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Francona on Jason Kipnis' return: 'That'll really be a big boost for us'


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters he was impressed with second baseman Jason Kipnis' performance in his first Cactus League game since March 17, per MLB.com. Kipnis, who returned from back spasms, played five innings and finished 1 for 3 in a 13-2 defeat to Cincinnati.

"Well, he played yesterday (in the minors). He looks good," Francona said. "He's looked good swinging a bat. His ability, when he's healthy, he can impact a game so many ways. You saw he's athletic at second, he can steal a base, swing the bat. We're excited to watch him play healthy. That'll really be a big boost for us."


Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop should be able to play Friday vs. Rays


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who had one wisdom tooth removed and another tooth in front of it on Thursday, told reporters he should be able to play Friday against Tampa Bay, per MASN Sports.

"I have to get a workout in today and I'm ready to go," Schoop said. "I feel good. No pain, but the doctor didn't want me to run around yesterday. I think today if I run I could bleed, but I feel good. I'm thankful. I feel ready to go."

Schoop is batting .243 (9 for 37) with two home runs, six RBI in 14 spring games.


Gibbons: Saunders, Izturis to open season on disabled list


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Thursday outfielder Michael Saunders (knee) and infielder Maicer Izturis (groin) will open the 2015 season on the disabled list, per Sportsnet.ca.

Saunders is expected to start in left field when healthy, while Izturis will likely be a backup infielder.


Mariners experimenting with Rickie Weeks in leadoff spot


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Mariners outfielder Rickie Weeks is leading off for the team Wednesday, with regular leadoff man Austin Jackson sliding to the No. 2 spot, and manager Lloyd McClendon could use Weeks atop the lineup at times this season, MLB.com reports.

"I like Rickie as a leadoff hitter, too," McClendon said Wednesday. "Austin led off yesterday, Rickie is leading off today. I’m just playing with things. That’s all."

McClendon indicated that both players have different strengths that could be a fit atop the lineup.

"Every player is different. They all have their strengths and weaknesses," McClendon said. "Rickie has close to 3,000 at-bats in the leadoff spot and 100 home runs. There’s a lot to like about him there. Austin is a speed guy that hits a lot of triples and doubles. They both bring a lot to the table."

Weeks is expected to split time in left field with Dustin Ackley this season.


Indians 2B Jason Kipnis works on minor-league side Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said Wednesday that his injured back is feeling better, and he saw five innings of work in a minor-league game, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.

"The plan is if he feels good tomorrow we'll play him, but we also reserve the right to give him another day," manager Terry Francona said. "But all signs are pointing to him moving around pretty good."

Back spasms have keep the second baseman sidelined for about a week. He's looking to bounce back after a down 2014 season.


Devon Travis expected to win starting second base job for Blue Jays


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) While the Blue Jays have yet to make an announcement, Devon Travis will win the starting job at second base over Ryan Goins and Steve Tolleson, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Travis, who was acquired in a November trade with Detroit, is doing well offensively this spring. He is batting .400 (16 for 40) with six doubles, six RBI, three walks, four runs and five strikeouts in 16 spring games.

He is considered Toronto's fifth-best prospect by Baseball America. Travis has a career .323/.388/.487/.876 slash line over three seasons in the minors.


Logan Forsythe still expected to receive playing time at 1B this spring


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters that Logan Forsythe will still receive some playing time at first base this spring. However, the Rays may revisit John Jaso as a possible backup to James Loney, and will consider outfielder Steven Souza only "in a pinch," according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (back) targeting a Thursday return


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (back) is targeting a return to the spring lineup Thursday, per MLB.com. Kipnis has not appeared in a spring game since March 17.

Kipnis will play five innings during a minor-league game Wednesday.


Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop sidelined due to dental work


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop will not be available for Wednesday's spring game as he is having his wisdom teeth removed, per MASNsports.com. Schoop could miss a couple of games before returning to the lineup.

Schoop is batting .243 (9 for 37) with two doubles, two home runs, six RBI, seven runs, one walk and 10 strikeouts in 14 spring games.


Rays' Forsythe to get majority of starts at 2B with Franklin sidelined


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash said Wednesday infielder Logan Forsythe will get the majority of playing time at second base to open the season with Nick Franklin sidelined due to an oblique injury, per the Tampa Bay Times.

The two infielders are expected to platoon at second base when Franklin is healthy.

The 28-year-old Forysthe has a career .235/.303/.343/.646 slash line. He played in a career-high 110 games in 2014.

"I think Logan's had a good spring," Cash said, per MLB.com. "Logan's a good defender. Plays second base really well.

"I think we're all very happy about the way his spring has gone. Him and [Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton] have had a lot of discussions on some adjustments and they seem to have paid off. He's barreled a lot of balls this spring."


Indians' Jason Kipnis may play minor league game Wednesday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, who is dealing with a back injury, may take part in a minor league game Wednesday, manager Terry Francona said Tuesday according to MLB.com.

Kipnis, who has missed the last five days with back spasms, took 50 swings in the batting cage Monday to test out the injury. He has gone just 4 of 18 at the plate with two doubles this spring.


Blue Jays may not decide on 2B starter until end of spring training


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) The Blue Jays have several unsettled roles on the roster and some, like the battle to start at second base, won't be decided until the end of spring training, MLB.com reports.

"There are some things we have a pretty good idea of right now," manager John Gibbons said Tuesday. "But yeah, for the most part, to be fair to some of the guys still involved and things like that, there will be a lot of things we won't announce until the end."

At second base, prospect Devon Travis has battled Ryan Goins and Steve Tolleson to start, but the team may favor Tolleson in a close battle with the infielder out of minor-league options.

"You like to keep guys around if you can," said Gibbons, speaking generally about options. "If two guys are equal and one is out of options, there's a good chance he's gonna stay. But that's not the overriding factor. You always weigh it, because everyone runs into depth problems."

Travis has impressed this spring, going 14 for 38 at the plate and smacking six doubles this spring.

"Every scout that's watched him play, and the guys in the Detroit organization that we've talked to, they all say this kid can flat-out play," Gibbons said. "You just watch. He's getting great results right now, but you just watch him in the box, this kid's got a great swing, a short stroke. He's got an idea up there. He's not just swinging, just letting it fly. You watch his defence, he looks great there, too. You've got to weigh all that."


Leury Garcia among seven players cut by White Sox


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) The White Sox announced seven cuts on Tuesday, per ESPN. The club optioned Leury Garcia, Onelki Garcia and Andy Wilkins to Triple-A Charlotte. Frankie Montas was optioned to Double-A Birmingham, and Logan Kensing, Nolan Sanburn and Joe Savery were reassigned to minor-league camp.

White Sox's Sanchez, Johnson continue to compete for starting role


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Monday he intends to let the competition for the starting job at second base play out the rest of the spring. Although, Ventura added he's been impressed with Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez.

“Both of those guys come to play,” Ventura said, per the Chicago Tribune. “When you’re young and in a competitive position battle like this, it’s good not only for them but for everybody else to see it.”

Johnson and Sanchez have both been doing well offensively. Johnson is batting .455 with a .514 on-base percentage, .636 slugging percentage and 1.150 OPS in 13 spring games, while Sanchez is batting .346 with a .414 on-base percentage.

While Johnson is putting up big numbers offensively, there are still some questions as to whether he is ready defensively. Johnson committed an error and misplayed another hit during Sunday's spring game against the Brewers.

“Even some of the best defensive players have those days, and you have to put it behind you (and) come out here in the morning and maybe figure out what happened,” Ventura said. “The game’s a little bit faster up here, and he’s getting a taste of that on occasion.”


A.J. Achter among six Twins players cut on Tuesday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) The Twins announced six roster moves on Tuesday, according to the MLB.com. The club optioned right-hander A.J. Achter to Triple-A Rochester, and reassigned catcher Tyler Grimes, infielders James Beresford and Jose Martinez, and outfielders Eric Farris and Danny Ortiz down to minor-league camp.

Twins lock up Brian Dozier to a four-year $20 million extension


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) The Twins have signed second baseman Brian Dozier to a four-year contract, buying his arbitration years, the team announced on Tuesday. According to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, he will make $20 million over four years. Dozier will receive $15 million in the final two years of his deal, which includes no options, per MLB.com.

"This is a good day for the Twins and a good day for Brian," general manager Terry Ryan, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "We like to reward players that have come through our system. We anticipate he's in the prime of his career, and suspect it's going to spike, some of numbers he has put up."

Dozier, an eighth round pick out of Southern Mississippi in 2009, is set to open the season at second base after hitting .242/.345/.416 with a team-high 23 home runs, 33 doubles, 71 RBI, 89 walks and 21 stolen bases in 598 at-bats last season. The 27-year-old has a career .241 batting average and 47 home runs over three MLB seasons.


Beckham, Elmore, Casilla vying for backup infielder role with Rays


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash said Tim Beckham, Jake Elmore and Alexi Casilla are vying for a spot on the team's bench as a sixth infielder, per The Tampa Tribune. He said this after he announced Monday that Asdrubal Cabrera will be the starting shortstop, and Nick Franklin and Logan Forsythe will platoon at second base.

Royals 2B Omar Infante makes debut in field in MLB spring game


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Royals second baseman Omar Infante started at second base during Monday's spring game against the Giants, per MLB.com. It is his first game in the field this spring, as he has been limited to DH duties due to an elbow injury.

"He's feeling really good right now," manager Ned Yost said, per MLB.com. "So, we'll just take it day by day, but he should be fine."


Nick Franklin, Logan Forsythe will platoon at second base for Rays


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash said Monday infielder Nick Franklin, who lost out on the starting shortstop job to Asdrubal Cabrera, will platoon at second base with Logan Forsythe, according to The Tampa Tribune.

Franklin is a switch-hitter, while Forsythe bats right-handed.


Rays' Cash tabs Asdrubal Cabrera as starting shortstop


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash made it official Monday, naming Asdrubal Cabrera the team's starting shortstop. He beat out Nick Franklin and Tim Beckham, who were also competing for the starting job this spring.

"I don't think you're going to find a more sure-handed shortstop than Cabby," Cash said.

Cabrera is a two-time All-Star while playing at shortstop. He has spent most of his MLB career at shortstop (731 games). Although, the Rays were considering using him at both shortstop and second base this season before Cash made his announcement Monday.


Report: Rays to name Asdrubal Cabrera starting shortstop


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) The Rays have reportedly decided on a starting shortstop. Asdrubal Cabrera will be tabbed the starter after speculation of him playing second base or splitting time between the two, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Cabrera, who hit .241 with 14 home runs in 2014, has played primarily at shortstop for his entire career. Last season, however, Cabrera split time between shortstop (93 games) and second base (48 games).

The official announcement is expected soon.

"He has not done anything this spring to look like he's lost range," general manager Kevin Cash said last week. "If I had to say, from spring training, this spring, I've had the benefit of seeing him his last two years in Cleveland, he looks better. … His body looks better. He's moving really well.


Astros' Jose Altuve working to perfect running game this spring


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was one of the most deadly base stealers in baseball last season. This year, manager A.J. Hinch wants to ensure Altuve is being smart on the base paths, not just when he's stealing a base, reports MLB.com.

"Like anything, it's all built on trust," Hinch said. "You want your players to play with freedom, and if they feel like they need to take an extra base they can take an extra base. They have the freedom to play. By no means do I want to put a ton of restrictions on them, but you want to make sure they know the situation."

Baserunning instructor Gary Pettis, who stole 354 bases in his career, is working to help Altuve make smart decisions on the base paths.

"You don't want to run just to steal bases," he said. "A stolen base gets you in scoring position. Now if you rack up numbers doing that, great. You're helping the team and you help yourself also because of the numbers, but you're stealing to get into scoring position. That's what we're doing."


Athletics make another round of cuts Sunday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) The Athletics made another set of roster moves Sunday, re-assigning the following players to their minor league camp: Matt Olson, Joe Wendle, Brad Mills, Ryan Verdugo, Fernando Rodriguez, Kevin Whelan and Carson Blair, according to MLB.com.

Rangers Adam Rosales makes spring debut at SS


by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(3/22/2015) Rangers utility man Adam Rosales made his spring debut at shortstop Sunday, giving him an opportunity to potentially try and win a backup infielder position, per The Dallas Morning-News

Rosales had not played either of the middle infield positions this spring, despite entering camp as the front-runner for the job. The Rangers recently signed infielder Tyler Pastornicky to a minor-league deal. 

In 2014, Rosales hit .226 with 19 RBIs in 54 games. 


Indians' Jason Kipnis remains sidelined, won't return Monday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (back) will not play Sunday or Monday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Monday's game will be the fifth he's missed with a back injury. He could see some minor-league action before the team puts him back into the major-league lineup.


 
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