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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
Related Links:
• Spring Observations: A Hosmer homer
• Fantasy Dilemmas: Wacha | Robertson
• Tiers: RP | SP | OF | SS | 3B | 2B | 1B | C
• Rankings | Top 300 | Draft Prep Guide
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    Most Viewed Players
    PlayerTotal
    1Marcus Semien, OAK, 3B1751
    2Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1B1401
    3Anthony Rendon, WAS, 3B1286
    4Carlos Santana, CLE, 1B1188
    5Yasmany Tomas, ARI, RF1161
    6Chris Davis, BAL, 1B1156
    7Josh Harrison, PIT, 3B1129
    8Troy Tulowitzki, COL, SS1088
    9Corey Kluber, CLE, SP1049
    10Carlos Carrasco, CLE, RP1020
    Average Draft Position
     
     
    Player News
    Cubs' Kyle Schwarber hits grand slam on Thursday
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (7:24 pm ET) Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber belted a grand slam on Thursday against the Giants.

    Schwarber didn't wait long, knocking in all four runs in the second inning. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Schwarber clobbered a pitch from Ryan Vogelsong, sending it out to right field. The 22-year-old is expected to begin the season in the minors, but is one of the team's top prospects. While he may not receive a promotion until late in the season, Schwarber could draw interest on the trade market if the Cubs decide to go all in at the deadline. 


    Braves P Julio Teheran exorcises previous spring training demons
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (7:21 pm ET) Braves pitcher Julio Teheran still remembers the 2012 spring training game when he gave up six home runs in two innings against the Tigers. 

    Therefore, scheduled to pitch against the Tigers on Thursday, he refused to use the same bullpen at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. that he did during that disastrous outing.

    "I don't really think about that," Teheran said, per MLB.com. "I know some guys make fun of that, and I do too. It's just something that happened before."

    On Thursday, Teheran fared much better in a 6-4 Braves victory. 

    Teheran gave up one run during his first spring start of the season. He threw 36 pitches with 25 going for strikes. 

    "I was controlling all of my pitches," Teheran said. "That was my goal today. I think the ball was coming out pretty good from my hands. I think that is where I want to be."


    Diamondbacks' Trevor Cahill shows off new mechanics
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (7:06 pm ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Cahill showed off his new mechanics against the Rockies on Thursday. 

    Cahill gave up two hits and one walk over two scoreless innings of work. The 27-year-old came into camp competing for a spot in the rotation, but has impressed thus far. In order to make the club, Cahill overhauled his mechanics. After his first start, he came away encouraged. 

    "I could definitely tell there is some stuff," Cahill said. "Just where I have to set my sights on pitches has to change a little bit, because the ball doesn't run as much."

    Cahill posted a 5.61 ERA over 110 2/3 innings last season. 


    Brewers Scooter Gennett looking to prove himself
    (7:05 pm ET) Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett knows that he must improve against left-handed pitching, per the team's official website.

    "I'm very eager," said Gennett. "For me, I'm not eager about showing or proving [that I can hit lefties], but just for myself, being able to play and have fun every day and get in there every day and crack lefties. That's part of the game -- you don't want to [sit] out. It's back to what I'm used to, and I'm really looking forward to it." 

    He didn't face one left-handed starting pitcher last year.  When batting against southpaw relievers in 2014, he went 4-for-39.  Gennett is 10-for-78 against lefties.

    Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said this about Gennett's struggles.

    "For me, you can't hit lefties unless you can get hit by them," Gennett said, "which means, if there's a guy throwing 97 [mph] and slinging it in there, the only way I'm going to hit him is if I stand in there willing to stay in there and wear one in the neck or the shoulder or the ribs. That's what you have to do to hit lefties. So that's the one thing I worry about -- don't be a scaredy cat and get out of the way, and I'll be all right."

    Gennett, 24, has a career batting average of .300 going into his third season with the Brewers.


    Indians' Yan Gomes' first hit of spring goes for home run
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (7:04 pm ET) Indians catcher Yan Gomes' first hit of the spring came on a two-run home run during Cleveland's 9-3 Cactus League win over the Reds. 

    Gomes went yard in the fifth inning off of Reds pitcher Burke Badenhop. 

    Thursday's showing was a good sign that Gomes is picking up where he left off in 2014, when he recorded a batting average of .278 and hit 21 home runs. 


    Indians OF Michael Brantley goes hitless in spring debut
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (7:04 pm ET) Indians outfielder Michael Brantley (back) went 0 for 3 in his spring debut Thursday against the Reds.

    Manager Terry Francona said Monday that Brantley was expected to make his debut Thursday, and the outfielder was able to play after dealing with a sore lower back earlier this spring. He hit .327/.385/.506 with 20 home runs, 97 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 611 at-bats last season.


    Tigers' Bruce Rondon to throw live batting practice on Friday
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (6:48 pm ET) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon will throw live batting practice on Friday, according to mlive.com.

    Rondon is on schedule in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, according to manger Brad Ausmus. "His schedule was behind what the others were, so he's on schedule," Ausmus said. "We were going to take it slower with him regardless."

    While he's on schedule, Rondon still has a lot of work to do. "First, he's got to get comfortable throwing to hitters," Ausmus said. "He's not quite there yet. Then, once we get him into games, we have to get him into back-to-back days. I would imagine that would be toward the end though."

    The 24-year-old Rondon posted a 3.45 ERA over 28 2/3 innings in 2013. 


    Cubs' Joe Maddon: Edwin Jackson, 31, still has 'potential'
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (6:47 pm ET) Cubs manager Joe Maddon still thinks pitcher Edwin Jackson can put it all together at some point in his career. 

    Over two seasons with the Cubs, Jackson has posted a 14-33 record and a paltry 5.58 ERA. At 31 years old, however, Maddon said Jackson still has the tools to become a solid pitcher in the Major Leagues. 

    "It's rare that a guy who's [31] years old can still have the label of 'potential' attached to his abilities," Maddon said, via MLB.com. "You'd think he's arrived at that point. It's not all arrived with him yet. That's really interesting with a guy like him. There is room for improvement and he knows that."

    Maddon managed Jackson back when both were with the Rays from 2006-2009. Maddon believes that Jackson can improve and become more consistent. 

    "I think he probably outthinks himself sometimes or gets uncertain," Maddon said. "I really would like to see him just go out there and play and not worry about whatever, whether it's mechanics or sequences or whatever. Just go out there and pitch and permit your abilities to take over. He's got an exceptional arm and is an exceptional athlete and he's a great kid, but there's still that level for him to arrive at yet that he hasn't been."


    Rockies' Jhoulys Chacin (shoulder) 'felt very good' in spring debut
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (6:38 pm ET) Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin made his spring debut Thursday, and though he surrendered two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings, he "felt very good" with the outing, the Denver Post reports.

    "I felt very good, and I hope I can keep going like this all year," Chacin said. "I threw a lot of changeups and sliders today because that’s what I’ve been working on. I have been working on the slider because that’s my strikeout pitch."

    Chacin was making his first appearance in a game since June 28 after missing much of the 2014 season due to a shoulder injury. Manager Walt Weiss said that the pitcher was throwing with less effort than he did last spring.

    "We are trying to build him back up this spring," Weiss said. "The main thing is that he’s healthy and able to bounce back. There is no reason to think he’s not going to be fine."

    Chacin went 1-7 with a 5.40 ERA and 42:28 K:BB ratio in 63 1/3 innings over 11 starts last season.


    Giants' Hunter Pence out 6-8 weeks with forearm fracture
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (6:28 pm ET) Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has suffered a nondisplaced fracture of the left ulna in his forearm and will miss the next six-to-eight weeks, the team announced.

    The team believed Pence was dealing with a forearm fracture after being hit with a pitch Thursday, and subsequent X-rays confirmed the severity of the injury.

    Pence hit .277/.332/.445 with 20 home runs, 74 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 650 at-bats in 2014, playing 162 games for the second straight season. However, the injury will end the outfielder's streak of consecutive games played at 383, leaving him 85 games shy of tying the franchise's all-time leader.

    The Giants could turn to fourth outfielder Gregor Blanco to fill in regularly in the lineup until Pence is ready to return.


     
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