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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, 3B1849
    2Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1B1515
    3Anthony Rendon, WAS, 3B1396
    4Hunter Pence, SF, RF1305
    5Carlos Santana, CLE, 1B1296
    6Yasmany Tomas, ARI, RF1279
    7Josh Harrison, PIT, 3B1235
    8Chris Davis, BAL, 1B1234
    9Troy Tulowitzki, COL, SS1164
    10Carlos Carrasco, CLE, RP1138
    Average Draft Position
     
     
    Player News
    White Sox's Jesse Crain close to facing hitters
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (8:15 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Jesse Crain is getting close to facing hitters, according to MLB.com.

    Crain is coming back from shoulder and biceps injuries, but will throw his third bullpen session on Friday. If that goes well he could throw live batting practice next week. 

    "It's exciting and I've been feeling really well, but in the meantime, I'm not going to get too high until I get out there," Crain said. "When I face hitters, it will be a good test, because I'll be letting it go even more than I have. I'll wait to get too excited until I know exactly how I feel." 

    Crain admitted he's taking things slow, but he's hoping to get into games this spring. "I'm not going to put any timetables on anything," he said. "But if I keep progressing like I am, there's a good chance I can hopefully get into a couple or few games."


    Pirates GM Neal Huntington thinks OF Andrew Lambo is a nice fit
    (8:13 pm ET) Pirates outfielder Andrew Lambo has the support of his general manager Neal Huntington, according to the team's official website.

    "Andrew has put together two really strong years at Triple-A," Huntington noted. "If you look at the numbers at the end of the year, he actually outplayed [Gregory] Polanco. Most people don't remember that, they think of him like, 'At 25, he's kind of an afterthought.' But he's a player we still like and believe could fit in as a nice piece for us."

    That confidence has spread as Lambo looks forward to contributing at a high level.

    "This year I'm confident, physically and mentally focused and ready," Lambo said. "Last year I was unprepared, not confident."

    The 26-year-old has a batting average of .280 in the minors.  He is looking to continue to make strides while in the majors.

    "I'm not going to tell you I'm going to hit .700. But I'll tell you what: I'm not going to worry about it if I hit .100," said Lambo, who continues to split defensive drills between the outfield and first base. "I'm worried about just swinging well, not worried about the results."

     


    White Sox release Tony Campana
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (8:10 pm ET) The White Sox have released outfielder Tony Campana on Thursday, according to MILB.com.

    Campana signed a minor-league contract with the club in the offseason, but tore his ACL while training. He's expected to miss the entire season while he recovers. The 28-year-old hit .187 over 75 at-bats last year. 


    Phillies hoping for bounce back from Domonic Brown
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (8:03 pm ET) The Phillies are hoping outfielder Domonic Brown can bounce back in 2015, according to MLB.com.

    "One thing about Domonic is he did hit 20-some home runs one year. He has done it," club president Pat Gillick said. "I don't know if he's going to do it again, but he's one guy who has shown offensively that he's capable of it."

    Gillick went on to add, "we want him to succeed, and if he's going to succeed, we want him to succeed here."

    The 27-year-old Brown made Gillick look good on Thursday, going 2 for 5 with a double during the team's spring game. Manager Ryne Sandberg was impressed by the performance.

    "He had four good at-bats, hit two to the warning track," said Sandberg.

    Brown hit .235/.285/.349 over 473 at-bats last year. 


    Pirates' Liriano showing off better health this spring
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (7:49 pm ET) Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano is glad to be healthy this spring, according to MLB.com.

    Liriano had an abbreviated run in camp last season due to arm and groin injuries. Now that he's healthy, he's looking forward to working on his craft. In Thursday's start, Liriano looked good. He allowed two hits over two scoreless innings. Lirano walked one and struck out two during the outing. 

    Afterward, Liriano said his goal was to work on his fastball. "Working on throwing the fastball in and out, and so far so good," Liriano said. "It feels a little weird, facing hitters back in a real game, but it was good to get the first one out of the way."

    Manager Clint Hurdle came away impressed. "Liriano showed a good finish to his fastball, and got the ball inside. He also threw some good changeups and sliders," he said.

    Liriano, 31, posted a 3.38 ERA over 162 1/3 innings last season. 


    Jason Heyward hits single in spring training debut for Cardinals
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (7:43 pm ET) Outfielder Jason Heyward wasted no time getting his bat on the baseball in his new uniform. 

    In Thursday's exhibition against the Marlins, Heyward hit a single in his first at-bat in the first inning. He scored a run, too, in St. Louis' 4-1 win. 

    "It's good to play baseball," Heyward said, per MLB.com. "[It's a] fresh start in so many ways this year."

    Heyward went 1-for-2 in the afternoon. He was traded to the Cardinals from the Braves last November. 


    Athletics' Barry Zito gives up two runs in return
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (7:29 pm ET) Athletics pitcher Barry Zito allowed two runs in his return to the mound on Thursday.

    Zito, who did not pitch in the majors last season, is attempting a comeback with the A's. He's considered a long shot for the rotation, but could be used in a relief role based on how he performs this spring. 

    In his first start, Zito gave up two runs on two hits over two innings. He struck out two, but did not issue any walks during the outing. Zito's big mistake was a changeup to Mike Olt in the second inning. Other than that, he was solid.

    Zito, 36, posted a 5.74 ERA over 133 1/3 innings in 2013. 


    Marlins' Derek Dietrich (ankle) makes spring debut
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (7:28 pm ET) Marlins infielder Derek Dietrich made his spring debut Thursday, striking out and getting hit by a pitch in his two trips to the plate.

    Dietrich was shut down in winter ball after suffering an ankle injury. He hit .228/.326/.386 with five home runs, 17 RBI and one stolen base in 158 at-bats with the Marlins last season. He'll compete for a reserve role but is blocked at second base after the team acquired Dee Gordon this offseason.


    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."


     
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