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Player News
Astros option Dominguez, Buchanan, Stassi; reassign Correa
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:51 am ET) The Astros optioned third baseman Matt Dominguez and pitchers Jake Buchanan and Max Stassi to the minors Sunday while reassigning shortstop Carlos Correa, infielder Gregorio Petit, catcher Tyler Heineman and pitchers Darin Downs and James Hoyt to minor-league camp.

Dominguez opened last season as the team's starting third baseman but found himself behind in the race for a bench role this spring.

"[Luis] Valbuena had an amazing spring so far and is basically going to be our third baseman and that leaves Matt in competition with some of the other guys for an extra spot on the roster, a spot off the bench, and right now we feel like there’s a couple of other guys ahead of him and he needs to play every day," general manager Jeff Lunhow said, per MLB.com "Right now he’ll go down to Fresno and play third and play some first and be ready when the need arises."

Correa is the team's top-rated prospect but has yet to play above high Class A.

"Carlos is going to be a star player in the big leagues. It’s just a matter of time," Luhnow said. "Having never had an at-bat in Double-A, he needs to go get some regular work in the high minors. He did a great job for us on the field as well as off the field and I think he’s got a lot of fans in the organization and he impressed the big league staff, which is what you want as a young player."


Philies option Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Hector Neris
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:43 am ET) The Phillies optioned pitchers Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and reassigned four players to minor-league camp.

Gonzalez was in the mix to win a rotation spot heading into the spring but posted a 7.53 ERA while giving up 25 hits in 14 1/3 innings. Neris surrendered 10 runs (eight earned) in nine spring innings.

The team reassigned pitcher Paul Clemens, catcher Koyie Hill and infielders Chris McGuiness and Chris Nelson to minor-league camp.


Jared Burton back with Yankees
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:35 am ET) Pitcher Jared Burton is back in camp with the Yankees, MLB.com reports.

Burton indicated that he has yet to finalize his deal with the team, but he'll be rejoining the Yankees a few days after being released. He's due to play catch Sunday as he gets back in his routine.


Yankees' Girardi on Betances: Saturday was 'a step' forward
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:32 am ET) Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances allowed an earned run Saturday for the fifth straight appearance, but manager Joe Girardi believes the reliever improved in the outing, the New York Post reports.

"I thought he was better, I thought the curveball was better," Girardi said. "It’s a step in the right direction."

"I have been working with Larry [Rothschild, pitching coach]," Betances said after the outing. "My leg kick was too high and I am trying to straighten up and get my direction toward home instead of flying open."

Betances has delivered a 7.11 ERA and 5:3 K:BB ratio in 6 1/3 innings.


Yankees' Didi Gregorius (wrist) feeling better Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:10 am ET) Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius said his injured wrist felt much better Sunday and that he expects to be ready for Opening Day, LoHud.com reports.

Gregorius tweaked his wrist on a check swing Saturday and is scheduled to rest Sunday and Monday. He has hit .308/.349/.513 over 39 at-bats this spring.


Braves release RP James Russell
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:06 am ET) The Braves have released relief pitcher James Russell, MLB.com reports.

Russell came to the Braves from the Cubs in a deadline-day deal last season and posted a 2.22 ERA and 16:4 K:BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings with his new team. He struggled this spring, allowing nine earned runs and three homers in 7 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking three.


Report: Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki looks completely healthy
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:04 am ET) Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki looks completely healthy heading into the final week of spring training, the Denver Post reports.

"I think if anything, this spring has given me confidence," Tulowitzki said. "When I was diagnosed with a torn labrum last summer, you think about a lot of things. You think about your career and whether or not you'll be the same player. You check out how you feel, day in and day out. I know it's just spring training, but for me, I've gained a lot of confidence. I know I can be the same player, if not better."

Tulowitzki was in the midst of his finest offensive season last year before undergoing hip surgery and being limited to 91 games. He finished with a .340/.432/.603 line with 21 home runs and 52 RBI in 315 at-bats.


Report: Orioles in 'continuous dialogue' with pitcher Chris Tillman
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/28/2015) The Orioles and pitcher Chris Tillman are reportedly engaged in "continuous dialogue" for a long-term extension and have been for the past several weeks, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Tillman signed a one-year, $4.315 million deal in January to avoid arbitration and the discussions for a new deal are still considered preliminary, according to the report.

Tillman posted a 13-6 record in 2014 with a 3.34 ERA in 34 starts.


Tigers bullpen decision coming down to Ian Krol, Kyle Ryan
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/28/2015) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is running out of time to finish off his bullpen for Opening Day. The final bullpen role will likely be a left-handed pitcher and is expected to come down to Kyle Ryan and Ian Krol, according to MLB.com.

"If I'm there, hopefully it's a good situation, whether it's long or short," Ryan said. "For them to have enough confidence in me to go into Spring Training as a reliever, and actually for them to believe that I might be able to make the team as a reliever, that makes me proud."

Ryan has given up seven runs on seven hits in 11 innings of work this spring. 

"When he throws it right, it's good," Ausmus said of Krol. "He has a tendency to occasionally slow his arm down on his cutter and curveball. He did it a couple times today. But when he doesn't slow his arm down, it's very good."


Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson continues to make his case
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/28/2015) Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson still doesn't know what his role will be when Opening Day rolls around, but he's showing he belongs on the roster, reports MLB.com.

"There's always stuff I need to work on, and I need to continue to impress," Pederson said after launching his fifth home run of the spring Saturday, boosting his batting average to .373.

Manager Don Mattingly remains quiet on what he will do when the decision has to be made, but Pederson is doing what he can to impress.

"[Opening Day] is out of my control," Pederson said. "It's something you dream about as a kid, playing in the big leagues, and you do anything you can to make that dream come true."


 
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