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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
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    Most Viewed Players
    PlayerTotal
    1Marcus Semien, OAK, 3B1847
    2Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1B1466
    3Anthony Rendon, WAS, 3B1346
    4Carlos Santana, CLE, 1B1262
    5Yasmany Tomas, ARI, RF1224
    6Chris Davis, BAL, 1B1223
    7Josh Harrison, PIT, 3B1211
    8Troy Tulowitzki, COL, SS1148
    9Corey Kluber, CLE, SP1124
    10Mark Trumbo, ARI, LF1070
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    Player News
    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 believe Hunter Pence has forearm fracture
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (6:28 pm ET) The Giants believe that outfielder Hunter Pence fractured his left forearm after being hit by a pitch Thursday, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reports.

    The team doctor diagnosed the break, but the outfielder will undergo X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. Manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that Pence is upbeat and hoping for the best.

    "Silver lining is it's early in spring," Bochy said.

    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. Should Pence miss opening day, the Giants could turn to fourth outfielder Gregor Blanco to fill in regularly in the lineup.


    Orioles release Suk-Min Yoon
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (6:20 pm ET) The Orioles announced Thursday that pitcher Suk-Min Yoon has been released, allowing him to sign with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization.

    The Orioles signed Yoon to a three-year, $5.575-million deal last February, and the pitcher went 4-8 with a 5.74 ERA in 95 2/3 innings with Triple-A Norfolk. Prior to signing with the Orioles, he pitched with Kia for nine seasons, amassing a 73-59 record along with a 3.19 ERA and 949 strikeouts in 1,129 innings.


    Royals yet to decide Brandon Finnegan's role
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (6:04 pm ET) The Royals have yet to decide whether to use Brandon Finnegan as a reliever with the major-league team or continue his development as a starter in the minors, MLB.com reports.

    "It's not a decision we have to make right now," general manager Dayton Moore said. "We'll just have to see how it all plays out."

    Finnegan gave up just one earned run in seven innings as a reliever last season while striking out 10, and the team could choose to keep him in the bullpen in order to make another World Series push.

    "We [have] a chance to compete," manager Ned Yost said, "and you want to take your best players when you have a chance to compete."


    Giants' Ryan Vogelsong happy after first spring outing
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (6:01 pm ET) Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was satisfied after his first outing of the spring, according to MLB.com.

    "All of my pitches are close to being where I want them already, so from that standpoint it was good," Vogelsong said. "Just [need to] work on the mental side a little bit."

    Vogelsong had an iffy start. He was able to get through the first inning quickly, but allowed four runs in the second. Vogelsong explained that he lost his focus during the inning. "I just lost my focus a little bit, just got in the stretch and started rushing a little bit, just never slowed myself down."

    The 37-year-old posted a 4.00 ERA over 184 2/3 innings last season. He's expected to open the year in the Giants bullpen. 


    Braves P Eric Stults impresses in Grapefruit League win against Tigers
    by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
    (5:59 pm ET) Braves pitcher Eric Stults logged two scoreless innings during Thursday's 6-4 Grapefruit League win over the Tigers.

    Stults gave up two hits but also got two Tigers players to hit into double plays. 

    “The first time out in spring you don’t know what to expect,” Stults said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “so my mindset is, I want to stay down in the zone and make them put the ball on the ground. For the most part, I was able to do that. Guys made some plays behind me to turn two, so that was nice.”

    Stults, 35, is competing with Wandy Rodriguez for the fifth spot in the Braves' pitching rotation. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was pleased with what he saw in Stults Thursday. 

    “You can never have too much pitching, like we know from the past," Gonzalez said. "And all of a sudden we get bad news, or possibility of bad news with Mikey, and you feel good that you have some depth in the rotation.”


    Angels' Mike Trout to be more aggressive early in count
    by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
    (5:56 pm ET) Angels outfielder Mike Trout said Thursday that he plans to be more aggressive early in the count this spring, the Los Angeles Times reports.

    "Gonna be locked and loaded on the first pitch," Trout said.

    Trout made contact on the first pitch 24 times last season, hitting six singles and a double and posting a .292/.286/.333 line. He hit .287/.377/.561 in 602 at-bats overall in 2014.


    Astros' Mark Appel goes two innings in spring debut
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (5:54 pm ET) Astros pitcher Mark Appel tossed two innings in his spring debut on Thursday.

    Appel allowed one run on three hits during the outing. He struck out two batters. The 23-year-old is expected to begin the season in the minors, but is considered one of the team's top prospects. The former top overall pick experienced some struggles last season, posting a 6.91 ERA over two minor-league levels. 

    Appel made it clear that every inning counts this spring. "It's two innings in spring training, so I'm going to need innings if I want to show why I deserve to be here and hopefully have a shot at being in Houston at some point this season," he said. 


     
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