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2015 Outlook: Royals
Royals 320
The Royals come off a dream season that ended one win short of a World Series championship. But this is a team lacking in star power, Scott White says. Full Story
Related Links:
• Team Outlooks: Cardinals | Angels
• White: 12-team, H2H mock draft
• Fantasy Baseball Today show blog
•  Catch our offseason podcasts!
Experts

 

 

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Probable Pitchers
     
    Most Viewed Players
    Player% ±
    1Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1B0
    2Mike Trout, LAA, CF0
    3Evan Gattis, HOU, C0
    4Chris Davis, BAL, 1B0
    5Troy Tulowitzki, COL, SS0
    6Yan Gomes, CLE, C0
    7Yasmany Tomas, ARI, RF0
    8Giancarlo Stanton, MIA, RF0
    9Anthony Rendon, WAS, 3B0
    10Yu Darvish, TEX, SP0
    Average Draft Position
     
     
    Player News
    Padres' Bud Black: Jedd Gyorko 'learned a lot' from 2014 struggles
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (12:07 pm ET) Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko definitely went through a sophomore slump in 2014 after belting 23 home runs as a rookie in 2013. Although, dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot certainly didn't help his cause.

    Still, Gyorko seems to indicate the injury wasn't the main reason he struggled offensively last season. He hit .210 with 10 home runs in 111 games.

    "I think I maybe put a little too much pressure on myself," Gyorko said, per MLB.com. "We were struggling as a team. And I think all of us, not just myself, felt like we needed to come up with that big hit to get us going. It's hard to hit when you put that kind of pressure on yourself."

    Gyorko missed nearly two months of games last season due to the foot injury, but once he returned, his numbers began to improve. He hit .260 with a .347 on-base percentage over his final 55 games. 

    "He was better. I think he started making some adjustments, some mechanical, some at-bat to at-bat in terms of pitch selection," manager Bud Black said. "Before, you saw him chasing pitches up in the strike zone and also sliders away. I think that a lot of that was him wanting to be aggressive and wanting to help the team."

    The Padres are expecting better results from Gyorko in 2015, especially with a revamped lineup that includes Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks.

    "We saw in 2013 what Jedd can be, and I think there's more to Jedd based on 2013," Black said. "I think last year there were a lot of factors that went into his season that he expected or adjusted to, but that is something he's hopefully learned from. It's a tough game. You've got to work and stay on top of it. In that regard, I think he learned a lot."


    Infield shifts have become an issue for players like Reds' Bruce
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:46 am ET) Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is not going to use infield shifts as an excuse for his low batting average, but he admits it does play a factor, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

    "That's definitely taken some hits away from me," Bruce said. "I don't use it as an excuse. But the bottom line is it takes hits away. You smoke a ball up the middle and you think it's a hit. But the shortstop is playing right behind second base.

    "It's definitely cut down on average. You look at a player like Mark Teixiera. He was a .300, .280 hitter. You put the shift on him. He's a guy who drives the ball, pull hitter. He uses the other side of the field some. But guys like that are hitting in the .250s."

    Bruce added that beating the shift is difficult. 

    "Everyone's like, 'Hit a ground ball to shortstop or hit one down the line.' Like you can do whatever you want." he said. "A lot of times, pitchers pitch to the shift. And shifts are getting more sophisticated. In New York, (shortstop Derek) Jeter was playing third, in on the grass. So you can't bunt. Ideally, you want to get a hit. It's hard to do."

    Reds hitting coach Don Long said eventually hitters will be taught in the minors to beat the shift.

    "Not everybody's going to be the perfect hitter and be able to do everything," he said. "But I think you're going to find guys who want to have the ability to hit to both sides of the field."


    Royals invite C J.C. Boscan to spring training
    by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
    (11:38 am ET) The Royals signed catcher J.C. Boscan to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to multiple reports. Boscan, 35, spent 2014 with the Dodgers' organization, batting .259 with a homer and seven RBI in 52 games for Double-A Chattanooga.

    Adrian Gonzalez confident in 'deeper lineup' for Dodgers
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (10:26 am ET) Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had an MLB-best 116 RBI in 2014, mostly batting in front of the likes of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez. While both players are no longer part of the Dodgers' batting order, Gonzalez is not worried about lineup protection, per the Los Angeles Times.

    "I think we're deeper, so I don't think we're going to be so dependent on the middle of the order," Gonzalez said Monday. "People say that we lost power, but I think we just put the power in different areas of the lineup."

    Some of the key acquisitions this offseason for the Dodgers have been shortstop Jimmy Rollins, catcher Yasmani Grandal and second baseman Howie Kendrick. Gonzalez is confident in the new additions to the lineup.

    "They're going to battle every at-bat," Gonzalez said. "They're going to be prepared. I'm not saying that we didn't before, but I think the guys that we got are guys that are going to be tougher to game plan for. From that end, it will be a deeper lineup."


    Orioles' Matt Wieters has goal of being ready by opening day
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (10:15 am ET) Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who is throwing from 150 feet in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, said he is preparing to be ready by opening day.

    "The rehab's going well and going how it's supposed to from all the talk I've gotten with Dr. (James) Andrews and my physical therapist down here and Richie (Bancells)," Wieters said, per MASNsports.com. "Everything's kind of moved along and we're preparing for me to be ready for opening day. We still have a good couple of months before we're there, so it's still going to be a lot of work to put into it, but that's what I'm preparing for. We're trying to get all the steps checked off before we get there.

    "We'll see when I'm actually going to be able to get behind the plate and catch in games during spring training, but it's just a matter of making sure the arm has been tested enough to where when we do get into games with adrenaline and a little bit of pressure that we're ready to go."

    Wieters added making sure his shoulder is also in good shape is part of the rehab process coming off elbow surgery.

    "(Monday) we went out to 150 just to test it out a little bit," he said, "and everything has kind of checked out and we've had nothing really major to set back the progression."


    Indians want Michael Bourn to get back to his base-stealing ways
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (1/26/2015) The Indians want outfielder Michael Bourn to get back to his base-stealing ways, according to the Plain Dealer

    Prior to joining the team, Bourn had compiled five straight seasons with at least 40 steals. Since joining the team, he's stolen 33 bases in two seasons. Injuries have played a role in his decline. Bourn admitted he had some trouble adjusting to the American League in his first season with Cleveland. He tore his hamstring on the final day of the season, and had offseason surgery, but the issue still plagued him in 2014. 

    Manager Terry Francona agreed, saying "When he gets on base, he has to disrupt the game." Francona added, "he wants to do it really bad, he just wasn't in position to do it the last couple of years. Hopefully, those injuries are limited and he can use his legs because he's a huge part of what we do."

    Bourn, 32, hit .257/.314/.360 over 444 at-bats last year.


    Rockies, Adam Ottavino avoid arbitration
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (1/26/2015) The Rockies have avoided arbitration with pitcher Adam Ottavino, according to MLB.com.

    Ottavino agreed to a one-year deal with the club. Ottavino will make $1.3 million next season, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

    The 29-year-old posted a 3.60 ERA over 65 innings last year.


    Astros looking at pitcher Kevin Correia
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (1/26/2015) The Astros are looking to add pitcher Kevin Correia, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

    Houston is said to be seeking a backend starter, and Correia fits the bill. The 34-year-old posted a 5.44 ERA over 154 innings with the Twins and Dodgers last year. 


    Angels hopeful Garrett Richards will be ready for opening day
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (1/26/2015) The Angels are hopeful that pitcher Garrett Richards will be ready by opening day, according to the Orange County Register

    If Richards isn't ready for the start of the season, the team expects him to be back shortly after that. Richards had knee surgery in August, but he's been able to make progress. General manager Jerry DiPoto said he was "optimistic" about Richards' status. Richards has been able to increase his running on a treadmill, and hasn't experienced any issues with his throwing program, according to DiPoto. Richards is currently throwing from 125 to 150 feet about five times per week.

    Richards posted a 2.61 ERA over 168 2/3 innings last year.


    Orioles' Matt Wieters throwing from 150 feet
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (1/26/2015) Orioles catcher Matt Wieters has begun throwing from 150 feet, according to MASN.

    Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery last season, and is working his way back from the surgery. He was cleared to start throwing from 150 feet on Monday. Wieters had previously been throwing from 120 feet. He said he's preparing as if he'll be ready for opening day.

    Wieters hit .308/.339/.500 over 104 at-bats last year.


     
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    Fan Poll

    Which of these third basemen would you want on your teams for the second half?

    Nolan Arenado, Rockies
    17%
    Manny Machado, Orioles
    25%
    Todd Frazier, Reds
    33%
    Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
    4%
    Kyle Seager, Mariners
    17%
    Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
    4%

    Total Votes: 3,689


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