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Closer power rankings
Closers 320
Knowing which closers to avoid is as important as knowing which to target. That's why our Al Melchior ranks the closer situation for all 30 teams. Full Story
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    Most Viewed Players
    PlayerTotal
    1Hunter Pence, SF, RF1635
    2Marcus Semien, OAK, 3B1366
    3Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1B1354
    4Yasmany Tomas, ARI, RF1205
    5Anthony Rendon, WAS, 3B1175
    6Carlos Santana, CLE, 1B1174
    7Chris Davis, BAL, 1B1148
    8Carlos Carrasco, CLE, RP1119
    9Yu Darvish, TEX, SP1094
    10Josh Harrison, PIT, 3B1062
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    Player News
    Braves' Minor doesn't appear to be overly concerned about injury
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (9:01 am ET) Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor appeared confident Friday his shoulder injury is not serious, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Minor doesn't have a date yet on when he will meet with Dr. James Andrews next week, but he is hoping Andrews can clarify what is wrong with his shoulder.

    Minor said his shoulder started to get sore after throwing batting practice last week, and the soreness increased following a second batting practice session.


    Tigers' Ausmus: James McCann can be very good major-league catcher
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (8:00 am ET) Tigers catcher James McCann, who is vying for a spot on the roster as a backup to Alex Avila, allowed a passed ball during Thursday's spring game against the Braves. After the game, McCann was very critical of his play and vowed to make sure no more pitches skip by him. 

    McCann's relentless work ethic is one trait that manager Brad Aumus likes about the 24-year-old catcher.

    "I don't have to worry about him working," Ausmus said Thursday, per the Detroit Free Press. "I think Mac does an excellent job. He is very alert. His head is into the game at all times. He understands that his value is greater on the defensive side of the game than it is when he is standing in the batter's box. That's not to say he doesn't take his hitting seriously.

    "I think he has a chance to be a very good major-league catcher. I'm more concerned about how he handles a staff, how he calls a game, how he blocks balls in the dirt (than his ability to throw out runners)."


    Phillies SP Cliff Lee having no doubts coming off elbow injury
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (7:31 am ET) Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee appeared to be brimming with confidence Thursday, as he said following his first start since missing the final two months of the 2014 season due to an elbow injury that everything is "so far, so good."

    While some folks still might have some doubt regarding the 36-year-old's durability moving forward, Lee has no such doubts.

    "I don't have any uncertainty," Lee said, per The Philadelphia Daily News. "I definitely have confidence and expect to go out there and be successful, and I'm doing everything I can to prevent something like that from happening again. That's really all I can do. There's no worry or uncertainty or anything like that. I'm just going to go out there and be confident and expect to have success and not really even think about it, to be honest with you."

    Lee threw only 22 pitches (16 strikes) in two innings Thursday in his spring debut. He still has a long ways to go in getting back to his previous form, but Lee is confident it will happen.

    "As a starting pitcher, you've got to go out there and throw a hundred-and-some-odd pitches, get deep into games to do your job effectively," Lee said. "Personally, until I do that I don't think that I've proven that I can do that yet. I don't have any doubts, but still you have to build up to do that and prove you can do that . . . I don't think anyone is going to know that I can do that until I go out there and show it."


    Mets' Jacob deGrom working on perfecting his curveball
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (1:42 am ET) Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom is working on perfecting his curveball this spring, according to the New York Post

    "This spring is so different," deGrom said. "I can really come in here and work on things. Last year when I was over on the big league side, I didn’t throw my curveball one time because I was trying to make the team and prove I could get outs in spring training."

    After experiencing some success in the majors, deGrom said he is more willing to work on stuff this time around. While he actually started using his curve more late last season, it seems like deGrom is going to work on perfecting the pitch during camp. 

    "It’s a great pitch whether it be strike one or a strikeout pitch," deGrom said. "Talking to Gee, Wheeler and all those guys and see how they throw theirs and taking little bits of information from them and trying it in bullpens. Sometimes I throw it at 78 (mph) and that’s a big difference from the slider. It gets the hitter off balance."

    deGrom, 26, posted a 2.69 ERA over 140 1/3 innings last season.


    Rockies' Charlie Blackmon hoping for more consistency
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (1:15 am ET) Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon is hoping for more consistency in 2015, according to the Denver Post

    Blackmon had a breakout season in 2014, but admits it's hard to be on every single game. "Last year, I swung the bat really well at certain times," he said. "But you go through a lot of ups and downs over 162 games, and that was a learning experience. I think that's going to help me this year."

    Blackmon said his strong start made him a target for other teams, and that may have contributed to a slight slump during the season. Blackmon added that he's hoping to hit the ball to all fields this season.

    Manager Walt Weiss is hoping Blackmon can deliver more of the same. "I don't know if he necessarily has to have an encore. I'm thinking more of the same," Weiss said. "I think Charlie would say that he wants to be more consistent."

    The 28-year-old Blackmon hit .288/.335/.440 over 593 at-bats last year. 


    Twins' Gibson feels 'a little more comfortable' with curveball
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (12:29 am ET) Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson surrendered one run on two hits and one walk in two innings while striking out two in his spring debut Thursday, using the outing to work on his curveball, the Associated Press reports.

    "I felt really good," Gibson said. "I'm working on some stuff, and some stuff worked out that I was working on. I threw more curveballs than normal. That's what spring training's for. It's just fun to be able to work on a particular pitch. I feel a little more comfortable."

    Gibson, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, completed his first full major-league deal in 2014, going 13-12 with a 4.47 ERA and 107:57 K:BB ratio in 179 1/3 innings.


    Blue Jays' Barton hoping his glove wins him a spot
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (12:28 am ET) Blue Jays first baseman Daric Barton is hoping his glove can win him a spot on the 25-man roster, according to the Toronto Sun.

    Barton isn't much of a power hitter, but gets strong marks for his defense at first. Manager John Gibbons is well aware of Barton's skills. "One thing that put Daric on the map was that he was such a disciplined hitter and a great defender," Gibbons said. He added that the first baseman is involved in a large chunk of plays, so defense at the position is probably more important than people realize.

    With that said, Barton may need a trade to make the opening day roster. As currently constructed, the Blue Jays may carry three catchers. If the team retains Dioner Navarro, Barton could find himself in the minors.

    The 29-year-old Barton hit .158 over 57 at-bats last year.


    Pirates' Pedro Alvarez feeling comfortable at first
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (12:21 am ET) Pirates infielder Pedro Alvarez is feeling comfortable at first base, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    After playing third the past couple of seasons, Alvarez will transition to first base full-time in 2015. The 28-year-old is still getting used to the position, but he seems comfortable with the change.

    "It’s just a matter of getting used to seeing the field from that point of view, get the reps in so that the responsibilities that come with playing the position become second nature," he said. "That’s just with time and repetitions."

    Alvarez hit .231/.312/.405 over 398 at-bats last season. 


    Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman gets strong marks at first
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (12:17 am ET) Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman received strong reviews after playing his first game at first base this spring, according to MLB.com.

    "He is still in the stages of having to think about it out there, because it's not natural yet," manager Matt Williams said. "He looked fine. He has fantastic hands." Zimmerman was tested during the start, and had to make two scoops in order to prevent possible throwing errors. 

    He's been taking extra practice at the position this spring, and was fairly happy with how his first game turned out. "You can do so many drills, exercises and things like that until you have to go out there and play," Zimmerman said. "So it's nice to have a few chances. The more I play over there, the more comfortable I will get. I feel fine."

    Zimmerman, 30, hit .280/.342/.449 over 214 at-bats last year. 


    Orioles' Brian Matusz tosses scoreless inning in return
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (12:09 am ET) Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz tossed a scoreless inning in his return to the mound.

    Matusz came into camp dealing with a shoulder issue, but said he was pretty close to 100 percent. He allowed one hit during his one inning of work, and struck out one batter. Matusz is expected to open the season in the team's bullpen. 

    The 28-year-old posted a 3.48 ERA over 51 2/3 innings last year.


     
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