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Player News
Nationals 3B Yunel Escobar hits third on Wednesday vs. Marlins
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:42 am ET) Nationals third baseman Yunel Escobar hit from the No. 3 position in manager Matt Williams' lineup on Wednesday. It was the first time this season that Escobar hit third in the batting order, as Williams shuffled the order a bit for the matinee matchup against the Marlins.

Escobar continues to hit well in 2015, though he did go hitless in three at-bats on Tuesday.

Shortstop Ian Desmond was moved up to the second spot in the lineup, while Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman returned to their normal spots, batting fourth and fifth respectively on Wednesday. 


Jayson Werth sits again for Nationals on Wednesday vs. Marlins
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:33 am ET) Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth was not in the starting lineup once again on Wednesday against the Marlins. Werth, who missed the beginning of the season with a shoulder injury, was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game, though no injury is being reported.

Michael Taylor drew the start in left field on Wednesday, batting eighth in the lineup for manager Matt Williams. 


Giants' Bochy on Panik and Crawford: 'It's fun to watch those two'
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:29 am ET) Giants skipper Bruce Bochy is loving what he's getting from shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Joe Panik, both in the field and at the plate. 

"It's fun to watch those two go, how they work together," Bochy said Tuesday, per MLB.com. "Craw is so gifted, and Joe Panik has made so much improvement defensively. They're so solid out there, offensively and defensively. They make the routine plays, and when you need a double play, they turn it as well as anybody."

The two continued their offensive prowess in Tuesday's victory over the Padres. Crawford, who was moved up to the fifth spot in the batting order, reached safely in all four of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. This was his third mult-hit performance in his last six games.

Panik, meanwhile, hit a solo home run, his second of the year, in the fifth inning. He went 1-for-4 on the evening. He has hit safely in four of his last five games.

"We have a great relationship," Panik said. "He makes my job easier -- just a great guy to play with. When you first get called up, a lot of emotions are running through you, the typical butterflies. The game tends to beat up on you. Then you look over at Brandon, and everything's fine.


Padres' Black on Derek Norris playing first: 'we're thinking about it'
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:20 am ET) With the Padres' recent call-up of prized catching prospect Austin Hedges, manager Bud Black has offered a potential solution to getting him in the lineup more often, while also playing current catcher Derek Norris. Black said Tuesday that Norris could start taking some groundballs at first base, and might see some time there this season. 

"It would just be against certain left-handed pitchers, we want to keep his bat in the lineup, like for a day game after a night game, or if he's caught consecutive games," Black said, per MLB.com. "Take the load off his feet from catching."

Norris has played just one game at first base during his career, and that was in 2013. But Black expressed confidence that Norris could handle a transition.

"It would be a gradual build-up of reps. We are working through this," Black said. "But he was an amateur third baseman. He has good hands, good feet and a good baseball mind. This will not happen quick, but we're thinking about it."


Cubs reliever James Russell makes season debut Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:05 am ET) Cubs reliever James Russell allowed one run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings during the team's 7-4 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday. After starting his career with Chicago, he was dealt to the Braves at the trading deadline last season. The Cubs signed him to a minor league contract last month, and brought him up to the team prior to Tuesday's game

"It's comfortable to be back," Russell said, per MLB.com. "It's a good feeling. The culture has kind of changed for the better. It's definitely nice."

Last season with the Cubs and Braves, the left-hander pitched to a 3.51 ERA in 33 1/3 innings. While pitching in Triple-A this season, Russell did not allow an earned run in seven appearances, and posted a 12:0 K:BB ratio.


Report: Diamondbacks could pursue C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(9:53 am ET) Now that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has officially been released by the Marlins, teams are starting to do their due-dillegence on the veteran backstop in preparation for making a possible run to sign him. One of those teams could be the Diamondbacks.

"He's a player that we're going to talk a little bit more in-depth about," general manager Dave Stewart said Tuesday, per the Arizona Republic. "I have to see what our scouts are saying and talk to our internal guys, and if it makes sense then we'll make the next step."

Currently, the Diamondbacks have Tuffy Gosewisch as their primary catcher, with Jordan Pacheco as the backup. Neither one has swung the bat all that well this season, though Pacheco has five hits in his last 15 at-bats. 

"Although Tuffy has done a really good job defensively, we still expect a little more offense from him," Stewart said. "He may make those adjustments, but with that being said, we have to at least go through the process internally and see if Saltalamacchia is an option to bring here."


Mariners 2B Robinson Cano collects three hits in loss Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(9:22 am ET) Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano recorded three hits in five at-bats, including a double, and scored a run in Tuesday's loss to the Angels. Cano, who recently broke an 0-for-18 skid, is now hitting .320 (8 for 25) over his last six games. 

Cano is still trying to get things going in 2015, as the lifetime .309 hitter is batting just .261 on the year with only one home run and seven RBI. 


Tigers CF Anthony Gose records two hits, steals base Tuesday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(9:16 am ET) Making his third consecutive start for the Tigers on Tuesday, center fielder Anthony Gose recorded two hits, stole a base and scored a run in the 5-2 loss to the White Sox. Gose, who has mostly been in a platoon with Rajai Davis, has started five of the last seven games for manager Brad Ausmus, and seems to be taking a grasp on the bulk of the playing time.

Gose has been fairly inconsistent in recent games, hitting .259 with 10 strikeouts (to just two walks) over his last eight games played. 


Cubs' Kris Bryant using walks to contribute while searching for power
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(2:07 am ET) Although Kris Bryant hasn't hit any home runs yet, his batting eye remains locked in as he's using the walk to contribute, showcased Monday when he took four free passes, reports the Chicago Tribune.

"I’ve always walked a good amount," Bryant said. "My junior year in college I had a pretty good amount of walks, and I think that made me a better player, just seeing a lot of off-speed pitches, and it made me the player I am today. I'm just taking that same approach."

Bryant has 16 walks in 17 games this season.

Mariners' Logan Morrison reaches base four times, extends streak
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2:02 am ET) Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison reached base four times and extended his hit streak to seven games Tuesday night against the Angels.

Morrison doubled in the second, doubled again in the fourth, drew an intentional walk in the sixth and singled in the eighth. He finished 3 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored in a 5-4 victory. Morrison has three games with at least two hits during his streak. He is hitting .500 (13 for 26) with three doubles, one triple, three homers, five RBI and six runs scored over his last seven games.


 
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