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Player News
Report: Groin ailment adding to misery for Carlos Santana
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:29 pm ET) Theories about the early-season struggles of embattled Indians cleanup hitter Carlos Santana have gone from the mental to the physical.

He had admitted that a position change that has him serving as the starting third baseman and backup catcher had affected him at the plate. It has since been revealed that he is dealing with a sore left groin, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Santana had his thigh wrapped after the Wednesday game in Detroit, but insisted on playing Thursday, when he experienced yet another 0 for 4. He has just one hit in his last 27 at-bats and just one RBI on the season.


Manager on Sergio Santos: 'Forget about last night'
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:16 pm ET) John Gibbons has given temporary closer Sergio Santos a vote of confidence after a miserable outing that cost the Blue Jays a victory Thursday night at Minnesota.

Santos faced three batters, gave up three runs on three hits and threw three wild pitches in taking the defeat and raising his ERA to 8.44.

Gibbons, however, has tossed that performance aside. "He's done a tremendous job for us this year, forget about last night," he told MLB Network Radio.

Closer Casey Janssen is still experiencing back problems, but will reassume that role upon his return.


Aroldis Chapman cleared to throw live batting practice
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:15 pm ET) Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman has been cleared to throw live batting practice, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer

Chapman has progressed after he was hit in the face by a line drive during spring training. He's been able to get through bullpen sessions without any issues. That could change when he faces hitters for the first time, so throwing live batting practice will be a significant step in his recovery. 


Jon Jay being rewarded for strong play
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:11 pm ET) Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay has started three of the last four games in center, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The club brought in Peter Bourjos in the offseason, but he hasn't produced to open the season. Manager Mike Matheny said Jay has been playing well enough to warrant more playing time. "Jon had four quality at-bats (Wednesday)," Matheny said. "It’s a good day for him to keep that swing going."

Jay is hitting .250 in 28 at-bats. 


Joe Nathan: Pitches 'a lot livelier' in last outing
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:01 pm ET) What Tigers veteran closer Joe Nathan described as a "dead arm period" is over, he told MLB.com after shutting down Cleveland for a save Thursday afternoon.

"Today was more how I felt, being able to finish," he said after retiring the Indians in order in the ninth. "My velocity is what it's going to be, but moreso I was locating where I wanted to. But it did feel like it was a lot livelier. There's different 91s, different 92s, but today, at least finishing pitches, it felt like it was jumping out of my hand better."

Nathan had yielded five earned runs, seven hits and four walks in his previous 3 1/3 innings covering four appearances.


Jake Arrieta being watched by Cubs pitching coach
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11:52 am ET) Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta is at Wrigley Field so pitching coach Chris Bosio can monitor his progress, according to MLB.com.

Arrieta is slated for another rehab start before he's ready to return, but the club wants to keep tabs on his progress. Arrieta was dealing with a shoulder issue during spring, and is working his way back.


Mark Teixeira expects to be back Sunday with Yankees
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:41 am ET) First baseman Mark Teixeira confirmed Friday his intention to end his minor league rehab stint and return to the Yankees on Sunday, the first day he's eligible.

Teixeira said he "couldn't be happier" with how he feels physically, per Newsday.


Ian Desmond owns up to defensive mistakes
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11:35 am ET) Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond is owning up to his early defensive mistakes, according to The Washington Post

Desmond has already made seven errors in 17 games, but believes he can right the ship. "If I ever want to be the captain of this team – and I do – I have to be better than that," Desmond said. "I’ve been in some dark places defensively, and this is right there with them."

Desmond had similar issues early last season, but was able to rebound the rest of the season. He admitted that he's struggled defensively since spring training, and was routinely taking extra ground balls in order to get in a rhythm. 

Desmond is hitting .226 in 62 at-bats.


Thefts becoming harder to get for Mike Trout
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:22 am ET) It might fall under the category of nitpicking for arguably the most productive hitter in the game, but the dropoff in stolen bases for Mike Trout has become noticeable.

That number dropped from 49 in 2012 to 33 last season. He has just one in 15 games this year. One reason is the lack of opportunities. He has been on first base with second unoccupied just 10 times in 2014. Left-handers, who are generally tougher to run against, have been on the mound in six of those instances. The Angels led 11-1 in another.

Trout explained as well that he is receiving more attention. "Pitchers have been giving me a lot of different looks," he told the Orange County Register. "You don't want to run into outs, but we're going to stay aggressive for sure."


Jay Bruce remains in cleanup spot
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11:12 am ET) Reds outfielder Jay Bruce will remain in the cleanup spot Friday against the Cubs.

Bruce has struggled to open the season, hitting just .152 in 46 at-bats. He was briefly moved down to fifth in the order earlier this week, but the move appeared to be temporary. Bruce returned to the fourth spot the following game, and, after a day off Thursday, he'll hit cleanup Friday.

Bruce will look to get things going against Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija.


 
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