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A's 3B Brett Lawrie homers twice in win over Rockies


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie hit two home runs in Monday's 11-2 blowout win over the Rockies. 

Lawrie's first home run was of the solo variety hit off of Ryan Arrowood. His second was a three-run shot off of LaTroy Hawkins in the sixth inning. This gives Lawrie four home runs in his last eight games. 


Angels 3B prospect Kaleb Cowart back to switch-hitting


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) The one-time Angels top prospect Kaleb Cowart is done with his experiment of being a left-handed batter only. 

According to the Orange County Register, Cowart will resume switch-hitting again, most likely in an attempt to spark his once promising career. Cowart is coming off of two poor seasons in the minors, which led to the Angels not inviting him to big league camp this spring training. 

The Angels are also discussing the possibility of converting Cowart into a pitcher if his hitting doesn't improve. Cowart hit just .223 with Double-A Arkansas a year ago. 


Blue Jays release Ramon Santiago, reassign Daric Barton


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) The Blue Jays trimmed their roster by two on Monday, SportsNet reported

The Jays released infielder Ramon Santiago . The 35-year-old Santiago was signed as a free agent in the offseason and hit .417 in spring training. 

The team also reassigned first baseman Daric Barton to its minor league camp. Barton signed as an offseason free agent and hit .250 this spring. 


Luis Valbuena to open season as Astros' starting third baseman


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) With the demotion of Matt Dominguez to the minors on Sunday, Luis Valbuena will officially open the season as the Astros' starting third baseman.

"One of our goals this offseason was to give ourselves more options," general manager Jeff Luhnow said, per the Houston Chronicle. "Our infield production last year, with the exception of (Jose) Altuve, was below what we really needed it to compete in this division.

"So we went out to address upgrades at shortstop (accomplished with the signing of Jed Lowrie) and options at third and first base, and I think we're seeing the results of that. Valbuena had an amazing spring so far and is basically going to be our third baseman."

Valbuena is batting .405 (17 for 42) with two home runs, five doubles, four runs, eight RBI, four walks and six strikeouts in 15 spring games.


Tigers reassign six players to minor-league camp


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) The Tigers announced Monday they reassigned Jordan Lennerton, Xavier Avery, Manny Pina, Jefry Marte, Aaron Westlake and Jason Krizan to minor-league camp, per MLB.com.

Yankees option Bryan Mitchell, Ramon Flores


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) The Yankees optioned pitcher Bryan Mitchell and outfielder Ramon Flores to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Sunday while reassigning eight players to minor-league camp.

Mitchell allowed six earned runs in 7 1/3 innings this spring. Flores hit .206/.270/.412 with two home runs in 34 spring at-bats.

In addition to the options, the Yankees reassigned catchers Francisco Arcia and Kyle Higashioka, infielders Cole Figueroa and Jonathan Galvez, outfielder Slade Heathcott and pitchers Kyle Davies, Jacob Lindgren and Nick Rumbelow to minor-league camp.


Alex Rodriguez makes first-base debut for Yankees


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Alex Rodriguez started for the Yankees at first base on Sunday. He was a part of three plays in three innings in the field.

A-Rod made two putouts on throws from infielders and fielded a grounder, tossing to the pitcher for the out. 

"It was quite interesting after 20 years in the league to see the game from a totally different lens. It was pretty cool," A-Rod said, per the Daily News.

Rodriguez went one for one at the plate, drawing a walk and scoring a run. 


Blue Jays claim 1B Andy Wilkins off waivers


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) The Blue Jays claimed first baseman Andy Wilkins off waivers from the White Sox Sunday. He hit .293/.338/.558 with 30 home runs in 491 at-bats with Triple-A Charlotte in 2014.

Angels 3B David Freese (elbow) back in lineup Sunday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Angels third baseman David Freese is in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Reds.

Freese has been out of action since hyperextending his elbow Tuesday. He has hit .282/.293/.436 with one home run in 39 spring at-bats.


Astros option Dominguez, Buchanan, Stassi; reassign Correa


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) 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."


Yankees Alex Rodriguez hits third homer of spring


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/28/2015) Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees hit his third home run of the spring in a 10-2 loss against the Orioles, according to MLB.com.

"That one felt good," Rodriguez said. "I was excited about that one."

The 39-year-old has had a successful spring, batting .306 with three home runs, one double and four RBI. 

"Numbers mean nothing, but you definitely want to pass the eye test," Rodriguez said. "That means moving around better, putting balls in play, and hitting balls in the mid-90s. Those are things I haven't done in over a year and a half, so everything for me this year -- this spring, at least -- is a test."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been pleased with his at-bats this spring.

"He's been pretty consistent," Girardi said. "A home run today -- I think his at-bats have been really good."


Angels 3B David Freese (elbow) expected back in lineup Saturday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/27/2015) Angels third baseman David Freese, who suffered a hyperextended elbow Tuesday, took batting practice Friday and is expected to return to the spring lineup Saturday, per The Orange County Register.

Freese is batting .282 (11 for 39) with one home run, three doubles and seven RBI in 14 spring games. 

"Night and day," Freese said Friday when asked how he feels this spring compared to last, per MLB.com. "I'm more confident in where I'm at right now. I can't explain it. I don't really know how I was thinking last year, I just know how I feel right now, mentally, physically."


Yankees' Alex Rodriguez will make 1B debut on Sunday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/27/2015) Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters that infielder Alex Rodriguez will make his first base debut on Sunday, per MLB.com. He will play five innings against the Astros in Kissimmee.

Rodriguez has seen time at third base and as the team's designated hitter this spring. Earlier in the week, general manager Brian Cashman said that Rodriguez has shown enough to be trusted as the full-time DH. The 39-year-old is hitting .290 (9 for 31) with two homers and three RBI in his first 13 spring games back from suspension.


Twins Trevor Plouffe wants to cement his place at third


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe is completely aware of the threat that Miguel Sano brings when it comes to the third base spot. Sano is considered by many to be a can't-miss player. But Plouffe is trying not to let that affect him or his play. 

“You can’t think about anything like that,” Plouffe said. “You can’t worry about what other people are saying about you. I’m more focused on getting this organization out of this rut that we’ve dug ourselves over the last four years.”

After moving around the infield for years, Plouffe seems to have found his place at third. The 28-year-old has a batting average of .245 with 62 home runs, 224 RBI and 398 strikeouts in five seasons.


Yankees 3B Chase Headley wants more action in the field


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Yankees third baseman Chase Headley has played the fourth most innings on the field for the team with 78, but he has only had 13 chances at fielding balls, reports the New York Times. He is hoping that he gets more opportunities going forward.

“It’s crazy,” Headley said. “I’m begging for ground balls.”

Headley came over from the Padres last spring having spent his entire career there. He seemed to suffer the same circumstances there with limited chances to field balls. He spoke to some of his current teammates and his infield coach.

“I’ve talked with Joe Espada,” Headley said of the Yankees’ new infield coach. “And Didi and Stephen — I just want a routine, easy ground ball.”

Headley, who won a National League Gold Glove in 2012, has been using his practice time to stay sharp.

“Sometimes you’ll do a drill where the coach will flip the ball so you’re reading the swing and it’s a little bit more gamelike,” Headley said. “But there’s really no substitute for getting ground balls, and unfortunately that’s out of your control in spring training, so you do the best you can with it. The good thing is I’ve done it for a long time, so I’ll be fine.”


White Sox 3B Conor Gillaspie says plantar fasciitis is not an issue


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) After initially being bothered by plantar fasciitis at the beginning of spring training, White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie said he is over the injury, reports MLB.com.

"It's fine," Gillaspie said. "First thing [in the morning] and last thing at night, it's kind of sore, but as far as affecting me playing, it doesn't. It did a little bit when I first got here, but it has gone away. Credit to [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] for working hard with me every day on that."

While Gillaspie will likely be dealing with discomfort in his foot for most of the season, he said it's nothing he can't manage.

"The workload lessens as you get into the season as far as practice hours go. Obviously, I'm hoping that calms it down a bit, having a little less to do," Gillaspie said. "It's not a big issue."


Commissioner Rob Manfred: A-Rod 'ought to be welcomed back' by MLB


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said that embattled Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez "ought to be welcomed back" by baseball, per the New York Daily News. The 39-year-old Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

"Alex served a very long suspension," Manfred said. "Once he served that time, baseball ought to welcome him back – and I think we've done a good job. The institution as a whole; teams, central baseball, everybody. He's played well. Good for him."

Manfred also added that Rodriguez will be subjected to more testing after his 162-game ban. 

"Let me be clear about this; he'll be tested exactly like every other player who has violated the program," Manfred said. "The program requires more frequent testing for players who are coming back after a suspension."


Angels 3B David Freese still dealing with elbow issue


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) A hyperextened elbow will keep Angels third baseman David Freese out for a few more days, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Freese suffered the injury Tuesday and was forced to exit the game. He is hitting .282 in 39 at-bats during spring training.


Yankees' Alex Rodriguez to play 1B at some point next week


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Although Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Alex Rodriguez has shown enough to be trusted as the full-time DH, manager Joe Girardi told reporters Wednesday that Rodriguez will get a look at first base at some point next week, per NJ.com.

"It's coming up," Girardi said.

Girardi added that he hasn't notified Rodriguez, though he has the date on the board in his office.

"I don't want him to hear it from you what day it is," Girardi said.


Owens, Cecchini among Red Sox cuts Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) The Red Sox announced several cuts from major-league camp Thursday, included in the group were top pitching prospect Henry Owens and infielder/outfielder Garin Cecchini

Owens, who is considered the Red Sox's second-best prospect by Baseball America, was reassigned to minor-league camp. Cecchini, who is considered the Red Sox's 10th-best prospect, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell said Cecchini will play third base, first base and left field at Pawtucket.

The Red Sox also optioned outfielder Bryce Brentz, pitcher Heath Hembree and pitcher Zeke Spruill to Triple-A, while pitcher Mitchell Boggs was released.


Athletics 3B Brett Lawrie doubles in return to action Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie went 1 for 2 with a double in his team's 9-9 tie with the Brewers Wednesday.

Lawrie hadn't played since Saturday due to general soreness but was able to return Wednesday and pick up his fourth extra-base hit of the spring. He's 6 for 30 with three doubles and one home run in 12 Cactus League games.


Cashman: A-Rod has shown enough to be trusted as full-time DH


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday that Alex Rodriguez has shown enough this spring to be trusted as the full-time DH, per MLB.com. Cashman said he had no expectations when camp opened, but Rodriguez has been moving well.

"He's got a lot of life in his body so we'll see if he continues to show athleticism," Cashman said, per NJ.com.

The embattled Rodriguez, who missed the 2014 campaign due to a season-long suspension, is batting .286 (8 for 28) with one double, two home runs, three RBI, three runs, five walks and five strikeouts in 12 spring games.

"As I said before camp even started, I had no idea what we were going to get," he said. "We prepare for the worst and hope for the best and hopefully he can stay healthy and be really productive for us in that lineup."


Yankees' Alex Rodriguez still may play first base this season


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez got more practice time at first base Tuesday. Manager Joe Girardi, who wasn't sure if A-Rod would see any time at first this year, doesn't think he's ruled it out just yet, reports MLB.com.

"It's not dead," Girardi said. "What I have said, though -- the most important thing is at-bats. You're probably going to see him going through some drills at first, and my guess is you're going to see him in a Spring Training game before we leave."

Girardi wants to have backup plans in case of an unforeseen injury.

"If you have an injury, if something happens, then it's good to have," Girardi said. "We're not asking him to go out there every day, but just to have somewhat of an understanding of the position. I don't really think that fielding a ground ball is going to be an issue. I don't think throwing the ball is going to be an issue. It's where to be on cuts, where to be on bunt plays, those sort of things."


Angels 3B David Freese fine after hyperextending elbow


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Angels third baseman David Freese hyperextended his elbow Tuesday and came out of the game, but manager Mike Scioscia said Freese is fine and was scheduled to come out of the game at that point, MLB.com reports.

Freese went hitless in three at-bats Tuesday, dropping his spring line to .282/.293/.436 with three doubles and one home run in 39 at-bats.


White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie battling plantar fasciitis


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) White Sox starting third baseman Conor Gillaspie has played through plantar fasciitis for the better part of spring training, manager Robin Ventura said Tuesday per ESPN.com.

Gillaspie has not missed a day of action with the injury, although he was given the day off Tuesday after participating in workouts in the morning. He was first noticeably dealing with the issue March 3, when he was gingerly rounding bases.

"Conor has had some foot issues early in camp where I don't think he's where he's going to be (later in the season)," Ventura said. "It's going to improve. He looks better with his glove work but his range, with plantar fasciitis early, he's getting over it. Once he gets over that he'll have better range."

Gillaspie declined to say if he was dealing with any discomfort.


 
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