3.80 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 28 K/14 BB, 23 2/3 IP). His velocity was off a bit and he was throwing more breaking pitches, but his command was better this spring (0.93 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 8 K/0 BB, 9 2/3 IP) and hes poised to take over for the departed Joe Nathan. Drew Smyly, LHP, Detroit - 24-year-old Smyly wasnt bad when he started as a rookie a couple of years ago, but was bumped to the bullpen last year, where he was dominant (2.37 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 81 K, 76 IP), using his cutter more frequently and effectively, and now Smyly returns to the rotation after Detroit sent Doug Fister to Washington. Phil Hughes, RHP, Minnesota - Its not exactly the tale of a plucky underdog when a 2004 first-round pick of the Yankees moves on to a new team, but after a rough 2013 season (4-14, 5.19 ERA, 1.46 WHIP), a fresh start somewhere else might make some sense. Also, given last years results, maybe more curves and fewer sliders should be part of Hughes plan of attack. Felipe Paulino, RHP, Chicago White Sox - A 30-year-old with 61 career major-league starts (and a 4.93 ERA), Paulino is getting a turn in the White Sox rotation after missing all of last season following Tommy John surgery. Its tough to look at potential for a 30-year-old, but Paulino looked like he was figuring things out in Kansas City (3.55 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 158 K, 162 1/3 IP in 28 games, 27 starts) before getting hurt. He also brings the heat, with a fastball consistently over 95 MPH. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Reggie Lewis Celtics Jersey .com) - Thursday marks the official debut of a new dirt racing surface at Meydan Racecourse. Robert Parish Jersey . When a game is in the balance, however, they still have the personnel and the experience to end up with the two points. http://www.authenticcelticsproshop.com/Paul-Pierce-Jersey/. RAPTORS STRUGGLING: The bottom line is the true test in sports isnt just how you handle failure, but how you handle success. Red Auerbach Jersey . THE THUNDER & PACERS BENCHES: In a nutshell, not impressive at all. Larry Bird Jersey . As analysts we do the same thing, so here are some observations from week one. First there were two major upsets. I should say, major upsets in the eyes of the fans and prognosticators.CLEVELAND -- The Detroit Tigers started out strong Thursday night. Nine innings later, they finished even stronger. After scoring four times in the first innings, the Tigers offence went into a slumber until the 11th when it broke through for seven runs in an 11-4 win over the Cleveland Indians. "It was a little bit of a dogfight," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We jumped out to the early lead and felt pretty good about it and they fought their way all the way back. It became a battle to the end." Eugenio Suarezs two-run single and Victor Martinezs three-run homer highlighted the late eruption, which didnt seem like it would be necessary about four hours earlier. "I was just trying to survive," Martinez said. "I went up there like I always go, just trying to be a tough out and put a good swing on it." The Tigers sent 10 men to the plate in the first and 11 batted in the final inning. Cleveland chipped away against defending Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and tied the score against the Tigers bullpen in the seventh. Phil Coke (4-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings. Josh Tomlin (6-9) gave up five runs and three hits in one-third of an inning. Detroit, which holds the American Leagues second wild-card spot, won three of four in the crucial series to pull one game behind Kansas City in the AL Central. Cleveland is six games out in the division and five games back for a wild card. J.D. Martinezs three-run homer in the ninth off closer Cody Allen gave Detroit a 4-2 win Tuesday. "Two very good wins that weve had in the last three days," Ausmus said. "Two of the better ones I think weve had all year." Tomlin, who returned to the team Tuesday after being on the paternity list as his wife gave birth to their first child, issued a one-out walk to Rajai Davis in the 11th. Ian Kinslers blooper then fell between right fielder Tyler Holt and second baseman Jason Kipnis, and Holts throw to thirdd was late, allowing Kinsler to take second.dddddddddddd Ezequiel Carrera was intentionally walked to load the bases before Suarez, who pinch-ran for Miguel Cabrera in the 10th, lined an 0-1 pitch to left. Martinez followed with his 29th homer, a line drive to right. Andrew Romine, who grounded out to start the inning, added a two-run single. Scherzer staggered through six innings, allowing three runs and throwing 124 pitches before being pulled. "Absolute physical grind for me," he said. "Didnt pitch efficiently, fell behind in counts. Battled as hard as I could. Pitched as deep as I could even when my pitch count ran up as high as it did." Michael Brantleys seventh-inning double tied the score. The Tigers scored in the first on Trevor Bauers wild pitch, Bryan Holadays two-run single and Davis RBI single. BARKING FOOT OF Torii Hunter didnt start after fouling a ball off his left foot in the first inning Wednesday. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, but didnt stay in the game defensively. AWARD WINNER 1B/DH Victor Martinez was named the AL Player of the Month for August after batting .350 with six homers and a league-leading 30 RBIs. "Victor goes through periods when it looks like hes playing softball," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He goes up there and swings as hard as he can and he rarely misses. Thats not a good feeling." TRAINERS ROOM Tigers: C Alex Avila missed his second straight game after being hit in the mask by a foul ball Tuesday. "It was a little bit of a lingering side effect from the head shot, so were going to give him another day," manager Brad Ausmus said. UP NEXT Tigers: Detroit returns home Friday to begin a three-game interleague series against San Francisco, the first time the teams have met since the Giants swept the 2012 World Series. RHP Rick Porcello (15-9) starts for Detroit against RHP Jake Peavy (4-13). ' ' '