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Marlins' Derek Dietrich (ankle) makes spring debut


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Marlins infielder Derek Dietrich made his spring debut Thursday, striking out and getting hit by a pitch in his two trips to the plate.

Dietrich was shut down in winter ball after suffering an ankle injury. He hit .228/.326/.386 with five home runs, 17 RBI and one stolen base in 158 at-bats with the Marlins last season. He'll compete for a reserve role but is blocked at second base after the team acquired Dee Gordon this offseason.


Brewers Scooter Gennett looking to prove himself


(3/5/2015) Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett knows that he must improve against left-handed pitching, per the team's official website.

"I'm very eager," said Gennett. "For me, I'm not eager about showing or proving [that I can hit lefties], but just for myself, being able to play and have fun every day and get in there every day and crack lefties. That's part of the game -- you don't want to [sit] out. It's back to what I'm used to, and I'm really looking forward to it." 

He didn't face one left-handed starting pitcher last year.  When batting against southpaw relievers in 2014, he went 4-for-39.  Gennett is 10-for-78 against lefties.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said this about Gennett's struggles.

"For me, you can't hit lefties unless you can get hit by them," Gennett said, "which means, if there's a guy throwing 97 [mph] and slinging it in there, the only way I'm going to hit him is if I stand in there willing to stay in there and wear one in the neck or the shoulder or the ribs. That's what you have to do to hit lefties. So that's the one thing I worry about -- don't be a scaredy cat and get out of the way, and I'll be all right."

Gennett, 24, has a career batting average of .300 going into his third season with the Brewers.


Dodgers' Alex Guerrero willing to play third base


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Dodgers infielder Alex Guerrero has been willing to learn third this spring, according to MLB.com.

Guerrero is in a bit of a unique position. With Howie Kendrick entrenched at second, Guerrero doesn't really have a spot in the team's infield. Due to his contract, however, the team can't just send him to the minors. Guerrero can block the move, and has already said he plans to do so if the team tries to send him down. If he can play third well, that may not be a problem.

For what it's worth, manager Don Mattingly believes Guerrero has looked better this spring. "I really do think the second year [in camp] he looks a lot different as far as being relaxed," Mattingly said. "He's swinging the bat well and he keeps improving."

The 28-year-old hit .333/.371/.621 over three minor-league levels last season. 


Braves' Jace Peterson to play both second base and shortstop this spring


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Braves infielder Jace Peterson has the inside track to start at second base for the club this season and manager Fredi Gonzalez was impressed with his play in the spring training debut Wednesday. Peterson doubled and drew two walks in the game.

"He smoked that ball," Gonzalez said. "I like his ability and that you can run him out there at shortstop and let him play that position. We'll play him back and forth on the diamond and see what happens."

Gonzalez knows he has the ability to step in and play very soon.

"You like his baseball abilities, his makeup and his character," Gonzalez said. "He's not just a throw-in [in the trade], he's a baseball player."


Phillies' David Herrera does it all in Wednessday's win over Yankees


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Phillies outfielder David Herrera went 3 for 4 from the plate and scored two runs in Philadelphia's 3-1 win over the Yankees Wednesday. 

Herrera is battling for a backup role in the Phillies' outfield, according to CSNPhilly.com.

"He stood out," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He was a sparkplug at the top of the order and did a great job with the stolen bases, getting into scoring position. He did a good job squaring up balls, hitting hard ground balls and line drives. And he was very fluid in center field."

Herrera did it all for the Phillies, also stealing three bases and Sandberg likes having that speed at his disposal.

"He did a good job getting jumps," Sandberg said. "That speed is big, especially in a close game."


Report: Jace Peterson may have outside shot to win 2B job


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Because of he reported to camp in exceptional condition and Alberto Callaspo did not, Jace Peterson may have an outside shot at the Braves' second base job, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Wednesday.

Callaspo signed with the Braves as a free agent in December was penciled in as the starter while top prospect Jose Peraza works his way through the minors. However, if Callaspo doesn't play his way into game shape over the next month, Peterson, along with Phil Gosselin could have a crack at the position.

Peterson was traded to the Braves from the Padres in a deal that involved Justin Upton in late December. Last week, manager Fredi Gonzalez confirmed to reporters that the second base gig is "wide open."


Phillies' Chase Utley able to workout on Tuesday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was able to work out on Tuesday, according to MLB.com.

Utley did not participate in workouts on Monday due to a sore ankle. He's expected to miss a few spring games due to the injury, but the fact that he was able to put in work on Tuesday should be seen as an encouraging sign.

The 36-year-old hit .270/.339/.407 over 589 at-bats last season. 


Rockies' Rafael Ynoa focusing on swing and defensive approach


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Rockies infielder Rafael Ynoa took advantage of his first opportunity with the team after being called up last September, but he's aware of the aspects of his game that need work if he's to stick on the major-league roster, the Denver Post reports.

"I need to work more on my swing and my approach defensively," Ynoa said. "I need to be good in all the positions in the infield. So if they need me up there, I’ll be able to do that. Because I know that will be my job."

Ynoa hit .343/.380/.463 in 67 at-bats during his 19 games with the Rockies last season. He then hit hit .293 in the Dominican winter league before shutting it down, per the team's request.


Reds' Kris Negron seeking 25-man roster spot in bench role


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) With a strong finish to the 2014 season, Reds utility player Kris Negron is looking to build upon his success and earn a 25-man roster spot out of spring training. 

After he was called up from the minors last July, Negron hit .271/.331/.479 with six home runs and 17 RBI in 49 appearances. If he's going to make a roster spot out of camp it will be in a bench role. 

His defensive ability certainly helps his case as he can play second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield spots. Negron doesn't have a preference either. He just wants to be on the baseball field. 

"It doesn't matter one bit. Home sweet home is just on the field," Negron said, per MLB.com. "I'm still going to take advantage of every opportunity that I am given. It's the same exact mindset. Any opportunity to be on the field, any playing time, I'm going to try and take advantage of it and help the team any way I can. That's been my role my entire life. I look forward to it."


Rockies' Weiss: DJ LeMahieu is going to get better offensively


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu is hoping the offseason work he put in to increase his speed will pay dividends on offense this season, particularly legging out more extra-base hits, per MLB.com.

"We were doing sprints early in the offseason and by February I was much, much faster," LeMahieu said. "We'll see how that translates, but I accomplished my goal."

Rockies manager Walt Weiss is expecting LeMahieu to improve offensively.

"He's a guy that's going to get better and better offensively," Weiss said. "I've talked about his feel for the game and that's going to play into his offense. You're going to see his on-base [.314 career] creep up. He's going to slug more than he has [.361 career] -- not homers, but there are doubles there."


Diamondbacks open to trading Cahill, Ross, Hill


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Diamondbacks have let it be known that the team is open to trading pitcher Trevor Cahill, outfielder Cody Ross and second baseman Aaron Hill, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports.

Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart indicated Monday that he has not spoken to teams about any of the three players.

Hill is expected to open the season as the team's starting second baseman, while Ross is likely to compete for at-bats in left field. Cahill is not a lock to open the season in the team's rotation even if he remains on the Diamondbacks.


Phillies' Chase Utley misses Monday workout


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Phillies second baseman Chase Utley didn't work out Monday as he continues to recover from an ankle issue, MLB.com reports.

Utley won't play in the spring opener and said Monday that he'll miss this week's slate of games entirely, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. The second baseman that while his ankle has improved in the last week, it's still pretty swollen and he has yet to begin running.

Utley suffered the ankle injury in January after stepping on a baseball.

"I'm making a little progress," Utley said, per MLB.com. "Obviously, I wish it was a little quicker, but I'm trying to be smart about it. It seems like it's making some progressions every few days. I'd like to get out there as soon as possible.

"There's no sense in overdoing it and screwing something else up, especially when we have a month until the season starts."


Dodgers' Alex Guerrero not planning to return to the minor leagues


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Dodgers second baseman Alex Guerrero is not playing to return to the minor leagues this season, reports MLB.com. The way that Guerrero's contract is constructed, the Dodgers cannot send Guerrero down to the minors without his permission.

"The team does not know what they are going to do, but all I can control is keep working hard and they will get the final word," Guerrero said. "I don't want to go down. I'm not going down. I feel like I can get better here at this level and play every day. I think that's what every player wants. You want to be in the Major Leagues and play as much as you can.

Guerrero only appeared in 11 games with Los Angeles in 2014, getting one hit in 13 at-bats.

"I just want to keep working hard and let my work speak for me," Guerrero continued. "I'm just being told to keep working hard and I feel like I'm getting better every day."


Phillies to hold Chase Utley out of spring training opener


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Citing his ankle issue and need to be ready, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said second baseman Chase Utley will not play in Tuesday's spring training opener, reports The News Journal.

Utley injured his ankle in January and is not 100 percent recovered, but Sandberg said Utley will play in spring training games down the road.


Mets to sit Wright, Cuddyer, Murphy, Granderson for first two games


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) The Mets are planning to sit David Wright, Michael Cuddyer, Daniel Murphy and Curtis Granderson during the first two games of spring training, reports ESPNNewYork.com. Their first game of the spring will be Friday.

Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko working on swing


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko is working on his swing in the early stages of camp, and one area of focus is keeping his hips aligned to not be vulnerable to pitches away, MLB.com reports.

"We're making sure the hips stay in so they don't come out like they did at the beginning of last year to make sure everything is working in the right direction," Gyorko said of his work with hitting coach Mark Kotsay. "It allows me to see the ball a little longer and a little better. It will allow me to hit the ball the other way with power or just shoot it the other way, and gets me on time to pull the ball so I don't get jammed."

Gyorko played just 111 games last season due to plantar fasciitis, hitting .210/.280/.333 with 10 home runs and 51 RBI in 400 at-bats.


Reds manager Price on Phillips: I have not lost confidence in him


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Reds manager Bryan Price is expecting to see a fully recovered Brandon Phillips at second base this year.

"I have not lost one bit of confidence or expectation that he's going to have a big year," Price said.

Phillips had his lowest RBI total in the last eight years in 2014, posting just 51. It was also the third lowest on-base percentage of his career, posting a .306 mark.


D-Backs' Aaron Hill making strong impression early on in camp


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill has left a strong impression on chief baseball officer Tony La Russa through the early days of spring training, per MLB.com.

"He definitely is in the competition for playing time," La Russa said. "That's just front office talking, remember that, because [manager] Chip [Hale] makes out the lineup. I'm just echoing what Chip has seen. I'm sure he would say the same thing to you."


Brewers' Scooter Gennett glad to have full-time role


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett is glad to have a full-time role heading into 2015, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Gennett spent last season in a platoon with Rickie Weeks, but with Weeks gone, he'll assume the full-time role. Gennett said he feels far less stressed about his position on the team this spring. "Seeing as I'm pretty much the everyday guy, that eliminated the stress, or whatever you want to call it, off my back," he said. 

"Just not having to worry about stuff out of my control. I've put myself in this position where I've earned the job, I've shown them what I can do, and now it's about consistently doing it," he added. 

Manager Ron Roenicke has already said he'll give Gennett plenty of opportunities to prove himself against left-handers. 

Gennett, 24, hit .289/.320/.434 over 440 at-bats last season. 


Marlins 2B Dee Gordon: 'I just want to score runs' in 2015


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon told reporters Thursday that he won't put a number on how many bases he'll swipe this season, and is more focused on improving his on-base percentage and scoring runs in his first season with his new club, per MLB.com.

"No goal," Gordon said. "I just want to score runs. That's it. I scored a lot of runs last year, and I don't think nobody realizes that. Whatever [stolen bases] I get is what I get. Whatever is going to make me score is what I want to do."

Gordon led MLB last season with 64 stolen bags. His 92 runs were tied with then-teammate Yasiel Puig for eighth most in the National League. He hit .289/.326/.378 over 609 at-bats last season.


Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez: 2B gig is 'wide open'


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez confirmed to reporters following Thursday's full-squad workout that the second baseman position is a "wide open" competition, and that Jose Peraza, Alberto Callaspo, Phil Gosselin and Jace Peterson are all entering camp with a chance to make the club, per MLB.com.

"It's wide open," Gonzalez said. "It's all depending on how we want to work second base, the infield and even the bench."


Cubs INF Tommy La Stella 'very comfortable' at third base


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Cubs infielder Tommy La Stella said he feels "very comfortable" playing at third base, per MLB.com.

La Stella began to take reps at third base after the Cubs indicated he needed to be able to play more than second base to make the roster following his acquisition from Atlanta.

"It takes a second to get used to, but luckily they gave me the heads up, so I've been able to work out over there for several months," he said.


Report: Mets not planning to engage in contract talks with Murphy


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Mets All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy, who enters his final year under contract, said Thursday he would be willing to discuss signing a contract extension. However, it doesn't appear the Mets have started contract negotiations.

"As of right now I'm a Met for this year, for sure, love to be here in the future," Murphy said, per NJ.com. "But that is way in the future. I got too much anxiety about today to worry about what happens in November.

"I've always been open to an extension. I've never approached the blessing of playing in the big leagues with thinking I need to maximize every single dollar I can get out of this game. I've made a whole bunch of money already. I think that it's something that we've always been willing to discuss. I think maybe both sides just haven't come and discussed it, from my understanding."

It appears Murphy could be headed toward free agency after the season since a team source told ESPN no in-season contract talks are planned. The source added while it is not 100 percent certainty Murphy won't be with the Mets next season, the expectation is the team will let him test free agency.

The source added the Mets are deep with upper-level middle-infield prospects and the team could have a viable successor.


Padres' Cory Spangenberg 'in the mix' for bench role


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Padres manager Bud Black said Wednesday that infielder Cory Spangenberg is "in the mix" for a bench role this season, U-T San Diego reports.

"Absolutely he's in the mix," Black said. "He has versatility, speed, bat. A National League bench player requires certain intangibles and a certain mindset to be able to handle that. He's been an everyday player in the minor leagues, but if you ask a lot of players, 'Would you rather be in Triple-A or a bench player, part-time starter in the big leagues,' what are they going to say? It's not a question."

Spangenberg indicated he's willing to fill any role with the team if he can make the club. "Any role to make the club -- that's what I'm here for," he said. "So anything I can do to help myself out, I'm going to try to do."

If he can make the 25-man roster this spring, Spangenberg will likely serve as a reserve at second base and third base, the two positions that Black believes represent the best fit for the infielder. Spangenberg made his major-league debut in 2014 and hit .290/.313/.452 with two home runs, nine RBI and four stolen bases in 62 at-bats with the Padres.


Brewers manager Ron Roenicke eyeing infield depth this spring


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Brewers manager Ron Roenicke will spend spring training judging his infielder's versatility for depth behind Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett, per MLB.com.

Milwaukee has three shortstops on its 40-man roster with the chance to break camp with the big-league club. Hector Gomez, 26, and Luis Sardinas, 21, are expected to see time at second base behind Scooter Gennett.

"We want to give Scooter a chance against lefties, but if there's a day off we want to give him, or if it works out that we need to have a [right-handed hitting] guy there more often, who's it going to be?" Roenicke said. "Is it going to be Sardinas? Jimenez, because we know he hits lefties well? Who's that other guy who's going to be there?"

Yadiel Rivera, 22, should see some work at third behind Aramis Ramirez.


 
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