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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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• Spring Observations: A Hosmer homer
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    Most Viewed Players
    PlayerTotal
    1Marcus Semien, OAK, 3B1868
    2Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1B1411
    3Anthony Rendon, WAS, 3B1282
    4Carlos Santana, CLE, 1B1248
    5Yasmany Tomas, ARI, RF1225
    6Josh Harrison, PIT, 3B1207
    7Chris Davis, BAL, 1B1198
    8Troy Tulowitzki, COL, SS1124
    9Corey Kluber, CLE, SP1081
    10Mark Trumbo, ARI, LF1035
    Average Draft Position
     
     
    Player News
    Gonzalez: Braves SP Mike Minor to meet with Dr. Andrews
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (4:31 pm ET) Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Thursday he believes starting pitcher Mike Minor will meet with Dr. James Andrews on Monday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Minor was scratched from his spring start Sunday due to tightness in his left shoulder.

    Lance Berkman helps Astros' Gregerson on approach vs. LH batters
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (4:27 pm ET) Astros pitching coach Brent Strom had reliever Luke Gregerson meet with retired MLB slugger Lance Berkman to get a better idea on how left-handed batters view Gregerson's sinker, per MLB.com.

    "Everything's always helpful when you get to talk to someone who has such success as a hitter," Gregerson said. "From a pitcher's standpoint, it's interesting to hear what gets in your head and what messes with them as a hitter and what keeps them off balance. Hopefully, it's something that I can transition to the mound against other guys down the road."

    Berkman, who spent three days in Astros' camp as a guest instructor, liked hitting against sinkerball pitchers during his career, so he had a lot of wisdom to share with Gregerson, who is competing for the closer's role.

    "You always hear lefties are low-ball hitters and most lefties don't want balls in on their hands or anything on the inside part of the plate," Berkman said. "Generally with sinkerballers, that's where they're trying to throw it, is down and out over the plate.

    "Those are fun conversations to have, because then there's back and forth. It's a cat-and-mouse game all over again. That's the part of the game I really enjoyed."


    Athletics set spring debuts for Sonny Grazy, Scott Kazmir
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (4:23 pm ET) After holding Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir out for the first week of spring games, the Athletics have scheduled the spring debuts of the two pitchers, MLB.com reports.

    Gray, who threw a simulated game Thursday, will face the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, while Kazmir, who threw Wednesday, is set to square off with the Mariners next Thursday. Gray remains the favorite to open the season on the mound for the Athletics.


    White Sox expect Chris Sale back not long after opening day
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (4:15 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Chris Sale (foot) is not expected to be ready by opening day, but the team sees him returning not long after the regular-season opener, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports.

    White Sox manager Robin Ventura said earlier this week that Sale had "a slim chance" to be ready for the opener. The ace suffered an avuncular fracture in his right foot in late February, delaying the start of his camp.


    Nationals scratch IF Yunel Escobar from Thursday's game
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (4:13 pm ET) Yunel Escobar will not make his Nationals spring training debut as he's been sratched from Thursday's lineup, according to The Washington Post

    General soreness is the reason why Escobar will not play. 

    Escobar has been seeing a lot of work at second base recently and is being given the day off. 


    Red Sox OF Rusney Castillo's oblique injury improving
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (4:10 pm ET) Red Sox manager John Farrell said outfielder Rusney Castillo's oblique strain is "much better," according to The Boston Globe

    The Red Sox are still expected to take a cautious approach with Castillo. 

    His injury isn't considered serious though he's expected to miss about a week of spring training. Castillo is competing for the center fielder job. 


    Mets' Matt Harvey to pitch for first time in 18 months on Friday
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (3:54 pm ET) Mets pitcher Matt Harvey will make his return from Tommy John surgery on Friday after enduring over 18 months of rehab. 

    Harvey last pitched in a game on Aug. 24, 2013 against the Tigers. Coincidentally, the Tigers will be Friday's spring training opponent for the Mets. 

    That said, Harvey isn't looking at his Friday outing as anything more than a tune-up appearance. 

    ''It's March 6, so we can't put too much emphasis on the day other than it being 18-plus months since I've done something like that,'' Harvey said, via the Associated Press. ''It's still a preparation game and still have a lot of time to keep moving forward.''


    Rangers P Yu Darvish (triceps) pulled from start against Royals
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (3:39 pm ET) Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish left Thursday's game against the Royals due to right triceps tightness, according to MLB.com. 

    The injury is not believed to be serious and Darvish will be re-evaluated on Friday. 

    Darvis said he felt tightness in his arm before the game, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He added it's nothing to worry about, though. 

    "I felt some tightness with my triceps and I focused only on my location and command with my pitches," Darvish said, via FOX Sports Southwest. "Today in the bullpen I felt the tightness was more so I didn't have a lot of effort on the mound in the game. It wasn't serious so I went to the mound as usual."

    Darvish was still able to pitch a scoreless first inning with just 12 pitches. 


    Mets sign P Matt Harvey and 27 other pre-arbitration players
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (3:27 pm ET) The Mets signed 28 pre-arbitration players on Thursday, according to the NJ.com. 

    Included in this group are pitchers Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom. Other pitchers signed include Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia, Josh Edgin, Vic Black, Rafael Montero, Erik Goeddel, Dario Alvarez, Hansel Robles, Steven Matz, Jack Leathersich, Cory Mazzoni, Akeel Morris, Gabriel Ynoa and Sean Gilmartin.

    Also signed were catcher Anthony Recker, center fielder Juan Lagares, outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, catcher Travis d'Arnaud, infielder Wilmer Flores, utility player Eric Campbell, outfielder Matt den Dekker, second baseman Dilson Herrera, shortstop Wilfredo Tovar and outfielder Cesar Puello.


    Indians OF Carlos Moncrief continues to swing hot bat in 'B' game
    by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
    (3:17 pm ET) Indians outfielder Carlos Moncrief, who went 4 for 4 on Wednesday, continued to swing a hot bat on Thursday. Moncrief, originally drafted as a pitcher out of Chipola College in 2008, walked, singled, doubled and homered in his four trips to the plate in a "B" game against the Reds.

    "I've been waiting for spring training to come," Moncrief said, per the Northeast Media Group. "It's not like it snuck up on me. Inside, I was burning and waiting for it to come, so just to be able to express that on the field and it comes out, that's what feels good to me."


     
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