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Yankees OF Carlos Beltran (elbow) to make spring debut Friday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:54 pm ET) Yankees manager Joe Girardi said outfielder Carlos Beltran will make his spring debut Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal. Beltran is coming off surgery in October to remove a bone spur from his elbow.

A's DH Billy Butler takes a seat Wednesday due to stomach bug


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:48 am ET) Athletics designated hitter Billy Butler was not in the lineup for Wednesday's Cactus League game against San Francisco because of a stomach bug, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Matt Olson will take his spot as the team's designated hitter.

Butler signed a three-year deal with the A's in the offseason. He hit .271/.323/.379 over 549 at-bats last year for the Royals.

Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland won't play spring games until next week


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland took ground balls and ran the bases on Tuesday, and won't seen any spring games until next week, according to the Star-Telegram. Texas is taking a cautious approach with Moreland in camp after he underwent ankle surgery last June.

"I feel good. I think it's just a cautious approach more than anything," Moreland said. "I'm still getting my work in. Trying to go out and get ready. The main goal here is the first of April, not the first of March."

The 29-year-old Moreland hit .246/.297/.347 over 167 at-bats last year.


Francona: Indians' Raburn (knee) to make spring debut Wednesday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Indians manager Terry Francona said outfielder Ryan Raburn will make his spring debut Wednesday against the Reds, per MLB.com. Raburn underwent surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his knee in mid-September.

Pirates 1B Corey Hart expects to make spring debut by Monday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Pirates first baseman Corey Hart suffered a laceration on his foot near the arch when he stepped on a loose hot tub filter, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Hart, however, expects to make his spring debut by Monday.

Manager Clint Hurdle revealed Monday that Hart needed three stitches to close the wound. He also mentioned Hart would be sidelined for a few days.


Tigers' Victor Martinez: I'm still on track for opening day


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez told reporters he remains on track to play on opening day, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Martinez, who is working his way back from a medial menisectomy in his left knee, revealed that he suffered the injury while playing catch in the street with his brother in February. He took 25 swings off a tee from each of the plate on Monday, and told reporters he would have taken 50 if the team trainer wasn't around.

The 36-year-old hit .335/.409/.565 over 561 at-bats last year.


Tigers DH Victor Martinez puts in rehab work


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Coming off an injured knee, Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez was able to put in some work during Monday's spring training practice. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, Martinez ran on an anti-gravity treadmill and took 30 swings from each side on a batting tee. 

Martinez underwent medial menisectomy surgery on his left knee on Feb. 10, which has a four-to-six week recovery period. Martinez was asked to report late to camp so that he could ensure his knee was in shape. 


Big Papi working at 1B in prep for season-opening series in NL park


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Red Sox DH David Ortiz is working at first base early in spring training in an effort to be prepared for the season-opening series at Philadelphia.

“We don’t want to not cover that and limit his availability to us,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said, per the Boston Herald. “So three games in Philly in the National League, there’s going to be some time at first base.”

Ortiz, who usually plays less than 10 games per season at first base, hasn't made an error since 2009.

“It's something I'm not really thinking about right now,” Ortiz said. “All I'm worrying about now is timing and hitting. First base is something I do occasionally. Mike Napoli's our first baseman. We all know he's getting ready to play first base. Me in my case, it's just a few times. The basic thing that I do when I play first base, everyone knows, that's why you see me out there a few days doing drills but it's nothing we have to worry about.”


Yankees OF Carlos Beltran won't play until Friday at the earliest


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran is being held out of spring games until Friday, per MLB.com. The Yankees are just taking it slow with the veteran outfielder, who said he feels good hitting and throwing.

Beltran had a bone spur removed from his elbow in October.

"We’re just taking it a little bit slower with him because of the surgery he came off of," manager Joe Girardi said, per ESPN. "We feel pretty good about where he’s at, but I’m just going to give him a couple of extra days. Nothing that’s happened in camp to do that, just going a little bit slower with him.” 


Pirates 1B Corey Hart needs three stitches for cut on foot


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Monday first baseman Corey Hart needed three stitches after injuring his foot on a hot tub at the team's spring complex. Hurdle said Hart will be sidelined for a few days

Mariners DH Nelson Cruz to see time in right field 'on occasion'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz will see time in right field "on occasion" in order to let the team stream players through the designated-hiter slot, MLB.com reports.

"He’ll play out there in the season on occasion, because it’s nice to be able to rotate him out of that DH spot and give somebody else a day off and get him back on his feet," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "How much he’ll play in the spring, I’m not sure. But it would be safe to say he’ll play his share of games during the season in right field."

Cruz will primarly serve as a designated hitter by the Mariners but has played 744 games in right field in his career and 833 games in the outfield overall. While he's not on defense, the team is expected to use Seth Smith against most righties and Justin Ruggiano against most southpaws.


Girardi: Yankees 'taking it slow' with Carlos Beltran


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The Yankees are taking things slow with outfielder Carlos Beltran, and he won't be rushed into full throwing drills until he indicates he's ready, NJ.com reports.

"We're just taking it slow," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's done some throwing. We don't feel, with five weeks of games, there's really any reason to rush him. Guys do their work. But let's make sure he feels really good where he's at and we feel really good about where he's at."

Beltran had a bone spur removed from his elbow in October. He dealt with the issue throughout last season and hit just .233/.301/.402 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI in 403 at-bats. Beltran has performed light throwing drills and taken part in batting practice since reporting to camp Wednesday.


Tigers' Victor Martinez expected to report to spring training Monday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez was in town for photo day Saturday and is expected to report to spring training Monday, manager Brad Ausmus told reporters.

Martinez is still rehabbing from a knee injury and has yet to be cleared to participate in baseball activities. The 36-year-old hit .335/.409/.565 over 561 at-bats last year. 


Rangers to be cautious with Mitch Moreland


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Rangers will be cautious with Mitch Moreland this spring, according to MLB.com.

Moreland had ankle surgery last June, and the team is going to bring him along slowly early in camp. Moreland will be held back from running for a bit, and will be limited in how many grounders he takes at first. Moreland said he feels good, but acknowledges that the team wants to be extra careful. 

"I feel good, but the training staff has talked with me and got me on a good solid routine to make sure I come out of camp feeling good and feeling healthy," Moreland said. "So we're playing it over-cautiously so I'll be ready to roll by Day 1."

Moreland is also expected to play the outfield this season, but the team is going to wait until later in camp to get him out there.

The 29-year-old Moreland hit .246/.297/.347 over 167 at-bats last year. 


Big Papi not happy with new rules: 'I'm not going to change my game'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) As Major League Baseball looks to speed up the pace of play, there will surely be some detractors as the changes go into effect. Well, count Red Sox star slugger David Ortiz among the players not happy with some of the rule changes.

The nine-time All-Star expressed his disgust Wednesday when reporters asked him about the new rules, particularly the rules that hitters must keep one foot in the batter's box (except after swinging strikes), and hitters and pitchers must be ready to play right after television commercial breaks.

"It seems like every rule just goes in the pitcher's favor," Ortiz said, per the Boston Herald. "When you come out of the box, you're thinking about what the (pitcher) is trying to do. When you see guys come out of the box, they're not doing it just to do it. Our minds are spinning. I see one pitch, I come out and I think what is this guy going to do on the next pitch. If you force a hitter to do that, 70 percent you are out, because you have no time to think.

"I don't know how this baseball game is going to end up. No matter what you do, the game is not going to speed up."

Players that violate the new rules could be subject to fines. It appears Ortiz better keep his checkbook handy.

"I might run out of money. I'm not going to change my game," he said. "This game has been going on for over 100 years. It's the nature of the game. I don't care who you are, you're not going to change."


Corey Hart preparing for comeback year with Pirates


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) New Pirates first baseman Corey Hart has been through a lot. He's still recovering from both surgically repaired left and right knees. The 33-year-old knows it has slowed him down, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"Speed was definitely a big part of my game," Hart said. "But, right now instead of being tall and skinny, I filled out a little bit, so the weight is there and the knees are there."

Manager Clint Hurdle wants to be able to utilize Hart both at first base and in the outfield.

"I know the kid can play outfield," Hurdle said. "We've seen him play the outfield. We've also seen him post up at first base. We've seen the work he's done in the batter's box. We felt it was a very good player to take a risk on."


Tigers' Victor Martinez expected to report next week


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is expected to report to camp next week, according to MLB.com.

Martinez is currently rehabbing from his knee injury, but will join the club soon. He hasn't been cleared for baseball activities just yet, and the team doesn't want him to be tempted by being at camp. "I think part of the reason for keeping him there is if Victor gets into the clubhouse and sees guys hitting, he's going to want to hit," manager Brad Ausmus said. "So we're kind of trying to protect Victor from Victor a little bit. Victor doesn't like to sit on his hands."

Martinez will participate in 10 rehab sessions in Orlando before joining the Tigers next week. The 36-year-old hit .335/.409/.565 over 561 at-bats last year. 


Red Sox GM: David Ortiz will be in Boston as long as he wants


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is getting near the end of his career. However, the 39-year-old designated hitter is signed for $16 million this year and has a team option for 2016 and '17 worth $10 million, according to WEEI.com. 

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is planning to leave it up to Ortiz to decide what he wants.

"I think David knows he's going to be a Red Sox for as long as he wants to be a Red Sox," Cherington said. "There's been no discussion on it recently, honestly. We're just happy he’s here. He’s a huge part of what we’re doing on the field, still. Given his stature and his personality, I know he means a lot to people off the field, too. He’s part of the Red Sox legacy. He's part of Boston pro sports legacy. But he’s also our DH and he hits in the middle of our lineup and that's what we're focused on. We’re happy to keep him there as long as he can keep doing it but there hasn’t been any conversation other than that."

Ortiz hit 35 home runs and 104 RBI in 2014 with a .263 average. Cherington does not know how long Ortiz wants to play.

"I can't answer that question," Cherington said. "That's a decision he's going to make. He certainly looks like a guy that can keep hitting. I think he wants to win. I think he probably has some personal goals, too. Motivated by both of those things. I don’t know. It hasn’t been a topic this winter or spring. I’m sure at some point it’ll be a topic for him. But right now, he’s here and he’s getting ready for the season."


Royals DH Kendrys Morales eager to get timing down offensively


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) Royals DH Kendrys Morales arrived to spring training Tuesday and is eager to begin work on his timing at the plate, per MLB.com.

Morales missed spring training last year and didn't sign with Minnesota until June. Missing camp played a big part in Morales batting just .218 with eight home runs last season.

"I think it's logical that when I get my at-bats this spring it will help," Morales said through an interpreter. "I think more than anything, I tried [last year]. But missing spring training and part of the season hurt. I gave it my best.

"I just think I can get back to the player I used to be. Hopefully, I get those results on the field."


A's still planning to use Davis at 1B, Butler at DH vs. RHPs


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday he still views Billy Butler as the primary DH against right-handed pitchers, per the San Francisco Chronicle. He added Butler will also play some first base against left-handed pitchers, but Ike Davis will see most of the playing time at first base vs. right-handers.

Yankees' Carlos Beltran says he's 100 percent


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/23/2015) Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran says he feels fine heading into camp, according to NJ.com.

Beltran was limited last season by an elbow injury, and wound up having surgery in September. Beltran admitted that he'll need the prove himself this season after struggling in 2014. "Every year you have to prove yourself," Beltran said. "There are always expectations...But physically [now] I feel fine. I have a lot of confidence in myself."

Manager Joe Girardi said he was glad the outfielder was feeling good. "It's nice to see him healthy," Girardi said. "I felt bad for him last year because every swing you never knew how much it was going to grab at him or how much it was going to hurt."

Beltran is expected to open the year as the team's starter in right. The 37-year-old hit .233/.301/.402 over 403 at-bats last season. 


Orioles likely to use a combo of players to replace Markakis in RF


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/23/2015) Orioles manager Buck Showalter is expecting to use a few players in right field to replace Nick Markakis, who signed a free-agent deal with the Braves in the offseason.

"We're equipped to have that be a two- or three-headed player," Showalter said of the Orioles' right-field situation which could include a combination of Travis SniderSteve PearceDelmon YoungAlejandro De Aza and Chris Davis, per MLB.com. "It also allows us to keep everybody in the flow and have everybody make contributions with their skill set. But somebody steps out there and takes off with it … that's why I think Steve [Pearce] graduated a little bit from that [role as a part-time player]."


Astros' Chris Carter to start spring training at first base


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/22/2015) Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Chris Carter will begin spring training starting at first base, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“(Carter will) start coming into camp … at first base, on the team fundamentals, the individualized defense, things like that,” Hinch said. “We’ll have him work a little bit early with some outfield stuff.”

In 2014, Carter hit .227 with a single-season best 37 home runs.


 
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