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Yangervis Solarte can play anywhere, do anything for Padres


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/27/2015) Padres utilty man Yangervis Solarte will be in the lineup most days. He just doesn't know where. 

"Every day, it's a new place," he said per MLB.com's Corey Brock. "And that's good for me. I can play everywhere. That's a good situation. I can do everything. The more positions I can play, the better it is for me. I think that it can help me and help the team."

"We feel good about Solarte in there," said manager Bud Black.

Solarate has started at three infield positions this spring and is hitting .295. 

"Overall, he's done a nice job moving around the diamond," Black said. "The versatility he brings is very advantageous for us. He brings some offense, some durability."


Nationals' Anthony Rendon tests knee with lateral movement


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/27/2015) Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon tested his knee by running in the outfield on Friday. Rendon has been out with a sprained left knee since March 9. He can run straight ahead, but in his Friday workout, he tested the knee with lateral movement, per MLB.com's Jamal Collier. 

Rendon still hopes to be ready for Opening Day. 


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."


Cubs' Kris Bryant on Opening Day status: 'Why not me?'


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/27/2015) Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has never started a rookie on Opening Day. Kris Bryant wants to be change that trend this season.

"I look at it as why not me?" Bryant said Friday, per MLB.com. "I think I'm the type of guy who can go out there and do it. I've made it a point of mine to show them that I can."

Epstein said Friday that no decision has been made regarding Bryant.

"It's for baseball reasons, and it hasn't been about anything else besides baseball reasons," Epstein said. "We spend a lot of time thinking about which players to draft, how to get them off to a good start in their professional careers, how to help them advance in the Minor Leagues, and how to help them make that final leap to the big leagues and when and how to do it to put them in a position to succeed."

Bryant is in the midst of a scorching hot spring, with nine homers in 32 at-bats. On Thursday, the 23-year-old prospect also showed some versatility by starting in left field against the Jered Weaver and the Angels.

"Yesterday was good for me to go out there and face a pitcher like Jered Weaver who has incredible stuff,” Bryant said. "He's a different type of pitcher and it was really good for me to go out there and struggle a little bit, see what he’s going to throw me and learn from it. I took it as a learning experience."

Bryant has three multi-home run games this spring. He is hitting .406/.472/1.313 in 12 Cactus League games.

New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters that Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, should not be involved in Chicago's roster decisions, even when it comes to Bryant, per the Chicago Tribune.

"Look, I don't think the Cubs decision on what’s going to happen to Kris Bryant is really any of Mr. Boras' business," Manfred said. "I think the Cubs -- I know the Cubs -- will make decisions that are best for the long term competitiveness of the club. And focusing on whether a particular player has played, or is with a club on a day, or days, I don’t think is a fair evaluation of what the club is up to.

"The club is in the best position, and the Cubs are in the best position, to decide what's going to make them the most competitive over the longest period of time."


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.


Jose Tabata among 12 players cut from Pirates camp Friday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/27/2015) The Pirates announced Friday they cut 12 players from major-league camp. 

They optioned Bobby LaFromboise to Triple-A, while reassigning Deolis Guerra, Gorkys Hernandez, Charlie Leesman, Brad Lincoln, Steve LombardozziBrent Morel, Gustavo Nunez , Deibinson Romero, Jose Tabata, Sebastian Valle and Josh Wall to minor-league camp.


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."


Pirates' Josh Harrison likely to lead off, unconcerned with lineup


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is likely to serve as the team's leadoff hitter this season but said Thursday he's unconcerned with how the lineup is put together, MLB.com reports.

"To be honest, I don't really pay attention to the lineup," said Harrison, who led off Thursday with a homer. "The lineup gets jumbled so much and we don't pay attention too much to what could be the Opening Day lineup and what could not. ... That's more [the media's] job, to look at the lineup and say maybe Opening Day, but none of us here have said, 'This may be our Opening Day lineup.' At the end of the day, we've got to worry about the task at hand and that's getting better every day."

Harrison hit .328/.359/.535 atop the lineup last season and started 83 games as the leadoff hitter.

"Your approach changes at-bat to at-bat," Harrison said. "My leadoff approach changes day to day as well. They attacked me differently throughout the course of last year. The last month and a half, guys started mixing it up on me early. My approach is to go out there and get a good pitch to hit -- so in the grand scheme of things, my approach really doesn't change."


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."


Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber among cuts Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) The Cubs announced Thursday they cut 12 players from major-league camp, including top catcher prospect Kyle Schwarber,who was reassigned to minor-league camp.

The other players reassigned to minor-league camp were pitchers Daniel Bard, Anthony Carter, Jorge De Leon, Gonzalez Germen and Francisley Bueno, infielder Chris Valaika, outfielders Albert Almora, Mike Baxter and Adron Chambers.

Pitcher Blake Parker and pitcher Joseph Ortiz were optioned to Triple-A Iowa.


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.


Phillies 3B Cody Asche scratched Thursday due to back tightness


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Phillies third baseman Cody Asche was scratched from Thursday's spring lineup against the Blue Jays due to back tightness. Asche said he began to feel tightness in his back while the team was stretching Thursday.

Asche is batting .238 (10 for 42) with two doubles, three home runs, five runs and seven RBI in 16 spring games.


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.


Phillies 2B Freddy Galvis to use bigger bat


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Phillies second baseman Freddy Galvis is hoping that a switch to a bigger bat will mean more hits, according to MLB.com.

Galvis has been swinging too hard and he is now using a 35 inch, 33 ounce U1 bat. The Phillies hope the new bat will stop him from over swinging.

"It's a bat that's not about being down on the nob and over swinging for home runs," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He's taken to it very well. It's been a good thing for him."

After singling in the team's loss against the Astros, his batting average raised to .280. The 25-year-old plans to use the new bats during the season.

"I knew I over swung, but I didn't know with the heavy bat I'd have more control," Galvis said. "I thought with a heavy bat I'd have to do more to get to the ball. But what it showed me is if you relax your hands and let the ball come to you and throw the bat [at the ball], that's it. Because when you hit it good, it's going to go."


Nationals' Ian Stewart could open season at third base


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Nationals infielder Ian Stewart is a candidate to start at third base if Anthony Rendon (knee) isn't ready for the start of the regular season, MLB.com reports.

Stewart has shot out to a hot start this spring, going 10 for 31 with one double, three home runs and four walks. He credits his work in the offseason and the tutelage of hitting coach Rick Schu in the batting cage.

"[Schu] got my hands in a good position to fire. The rest is up to me at that point," Stewart said. "It's nice to be able to get the at-bats here, be able to play and do well at the same time, showing that I'm ready if Anthony is not."


Cubs' Kris Bryant on OF drill: 'I think it went very well'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has begun outfield drills with coach Davey Martinez, with the coach instructing the prospect without the use of a glove, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"I just started catching the ball barehanded and just going over the basics," Bryant said about Tuesday's session. "That plays a part in getting to the ball quickly and having a good first step just like an infielder. I think it went very well."

Bryant was slated for more outfield drills Wednesday. He's 13 for 28 with nine home runs this spring and is scheduled to play left field in a game for the first time Thursday, ESPNChicago.com reports.

"Talking to Kris on a one-on-one level he really wants the chance to play out there, which I kind of somewhat like," manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday. "He actually wanted to. That makes it easier."


Rockies' Descalso, Culberson in minor-league game Wednesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rockies infielder Daniel Descalso (oblique) and Charlie Culberson (back) will play four innings in a minor-league game Wednesday, MLB.com reports.

Each will also bat in each inning as they continue to recover from their injuries. Descalso has been sidelined by an oblique strain but is in line to serve as the team's primary utility infielder. Culberson will likely not make the team after dealing with a bulging disk in his lower back.


Matt Carpenter exits Cards' spring game with quad contusion


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter was forced out of Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Nationals with a right quad contusion, per the team's official website. Carpenter was hit by a pitch in the opening frame, and was replaced by Pete Kozma to start the top of the third inning. He will likely be further evaluated moving forward.

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."


Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon's Opening Day status in jeopardy


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Chances of Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon being ready for Opening Day appear "pretty slim" after a second MRI showed that his left knee is still structurally sound, but remains sore, according to Comcast SportsNet Washington. Manager Matt Williams confirmed that his status is in jeopardy, as he remains without a timetable for return.

"It's still lingering. There is no point in pushing it right now and going back to square one during the season," Rendon said, per MLB.com. "We might as well fix it right now rather than later."


Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb expanding role to first


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb is beginning to learn the ropes at first base. Lamb, who may still be the Opening Day starter at third, could be used at first when Paul Goldschmidt gets a day off, reports MLB.com.

"The weirdest part is when a ball is not hit to me -- I know it sounds obvious -- you've got to cover the base," Lamb said. "I'm so used to when the ball is not hit to me I just watch the play develop."

Lamb is still trying to get more comfortable with his role at first.

"My biggest problem right now is I don't have a glove that I'm comfortable with," Lamb said. "So if they're going to put me over there, at some time we've got to get a glove. I'm so used to having a smaller glove. Hopefully I can stick over at third, but like I've said over and over, I'll play wherever they want me to."


 
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