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Player News
Jose Pirela could win roster spot if Didi Gregorius needs DL stint
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:49 am ET) Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius remained out of the lineup Wednesday afternoon against the Rays with a wrist injury.

Gregorius tweaked his wrist on a check swing Saturday and was scheduled for two days of rest. He has been sidelined now for four days, and if he requires a stint on the disabled list to start the season, Jose Pirela may be a candidate to earn a roster spot, per the Journal News.

New York will have split-squad games against Detroit and Pittsburgh on Thursday.


Reports: Mets' Lagares agrees to contract extension worth over $20M
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:43 am ET) Mets outfielder Juan Lagares has agreed to a four-year contract extension, which includes a club option, according to baseball insider Jim Bowden. ESPN and FOX Sports have also confirmed the report, but a Mets statement to ESPN indicated the deal is not yet finalized.

Lagares' contract extension will net him more than $20 million. The contract covers all of Lagares' arbitration years and the team option covers his first year of free agency in 2020.

Lagares is considered one of the best defensive center fielders in the majors. Although, his offense is not quite up to par. Lagares has a career .262/.302/.368/.669 slash line over two seasons in the majors. He is having a good spring at the plate, however, batting .345 (19 for 55) with one triple, three home runs, six doubles, six RBI and 13 runs in 18 games.


Astros' A.J. Hinch hints that Chris Carter will be primary 1B
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:42 am ET) Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters that Chris Carter will be the team's primary first baseman to start the season, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Carter played 14 of his 145 games at first base last season. The 28-year-old slashed .227/.308/.491 with career-best 37 homers and 88 RBI over 507 at-bats last season. He has a .257 batting average with two home runs and 10 RBI this spring.


Astros finalize rotation plans for start of season
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:37 am ET) Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters his rotation will line up with Dallas Keuchel on Opening Day against Indians, followed by Scott Feldman on Wednesday and Asher Wojciechowski on Thursday. Collin McHugh will open a three-game set at Texas on Friday, followed by Roberto Hernandez on Saturday, per the Houston Chronicle.

Red Sox hints that Shane Victorino will open season in RF
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Without formally announcing it, Red Sox manager John Farrell hinted that Shane Victorino will open the season in right field, according to ESPN on Wednesday. Victorino slashed .188/.278/.250 with two RBI over 32 at-bats this spring.

Farrell indicates that Wade Miley will pitch Red Sox's fourth game
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:27 am ET) Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated that Wade Miley will be his starter for Boston's fourth regular season game on Friday against the Yankees in New York, according to the Providence Journal.

Although it appears as if Justin Masterson is Boston's third starter, Farrell has not confirmed his pitcher for Thursday's game against the Phillies.


GM: Erasmo Ramirez could see 'meaningful innings' with Rays
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:22 am ET) Newly acquired Rays pitcher Erasmo Ramirez will make the Opening Day roster and pitch " meaningful innings," possibly as a starter, general manager Matt Silverman told reporters on Wednesday, per the team's official website.

Ramirez was acquired by the Rays in exchange for pitcher Mike Montgomery on Wednesday. The 24-year-old right-hander went 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA this spring.


Rays will revisit closer-by committee approach once McGee returns
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:17 am ET) Rays manager Kevin Cash reiterated that he won't name a closer for now, and will take a closer-by committee approach to start the season, per the Tampa Tribune on Wednesday.

"We're not going to name a closer," Cash said. "There's going to be guys that we'll lean on to pitch in those (high) leverage situations. It just doesn't make sense to me to come out and name a closer when the game can be on the line in the seventh and eighth inning."

Brad Boxberger, who saved two games last season, was deemed as the favorite by Cash earlier this spring to see the ball in the ninth while Jake McGee is sidelined with an elbow injury. Grant Balfour and Ernesto Frieri have combined for 152 out of 164 career saves on Tampa Bay's active roster.

Cash indicated that he will revisit his closer approach once McGee returns from injury.

"We'll revisit it," Cash said, "but it's too early to tell."


Phillies SP Jonathan Pettibone throws live batting practice
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:10 am ET) Phillies starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone threw 22 pitches during live batting practice Tuesday, which was the first time he threw to hitters since undergoing shoulder surgery in June, per The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Anytime you're facing a live hitter and you have the adrenaline going and you've got to mix your pitches, that kind of competitive edge comes out," Pettibone said. "When you're able to get through that and succeed and you felt good, that's definitely a positive step going forward."

Pettibone said he expects to be back in action sometime in May. Although, he will probably start out at Triple-A before getting his chance to join the major-league rotation.


Phillies' Billingsley to make a few starts in extended spring training
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:06 am ET) Phillies starting pitcher Chad Billingsley (elbow) will throw 40-45 pitches in his third minor-league start Thursday, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. He is expected to make 2-3 starts in extended spring training before coming off the disabled list and joining the major-league rotation.

 
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