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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
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    Most Viewed Players
    PlayerTotal
    1Marcus Semien, OAK, 3B1964
    2Miguel Cabrera, DET, 1B1422
    3Yasmany Tomas, ARI, RF1291
    4Carlos Santana, CLE, 1B1284
    5Josh Harrison, PIT, 3B1282
    6Anthony Rendon, WAS, 3B1247
    7Chris Davis, BAL, 1B1223
    8Corey Kluber, CLE, SP1149
    9Troy Tulowitzki, COL, SS1100
    10Paul Goldschmidt, ARI, 1B1063
    Average Draft Position
     
     
    Player News
    Pirates' Jordy Mercer looks to build from last season's strong finish
    by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
    (11:54 am ET) Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer worked on improving his defensive struggles last year with Clint Barmes and his offensive struggles with first-base coach Nick Leyva, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    "What's the best thing that Barmes could do for our ballclub? That's to tutor this young kid, and that’s exactly what he did," Leyva said. "It was phenomenal to watch that."

    Mercer hit .199 through the first 49 games last season. He bounced back with a .278 batting average, a .333 on-base percentage, 11 home runs and 19 doubles since June 2. Now that Mercer is the incumbent starter at shortstop, he is hoping to use his experience as an advantage to beat out Korean shortstop Jung Ho Kang for playing time throughout the season.

    "You can't substitute for innings played, you can't substitute for at-bats, you can't substitute for innings pitched at this level," Leyva said. "You talk all you want about it, but when you get 450 at-bats, you've had a major league season. When you've played 140 games, you've played a major league season. The only way you're going to get those is by competing and getting the job done."


    Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (hand) to make spring debut Saturday
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:50 am ET) Indians manager Terry Francona said second baseman Jason Kipnis will make his spring debut Saturday against the Dodgers, per MLB.com. Kipnis had surgery in December to repair a damaged tendon in the ring finger on his left hand.

    Tigers' Ausmus: Miguel Cabrera really close to running on flat ground
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:45 am ET) Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (ankle) has run at 72 percent body weight on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday. Once Cabrera can run at 80 percent body weight, he will be cleared to run on flat ground and have grounders hit directly at him.

    "He should be really close," Ausmus said, per the Detroit Free Press.

    Cabrera participated in batting practice on the field Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

    "He was hitting balls 425 feet out to left-center," Ausmus said.


    Yankees might not have room on roster for Pirela as bench option
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:39 am ET) Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he is curious about keeping Jose Pirela on the roster as a bench player, according to The Journal News. However, there is no clear path right now for Pirela, and it might take an injury for him to get on the roster.

    “We’re going to move him around because that flexibility is nice to have,” Girardi said. “In the limited time that he was up last year, he did a really good time for us. And you could put him in the outfield as well. I don’t know how much we’ll put him in the outfield in spring, but I’m comfortable putting him out there anywhere. You never know how things are going to shake out in camp.”


    Reds 1B Joey Votto getting closer to playing in spring games
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:30 am ET) Reds manager Bryan Price said Thursday first baseman Joey Votto is getting closer to making his spring debut, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. Votto missed 100 games last season with a left knee injury. 

    "You won't have to hold your breath, I promise you, you won't have to hold your breath for this," Price said. "Just to reiterate, we just went too far into the rehab and made a commitment to do an extensive rehab to do anything before we feel he's ready. I think he's very close and he's champing at the bit to get in there."


    A's 1B Nate Freiman to miss at least two weeks with back injury
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:26 am ET) Athletics manager Bob Melvin said first baseman Nate Freiman will miss at least two weeks due to a muscle strain in his back, per MLB.com. Freiman is competing for a spot on the A's bench.

    Cardinals' Matheny wants Heyward, Adams to gain confidence vs. LHPs
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:24 am ET) Cardinals slugger Matt Adams is tired of hearing folks say he can't hit left-handed pitchers. But the numbers don't lie. He is batting just .197 off lefties in his major-league career, as opposed to .306 against righties.

    “People think I can’t hit lefties,” he said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Coming up through the minors, I hit them. But that’s totally different. Hitting lefties in the minors and hitting lefties in the big leagues is different. The confidence for me is there, in the back of my mind. I know what I can do. That hasn’t changed. This is where I definitely have to focus and put the hammer to it.”

    Adams isn't the only starter for St. Louis that struggles against lefties. Outfielder Jason Heyward hit just .169 against lefties in 2014. However, manager Mike Matheny isn't a fan of platooning either player.

    “There are certain guys that you don’t want to platoon,” Matheny said. “There are guys you don’t want to have off the field, and I think that’s what they want. They want to be the guy who doesn’t come off the field. They want to be out there all the time. Both of them have shown it in the past that they can have success against left-handed pitching. It’s just a matter of getting them comfortable. With our lineup they’re going to throw a lot of (lefties) at us. Maybe that will help generate that confidence.”


    Pirates' Josh Harrison not too concerned about ankle injury
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (11:11 am ET) Pirates outfielder Josh Harrison doesn't seem too concerned after rolling his left ankle during Wednesday's spring game against the Blue Jays.

    "I wouldn't even say I completely turned it. I kinda caught myself when I felt something," Harrison said Thursday, per MLB.com. "The trainers spotted me pulling up and right away said, 'Let's just be cautious,' so I came out."

    Harrison had issues with his left ankle in 2014 after twisting it June 11. He had recurrences later in June and in early September, but he did not miss significant time.

    "And this wasn't anything like last [year's ankle injury]," Harrison said. "I know how it felt then, and this time it was a lot less [painful]."


    Report: Suk-Min Yoon parts ways with O's, returns to South Korea
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (10:48 am ET) It appears pitcher Suk-Min Yoon is parting ways with the Orioles, per MASNsports.com. According to a report out of Korea, Yoon has returned to South Korea and isn't expected to report to minor-league camp on Saturday.

    The Orioles signed Yoon to a three-year, $5.575 million contract last February. However, he spent the year in Triple-A, as he struggled through injuries and ineffectiveness.

    The 28-year-old right-hander went 4-8 with a 5.74 ERA in 23 appearances (18 starts) at Triple-A.

    Yoon was taken off the 40-man roster in August and did not receive an invite to major-league camp this spring.


    Astros' Brad Peacock (hip) expected to face batters next week
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
    (10:42 am ET) Astros pitcher Brad Peacock (hip) is slated to throw to batters around March 10-12, according to the Houston Chronicle. Still, Peacock might not have enough time to get ready by the season opener.

    “I don’t know,” manager A.J. Hinch said when asked if Peacock will be ready by opening day. “I’m so happy with where he’s at and he’s happy with where he’s at. The No. 1 goal is to get him healthy. … I’m still not sure until we see how he responds to all this.”


     
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