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    Player News
    Indians outfielder Michael Brantley working on opposite-field power
    by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
    (9:45 pm ET) Indians outfielder Michael Brantley is battling off injury issues this spring. But, the outfielder is still working to get better. And listening to his father, reports MLB.com.

    "Hitting it over the left fielder's head -- not always in front," Michael Brantley said. "Making sure that we're catching the ball still out front, but still staying through it so we could stay behind the ball and drive the ball to left-center and over the left fielder's head this year."

    His dad, Mickey Brantley is now a hitting coach and continues to give his son advice. Brantley wants to continue to be aggressive at the plate.

    "That's not going to change. It worked OK," Brantley said with a laugh. "I don't want to change things that work. There's no set way of going about it, but you've got to be aggressive in this game. The pitching is getting too good to not be aggressive anymore."


    Carlos Rodon likely to start season in minors for White Sox
    by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
    (9:42 pm ET) The White Sox will probably have pitcher Carlos Rodon start the season in the minors. 

    The number two overall pick in last year's draft, Rodon still needs to work on his changeup, in the opinion of manager Robin Ventura. 

    "Everybody has different opinions on him, but you don’t want to put him in there with one pitch or two pitches," Ventura said, per ESPN's Doug Padilla. "You want him to be armed with the things that make him successful and you don’t want him to come up here and be a flash in the pan, and he’s got to go down and work on stuff. He needs to be a complete product when he comes out of here."

    Rodon has made progress with the changeup, so it may not be a long time before he's in Chicago to stay. 

    "The changeup is getting much better every time he goes out there," Ventura said. 


    Rough day on mound for White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija
    by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
    (9:38 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija got batted around by his old team on Friday. The Cubs hit four home runs off Samardzija in six innings. 

    Samrdzija gave up six runs on seven hits. He struck out nine batters in the game. 

    Samardzija suffered the loss, dropping to 1-2 in the spring with a 7.79 ERA.


    Astros 1B Jon Singleton working to simplify things at the plate
    by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
    (9:24 pm ET) Astros first baseman Jon Singleton is continuing to progress as a hitter. Singleton has hit .244 so far this spring and manager A.J. Hinch is seeing him get better every day, reports the Houston Chronicle.

    "He's working on things to simplify things at the plate, clear his head and take a good pass at the ball and swing at strikes," Hinch said Friday. "Get in a good body posture, making sure that his effort level is at the right consistent. He can swing ferociously with the best of them, and that's not always the best balance swing for him. I think he's trying to find a happy medium on how to try to take his best swing while staying under control. And I think that’s starting to translate into games."

    Singleton is getting in the mindset of focusing more at the plate.

    "A lot of it is thinking," Singleton said. "You got to get in the box and just let everything go. Let everything that you're working on go. Compete. I think that has a little bit to do with it. I also think it's still early, pitches that I'm missing now I don't think I'm going to miss in May or June. But it’s all a work in progress."


    Indians pitcher Corey Kluber reaches seventh inning in start
    by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
    (9:07 pm ET) Indians pitcher Corey Kluber threw 107 pitches Friday in his outing against the Diamondbacks. Kluber, the AL Cy Young award winner in 2014, reached the seventh inning, but was pulled before recording an out.

    "I felt good," Kluber said to MLB.com. "I feel like I'm getting stronger each time out. I was able to get the pitch count up to where I wanted to today. For the most part, I executed pretty well."

    Kluber allowed six hits with nine strikeouts in the outing.

    "He wanted to get out there pretty good," manager Terry Francona said of Kluber's high pitch count. "So, the next outing, if he wanted, if he feels like scaling it back, he can. But, he feels like he's ready. I thought he did a really good job. He's in such good shape. Most guys, when they get out to that point, they're kind of pushing to get through it. He's strong."


    MRI reveals no damage to Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Stites' elbow
    by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
    (9:02 pm ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Stites does not have any structural damage in his right elbow after receiving a second MRI, reports MLB.com.

    Stites' right arm locked up on him last Saturday and the initial MRI revealed inflammation in the elbow.

    "What we heard is it looked good," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "They said this one was even cleaner. The MRI looked very clean, so they're going to figure out a plan of attack."

    It is unclear when Stites will resume throwing again.


    Royals' Alex Rios says thumb better, but problem will linger
    by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
    (8:54 pm ET) Royals outfielder Alex Rios said his thumb is doing better, reports Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

    Rios sat out two games after jamming the thumb, the same injury he suffered last season. 

    Even though the thumb is improved, Rios said he'll likely have to manage the condition all season long. 


    Rangers pitcher Anthony Ranaudo tosses six innings Friday
    by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
    (8:41 pm ET) Rangers pitcher Anthony Ranaudo went six innings Friday against the Athletics, allowing just two runs.

    Ranaudo, who is competing for a spot in the starting rotation, liked that he was able to get up to the six-inning plateau.

    "This was a good day. It was the first time I got up six times (innings) and I felt good," Ranaudo said. "I was throwing my pitches for strikes and mixing my pitches well. It was a step in the right direction as far as getting ready for the season."

    Ranaudo added three strikeouts and lowered his spring ERA to 5.02.


    Cubs' Javier Baez shaken up after collision at second base Friday
    by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
    (8:35 pm ET) Cubs shortstop Javier Baez was in the middle of a nasty collision Friday at second base while trying to turn a double play. It looked bad enough manager Joe Maddon was a bit nervous Baez may have suffered a serious injury, reports MLB.com.

    "I asked him when was the last time a Puerto Rican had played in the NFL, because he just felt it right there," Maddon said of the crash with the Angels' Kole Calhoun on a double play. "[Baez] got smoked. I didn't know what was wrong with him, but he got hammered. I loved it."

    Baez remained in the game and turned the double play. It is unknown yet whether Baez will make the final roster for Opening Day.


    Athletics pitcher A.J. Griffin throws bullpen session Friday
    by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
    (8:26 pm ET) Athletics pitcher A.J. Griffin was able to throw 50-plus pitches in a bullpen session Friday, reports MLB.com.

    Manager Bob Melvin said all of his pitches were looking great. Griffin, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, is continuing to rehab in hopes of joining the team once the regular season begins. He went 14-10 in 2014 with a 3.83 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 200 innings pitched.


     
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