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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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Rankings
 
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Probable Pitchers
     
    Most Viewed Players
    Player% ±
    1Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1B0
    2Yu Darvish, TEX, SP0
    3Anthony Rendon, WAS, 3B0
    4Evan Gattis, HOU, C0
    5Christian Yelich, MIA, LF0
    6Justin Verlander, DET, SP0
    7Josh Hamilton, LAA, LF0
    8Matt Carpenter, STL, 3B0
    9Sonny Gray, OAK, SP0
    10Yasmany Tomas, ARI, RF0
    Average Draft Position
     
     
    Player News
    Santana fine after throwing bullpen session; winter-league status is TBD
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:55 am ET) Free agent starting pitcher Johan Santana threw a bullpen session Sunday and is said to be feeling fine, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. It is now up to his Venezuelan winter league team to decide if he will pitch for them in the finals.

    Santana has been dealing with some shoulder discomfort, which has put his status for the remainder of the winter-league season in doubt. Santana is hoping to latch on with another major-league team after suffering a torn Achilles in June.

    The Yankees, Padres and Blue Jays are among the teams showing interest in signing the former two-time AL Cy Young award winner.


    Mariners planning on batting Smith, Ruggiano in second spot in lineup
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:31 am ET) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said he is tentatively planning to bat the right-field tandem of Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano second in the lineup, per The New Tribune.

    The Mariners ranked last in the majors last season in on-base percentage (.260) from their No. 2 hitters. No other team was lower than .279.

    Smith had a .367 OBP last season for San Diego, while Ruggiano had a .337 OBP in 81 games for the Cubs.


    Rays' Jake McGee plays catch for first time since elbow surgery
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:25 am ET) The Rays announced Monday reliever Jake McGee played catch for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery in December. McGee is still expected to miss the start of the season.

    Cardinals' Carpenter hoping to build off postseason power surge
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:17 am ET) Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter hit just eight home runs with a .375 slugging percentage during the 2014 regular season, but had a much better power swing in the postseason, belting four home runs and slugging .722 in nine games.

    “I took a more of an aggressive approach in the postseason,” Carpenter said, per STLBaseballWeekly.com. “Part of that was from the experience that I had gathered the year before. After a long season, going into the playoffs I felt like I wasn’t as prepared as I felt like I could’ve been. It kind of snowballed and my approach and the way I took the regular season at-bat in the postseason it wasn’t playing out well.”

    Carpenter said his postseason success could have a positive impact on his power numbers in 2015.

    "Certainly, I’m always going to be a guy who’s patient at the plate, but that was a good learning experience for me -- being aggressive," he said. "I don’t remember the exact numbers but out of the four home runs I hit, I think three of them were on the first pitch. That’s something typically I don’t do a lot of, and it was a good learning experience.”


    Tigers' Dombrowski expecting 'real big season' for Justin Verlander
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (10:48 am ET) Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander said last week this is the best he's felt physically approaching the start of spring training in at least three years.

    Apparently, the optimism doesn't end with Verlander. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski indicated the Tigers are expecting big things from Verlander in 2015 after he posted a 4.54 ERA in 2014, failing to make the All-Star team for the first time in six seasons.

    "Justin Verlander is as prime a pitcher as there is in the game of baseball," Dombrowski said, per the Detroit Free Press. "Last year, he was not the traditional Justin. But when you look at what he came back from with the surgery, I think he's going to go out and have a real big season for us."


    Sleep apnea almost caused Red Sox's Mike Napoli to retire
    by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
    (10:47 am ET) Dealing with sleep apnea almost caused Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli to retire prematurely from baseball, reports the Boston Globe.

    "I couldn't do it anymore, feeling the way I was feeling," Napoli said. "I was like, 'I need to have the surgery or I'm not going play anymore.' That's how bad it was."

    During the offseason, Napoli underwent facial reconstruction surgery to correct the condition, which was preventing him from getting a proper night of rest.

    "It was a brutal process," Napoli said. "It was probably one of the worse things I've ever done."

    With the surgery a success and Napoli recovered from losing weight due to a six-week liquid diet, Napoli is now sleeping better than he ever has.

    Before the surgery, Napoli turned to medication, mouthpieces and a CPAP mask, but said those problems are now behind him.

    "I wake up now and I'm ready to start my day," he said. "It's great."


    Angels' Jered Weaver bulks up in effort to pitch deeper into games
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (10:36 am ET) Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver has bulked up to 224 pounds, which is six pounds heavier than he has ever been, in an effort to pitch deeper into games in 2015, per the Los Angeles Times. Weaver dropped to as low as 199 pounds during the 2014 season.

    “Numbers-wise, it was all right,” Weaver said of his 2014 season (18-9, 3.59 ERA). “But from a personal standpoint, me being ultra-competitive, I want to get deeper in games.

    “The bullpen helped me a lot last year. I just want to gain some strength. I went on a different weight-lifting program last year, and it’s been paying off. I’m going to stick with it.”

    The average velocity of Weaver’s fastball dipped to a career-low 86.3 mph last season. However, he said the added weight gain is more for endurance than velocity on his fastball. He averaged just over six innings per start last season and has just one complete game over the last two seasons after throwing seven complete games in 2011-12.

    “I don’t care about velocity -- I just want to be stronger for the whole nine innings,” Weaver said. “If velocity comes along, so be it. I think I’ve shown I can pitch from 83 to 93 mph.”


    Mariners' Austin Jackson looking to bounce back in 2015
    by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
    (10:08 am ET) After being acquired by the Mariners at the trade deadline last season, outfielder Austin Jackson struggled to produce for the Mariners. In 54 games, Jackson hit .229 and Jackson said the trade affected his playing ability, reports The News Tribune.

    "Not making excuses, but I think getting traded and trying to get used to the travel and the sleep - those things affect your play on the field," Jackson said.

    By starting the season in Seattle, Jackson said he hopes to avoid the distractions from last season and he's looking to return to his old form.

    "Hopefully, getting started here and staying here, those distractions won't be there," Jackson said.


    White Sox OF Avisail Garcia dropped weight during offseason
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (1:02 am ET) White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia dropped roughly 15 pounds during the offseason, according to MLB.com.

    "I've been eating healthy, working real hard at the gym, Garcia said. "I have to be ready for spring training. I can't go there and be fat." With the weight loss, Garcia is hoping to keep his power potential. "I don't want to lose speed, I don't want to lose power," Garcia said. "I want to be in the middle. I know I can do a little bit of everything, so that's why I've been working really hard on speed, power, hitting and defense, so I can help my team win."

    Garcia hit .244/.305/.413 over 172 at-bats last year.


    Athletics' Billy Butler would welcome return to Royals
    by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
    (12:35 am ET) Athletics designated hitter Billy Butler said he would love to return to the Royals later in his career, according to the Kansas City Star.

    After spending the first eight seasons of his career in Kansas City, Butler signed a three-year deal with Oakland during the offseason. Though he left the Royals, Butler said there is no hard feelings. "It’s disappointing, but you understand that the game’s a business and I didn’t leave on bad terms," Butler said. "I’d be more than happy to come back. That’s home for me. I’ll always be forever tied to the Royals organization and the community there."

    The 28-year-old hit .271/.323/.379 over 549 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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