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Giants' Bochy: Joe Panik pressing, remains starter at second base


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:09 am ET) Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that while infielder Joe Panik might be pressing, he remains the team's starter at second base without reservations, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Panik is just 8 for 50 this spring after going hitless in four at-bats Thursday, though he has delivered three doubles and two home runs. He's looking for a strong follow-up to an impressive rookie season in which he hit .305/.343/.368 in 269 at-bats.


Braves' Gonzalez: Alberto Callaspo has 'been terrific' after slow start


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Braves infielder Alberto Callaspo went 2 for 4 during Thursday's spring game against the Pirates to continue his hot streak after a sluggish start to the spring. He is batting .320 (8 for 25) over his last seven games after opening the spring with a .115 average in his first nine games.

“I think he’s been terrific,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said before Thursday's game, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “His last four or five games is the Callaspo we wanted. With those veteran guys, you’ve got to believe the back of their baseball cards.”


Mets' Murphy runs for first time since sustaining hamstring injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy ran for the first time Thursday since suffering a right hamstring pull a week ago, per ESPN. Manager Terry Collins said Murphy ran without apparent discomfort.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has expressed optimism about Murphy being ready in time for Opening Day. However, Collins said it's "too early" to tell.


Brewers option Peterson, Sardinas to Triple-A


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) The Brewers optioned outfielder Shane Peterson and infielder Luis Sardinas to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday. Peterson hit .296 (8 for 27) with one home run and four RBI in 17 spring games, while Sardinas hit .294 (10 for 34) in 17 spring games.

Cubs IF Javier Baez not a lock for 25-man roster


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Although Cubs manager Joe Maddon has been impressed by the play of Javier Baez, he has yet to decide if he will make the team's 25-man roster, according to mlbblogs.com. 

“I have no idea where that came from,” Maddon said. “That hasn’t been decided yet,” regarding reports that Baez was going to make the roster.

Baez is struggling this spring, going 5 for 39 with 14 strikeouts. Maddon talks about the possibility of sending him down to the Minor Leagues.

“There are the occasions where sometimes it works in reverse,” Maddon said. “A guy like him, to go back and accept going back in Triple-A and getting it done there, he might renege at that thought and maybe you’re not going to get the full adjustment you’re looking for and it might take longer.

“If a guy fails at the Major League level and thinks he belongs in the Major Leagues and then knows he failed, if he goes back, it might be easier to get the point across.”


Mattingly on Howie Kendrick: We're looking for consistent at-bats


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick is quickly adjusting to life with his new club, and has spent much of his spring training bonding time with Jimmy Rollins, who is also new to the club, per the Los Angeles Times.

"I think it's a little overdone. But we like them to be comfortable with each other, that's for sure," manager Don Mattingly said about the relationship between the two.

"They've played enough that they get that communication out of the way pretty early. Guys do so much work together nowadays it gets comfortable pretty quick."

Kendrick was acquired in a trade that sent him from the Angels to the Dodgers in exchange for Andrew Heaney. Kendrick, 31, hit .293/.347/.397 over 617 at-bats last year. He has a .292/.332/.424 career slash line.

"I just know he can hit," Mattingly said of Kendrick. "Howie consistently gets good at-bats. And that's really what we're looking for."


Mets' Daniel Murphy, Wilmer Flores take part in infield drills


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Daniel Murphy (hamstring) and Wilmer Flores (foot) both took part in infield drills at the Mets' spring training facility on Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News. Flores, who fouled a pitch off his left foot Sunday, played shortstop, while Murphy lined up at first base. Both players expect to be ready for Opening Day.

"I feel good," Murphy said, per the New York Daily News. "It feels good. I mean, I feel better than I did a couple of days ago, when it happened. So each day I'll hopefully progress, and we'll see how it feels tomorrow. I don't want to come out and say I'll be ready, and then not be ready."


Rockies' Adames, Ynoa with slim chance of making Opening Day team


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Rockies prospects Cristhian Adames and Rafael Ynoa know their odds aren't great to make the Opening Day roster, but are taking advantage of the extra playing time this spring, reports MLB.com.

Adames, who primarily plays shortstop, has received work at every position in the infield this year after hitting .353 in the Dominican Winter League.

"I worked to hit the ball the other way, every time, and I played all three positions -- third, second, short," said Adames. "I worked in the Dominican on my running, and it's helped me with my defense." 

Ynoa is just glad to have the opportunity to play in the majors at some point this year.

"Most of my teammates got called up, and I was frustrated -- it's tough when you see you are part of a winning team, playing every day and putting your effort in and you're still stuck in the same spot," Ynoa said. "I went to the Fall League and every year I was an everyday player. But that's life. Nothing is easy.


Braves 2B Jace Peterson (finger) returns to lineup Tuesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Braves second baseman Jace Peterson went 1 for 4 with a walk in his team's 5-3 loss to the Phillies Tuesday.

Peterson missed a few games due to an infected finger before returning Tuesday. He's likely headed for the starting role at second base this season. Peterson has hit .341/.449/.390 in 41 at-bats this spring.


Phelps pushing Hernandez for bench spot with Phillies


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Phillies infielder Cord Phelps entered play Tuesday batting .345 (10 for 29) with one double, one home run, five RBI, seven walks, four strikeouts and a .955 OPS in 12 spring games.

Thanks to a strong spring performance, he is pushing Cesar Hernandez for a spot on the Phillies' bench as a utility player.

"You want to show what you can do and try to take advantage of every opportunity," Phelps said, per MLB.com. "That's just good preparation for the season, because you never know how things are going to play out. That's a skill we try to develop. Maybe you don't know when you're going to get in there, but when you do, you try to perform at your highest level. I feel like I'm having good at-bats. I feel like I'm putting balls in play with hard contact."


GM: Mets more hopeful Murphy will be ready for opener than Vic Black


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Mets general manager Sandy Alderson expressed more optimism Tuesday for second baseman Daniel Murphy (hamstring), who was cleared to begin baseball activities, being ready for Opening Day than reliever Vic Black (shoulder), per ESPN.

"We're a little more hopeful today that Murphy will be ready," Alderson said. "I think Vic's a question mark at this point. He's going to play catch (Tuesday), but I'm not sure where he'll be on Opening Day."


Phillies may be looking at Odubel Herrera in center for long term


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) When Odubel Herrera was first sent to center field by Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, it was called an "experiment". 

Herrera has played two of his 559 career games in center field, both in Class-A, and fielded a total of two fly balls. 

Monday was his third straight spring start in center field, and the experiment is looking to be a possible long-term solution. 

“I want to continue to look at that,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said, per the News Journal's Meghan Montemurro. “I think it really gives us the chance to improve our defense in a lot of ways. Herrera seems the most comfortable right now as a young player in center field."

"He finds himself in there quite often and he continues to do some little things and bring energy to the field,” Sandberg continued. “It’s nice to have him in the lineup.”


Padres' Jedd Gyorko doing extra work on swing


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko is putting in extra time before scheduled baseball activities as he tries to improve his mechanics, MLB.com reports.

"The cage and the BP work are good," Gyorko said. "Now, I've just got to find a way to take it into the games."

Gyorko has just six hits in 32 at-bats this spring while striking out 16 times, and a National League scout said recently that his front hip is coming up early in his setup, causing a longer and slower swing, and that he might not be picking up pitches as well as he has in the past. He's been working with the team's hitting coaches to keep his hips closed but hasn't been completely successful.

"I know they've worked on a number of things, things that are going to help in the long term. But there are no quick fixes in this game. You got to work at it," manager Bud Black said. "We have got a number of guys that are working on a few things that [hopefully] in two weeks' time things will smooth out and we'll see results. But if you've been in this game long enough, you know that spring training results can be misleading."


Braves' Jace Peterson misses second straight day with finger injury


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Braves' infielder Jace Peterson sat out Monday's game, the second straight day he's missed with a finger injury. 

A runner stepped on Peterson's hand during a play at second base last week, and his pinky finger became infected. The nail had to be removed, but manager Fredi Gonzalez said that Peterson would be back in the lineup on Tuesday, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Phillies' Ben Revere OK with work in left field


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Phillies center fielder Ben Revere has started in left field for three consecutive games, with Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera in center field, and the outfielder is OK with the move, which may or may not translate into time in left field during the regular season, MLB.com reports.

"It's been a little while since I've played there," Revere said. "I really adjust quickly. It won't be anything I'm nervous about. They said they just want to see another bat in the lineup, so I just do what the coaches say. Maybe we'll see it in the regular season, but it's just to get prepared for it."

Revere hasn't played left field in a regular-season game since 2012. Herrera entered play Monday batting .368 with one double, two walks and four stolen bases, and one scout called him the second-best hitter on the team behind Chase Utley.


Maddon: Cubs accept Javier Baez is going to strike out a lot


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) If there is one thing the Cubs have definitely learned about infielder Javier Baez is that he swings and misses a lot. Baez struck out 350 times in 319 games in the minors, he struck out 95 times in 52 games as a rookie in 2014 and already has 13 strikeouts in 12 games this spring.

It appears the Cubs have accepted Baez will always have a high strikeout rate, but as long as he excels in other areas, they can live with it.

"He's always going to strike out," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, per MLB.com. "It's not even about strikeouts, it's about organizing his strike zone a little better. ... If he could somehow get to be a better decision-maker and then test that forceful swing he's got in the strike zone, let's see what happens there."


Brewers infielder Luis Sardinas notches four hits Sunday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) Brewers infielder Luis Sardinas posted four hits and two RBI Sunday against his former team the Rangers. Sardinas, who is battling for a spot on the Opening Day roster, was struggling at the plate coming into the day, going just 3 for 25 the rest of spring.

"[Sardinas is] probably tired playing all nine innings," manager Ron Roenicke said. "But that was good for him. Everybody did a nice job swinging the bats today."


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. 


One day after knee injury, Odubel Herrera returns to Phillies' lineup


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) Odubel Herrera returned to the Phillies' lineup on Sunday, a day after he felt a tweak in his knee, forcing him to leave a game early. 

Herrera batted seventh and played center field. He went hitless in two at bats, grounding into a pair of force outs. He also walked and scored before leaving the game in the seventh. 

Herrera had a pair of putouts in center, but he also misplayed a fly ball over his head that resulted in an inside-the-park home run for Mookie Betts. 

Herrera is hitting .368 in 12 games this spring. 


Rangers sign Tyler Pastornicky to minor league deal


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) The Rangers signed infielder Tyler Pastornicky to a Triple-A deal and assigned him to their minor league camp on Sunday, per the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant

The 25-year-old Pastornicky has spent parts of the last three seasons in the Majors with the Braves. He has a .243 career average with two home runs and 15 RBI. 


Pete O'Brien, Danny Worth among seven Diamondbacks' cuts


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) The Diamondbacks reassigned seven players to minor league camp on Sunday. 

Players cut from the Major League team included: 

Catcher/infielder Peter O'Brien, a former second-round draft pick acquired by the D-Backs from the Yankees last season. O'Brien hit .250 in 13 spring games. 

Infielder Danny Worth, signed as an offseason free agent after five years with the Tigers. Worth hit .286 this spring.

RHP Jake Barrett, a third-round pick in 2012. He had a 9.00 ERA in four spring games.

OF Danny Dorn, who hit .194.

OF Nick Evans, who hit .211

RHP J.C. Ramirez, who had a 6.00 ERA in five games. 

Utility man Jamie Romak, who hit .286. 


Braves' Jace Peterson dealing with infected finger


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) Braves second baseman Jace Peterson is suffering from an issue with his finger.

Peterson's hand was stepped on during a game a few days ago, and the pinky on his throwing hand became infected. 

Peterson said it wasn't serious, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien. He's been able to keep playing and made several plays in the field during Saturday's game.

Peterson hit .113 with the Padres last season.


Nationals Dan Uggla homers in 4-2 victory over Marlins


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/21/2015) Nationals Dan Uggla hit a two-run homer in the third inning of a 4-2 victory over the Marlins. His homerun was part of a four-run third inning.

Uggla, 35, is battling for a roster spot with the Nationals. For his career he has a batting average of .243 with 233 homers and 690 RBI.


Phillies' Odubel Herrera leaves game with tweak in right knee


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/21/2015) Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera felt a tweak in his right knee after placing down a bunt in Saturday's game and left as a precaution, reports DelawareOnline.com.

Herrera reached first on the bunt, but pulled up a bit. He is scheduled to play Sunday in Fort Myers, but manager Ryne Sandberg will see how he's feeling later on before deciding if he will play or not. Herrera is hitting .389 with one double, three RBI and four stolen bases this spring.


Nationals getting Danny Espinosa acclimated to third base


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/21/2015) Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa made his first career start at third base during Saturday's spring game against the Marlins, according to MLB.com. He never started at third base in the minors.

"My thought on it was, 'Hey, if we get in the situation where you have to play it, I just want you to have experience there,'" Williams said. "He's got great hands, great feet, plenty of arm, we all know that. It's a question of him getting used to the position a little bit in case it comes up during the season and he's got to do it. Right now, it gives him the opportunity to get out there in a non-pressure type situation and play."

Espinosa had been working at third base during workouts and made his first appearance at the hot corner Thursday against the Tigers, when he shifted over from second base in the ninth inning and played two innings at third.

"I'm going to treat it like any defense in the game, catch the ball and throw it over there," Espinosa said. "Ball comes off the bat a little different, so more of a reactionary position instead of being able to read your hop at short and second and kind of picking your hop. At third base, it's kind of do-or-die."


 
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