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Player News
Danny Santana named Twins' starting shortstop
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:21 am ET) As expected, Twins manager Paul Molitor announced that Danny Santana will be Minnesota's Opening Day starting shortstop, according to MLB.com on Saturday. Santana beat out Eduardo Escobar for the job, who started a team-high 86 games at shortstop in 2014 for Minnesota. Santana made only 32 appearances at shortstop.

Santana hit .319 with 40 RBI and 70 runs scored in 405 plate appearances in 2014. He has a .341 batting average this spring.


Tigers release Luke Putkonen
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(10:17 am ET) The Tigers released pitcher Luke Putkonen on Saturday. 

Putkonen missed most of last season with an elbow injury, and the team outrighed him to Triple-A in January, removing him from the 40-man roster. He had a non-roster invitation to Major League camp, but he had a 7.36 ERA in four games. 


Twins' Molitor: Josmil Pinto failed his concussion test
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:15 am ET) Twins manager Paul Molitor told reporters that catcher Josmil Pinto did not pass his concussion test, and has not been cleared to play in games. Pinto, who suffered concussion-like symptoms after he was hit on the back of the head three times by an Adam Jones backswing last week, was limited to working out on Saturday.

Molitor hopes to have Pinto play games by Monday, and added that the backup catcher decision is "still in flux," per the Pioneer Press.


Bobby Parnell plans mid-April return to Mets
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(10:14 am ET) Mets pitcher Bobby Parnell believes he'll return to the mound two weeks earlier than planned. 

Parnell is recovering from Tommy John surgery a year ago and was slowed by a groin injury during spring training. The team is aiming for a May 1 return date. 

Parnell will pitch in a minor league game on Sunday and believes he'll be back by mid-April. 

"Make sure you get your tickets," Parnell said to ESPN's Adam Rubin.


'No mention' of MRI for Tigers' Justin Verlander
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(10:10 am ET) Justin Verlander was having his best outing of the spring on Friday before being forced to leave in the third inning with an arm cramp. 

"The first couple were nice and easy," Verlander said, per MLive.com. "and then I threw a curveball and it just kind of felt like when I got extended that my tricep kind of grabbed on me a little bit. Then from that point on, the rest of the pitches I threw there was a similar feeling. When I got fully extended out, it just kind of felt crampy. It was weird. I've never really felt anything like that before. But it doesn't seem like anything serious."

On Saturday morning, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said that there has "been no mention" of an MRI for Verlander, per MLive's James Schmehl. "They're still quantifying it as a cramp."

Ausmus added, "As of right now, I have no reason not to expect him to pitch in his next start." 


Nationals' Jayson Werth will play defense only minor-league game
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:07 am ET) Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth took some swings off a batting tee and is scheduled to play defense only in a minor-league game on Saturday, according to MLB.com. Werth is working his way back from January shoulder surgery, and has yet to make his spring debut. Once he's cleared to face pitchers, he'll start seeing game action. 

Frustrated Pelfrey loses rotation battle, demoted to Twins' bullpen
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:02 am ET) Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey was unable to crack the starting rotation, and was demoted to the bullpen for the first time in his career, according to the Pioneer Press on Saturday.

Pelfrey told reporters he was frustrated because he doesn't believe he was outpitched this spring. The 6-foot-5 right-hander registered a 1.32 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and a 7:2 K:BB ratio over 13 2/3 innings of work in Grapefruit League play.

He lost the spot to Tommy Milone, who posted a 4.50 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP and an 8:4 K:BB ratio over 14 innings.

Pelfrey revealed that he confronted the coaching staff and asked if the competition for the fifth rotation spot was actually open and was told him "yes," though he disagrees. According to the Pioneer Press, Pelfrey said he has not been given an indication that a trade is in the works and added that he would not approve an option to Triple-A.

"That won't happen," Pelfrey said.


Orioles SS J.J. Hardy could sit out the weekend with sore shoulder
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:47 am ET) Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is expected to rest on Saturday because of a sore shoulder. He suffered the injury during a second-inning collision with second baseman Jonathan Schoop on Friday. Hardy took an anti-inflammatory pill to relieve the soreness in his non-throwing shoulder, and remains uncertain for Sunday's split-squad games against the Twins and the Blue Jays, per the Baltimore Sun.

"It's my first anti-inflammatory pill I've taken all spring. I was trying to make it all the way through spring," Hardy said. "I don't know what it's going to be like."

Hardy is hitting .233 (7 for 30) this spring.

"I think everyone kind of anticipated it being more sore today than yesterday so I don't know. I don't know what their plan is," Hardy said. "I don't think I'm going to do much today. We'll probably just treat it as much as we can and go from there and see what the next step is."


Rays' Rene Rivera to work with Chris Archer in minor-league game
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:41 am ET) Rays catcher Rene Rivera told reporters that his calf is fine, according to Tampa Bay Times. He added that Chris Archer requested he catch him in a minor-league game, so that the two can get used to working with each other. Riveral will catch against the Red Sox on Sunday.

Rays' Alex Cobb to play catch at a distance of 60-75 feet
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:37 am ET) Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb, who is not expected to be ready for the start of the season due to forearm tendinitis, will play catch at a distance of 60-75 feet. The Rays plan to have him throw at least 30 times with athletic trainer Ron Porterfield on Saturday, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

 
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