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Indians line up rotation, Zach McAllister to pitch home opener


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Indians manager Terry Francona has set the rotation for the first week of the season, with Zach McAllister slated to serve as the No. 4 starter and pitch the team's home opener next Friday against the Tigers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Corey Kluber draws the Opening Day assignment Monday against the Astros after winning the AL Cy Young award in 2014. He'll be followed by Carlos Carrasco Tuesday and Trevor Bauer Wednesday. McAllister will then face the Tigers Friday, with T.J. House taking the mound Saturday and Kluber pitching Sunday.


Royals' Yost on Louis Coleman: 'He's held his own'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Royals pitcher Louis Coleman is on the roster bubble this spring as he competes for one or possibly two open spots in the team's bullpen.

"He has been OK," manager Ned Yost said. "He came in with a lot of competition. He's held his own."

Coleman has delivered a 3.55 ERA and 15:0 K:BB ratio in 12 2/3 innings. He's out of options and would need to pass through waivers in order to be sent to the minors.


Royals considering eight-man bullpen


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) The Royals have yet to decide on the team's final 25-man roster and are deciding between carrying an extra position player or breaking camp with an eight-man bullpen, MLB.com reports.

Manager Ned Yost would prefer to carry another outfielder, with Paulo Orlando the most likely option to fill that role.

"Probably having the extra position player [helps me]," Yost said. "You're looking at pinch-running opportunities, defensive opportunities late in games. You're looking at whatever helps you get that one run you might need to win a game."

The team doesn't want to see pitcher Ryan Madson depart, but carrying him on the initial roster would almost certainly mean using an eight-man bullpen, as the Royals don't believe he's ready to assume full-time work.

"You would like to take him on your club," Yost said. "But I still feel like he needs to be protected. ... I've really liked what I've seen. But he hasn't pitched in three years. It's all a guess. Can he be that guy [again]? Yeah. But we haven't seen him in back-to-back games. How does he rebound? We don't know."

The Royals likely won't settle on a final roster until Sunday so they can appraise the moves other teams make over the next few days.


Athletics' Jesse Chavez hints he's headed to the bullpen


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Athletics pitcher Jesse Chavez told reporters that "the writing is on the wall" and indicated that he'll likely start the season in the bullpen.

"I think they had their minds made up from the beginning. But we'll see what happens," Chavez said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chavez allowed one run on three hits and one walk while striking out six over six innings of work on Wednesday against the Angels. He posted a 4.50 ERA, a 1.75 WHIP and 12:4 K:BB ratio over 16 innings this spring. If he is demoted to the bullpen as a long reliever and spot starter, the A's will likely go will left-hander Drew Pomeranz as their fifth starter.


Red Sox SP Steven Wright struggles in spring finale


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Wright allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings while striking out four in his team's 9-7 loss to the Blue Jays.

"I feel like every outing I've gone out there, the knuckleball has gotten better," Wright said after the outing, per MLB.com. "Today it was moving a lot more than it has in the past, which is a good problem to have. I feel like I was around the zone. I didn't get as many called strikes as I'd like, but it's something to build off, and if I can continue to keep the same movement and the same intensity on the knuckleball, I'll be able to get it in the zone."

Wright came into Wednesday's start with just two earned runs allowed in 13 2/3 innings though he had also surrendered six unearned runs. He ends the spring with a 2.60 ERA and 13:11 K:BB ratio in 17 1/3 innings. Wright seems on tap to serve as rotation depth this season but could get a spot start early with Joe Kelly still building up his pitch count.

"Coming into camp, I wanted to show that I could stay healthy from where I was last year at this point, but I know that's my role. If I make the team, that's my role -- spot start, long relief," Wright said. "That's one thing that, coming into camp, I wanted to be prepared for -- either/or. If it happens, great, but either way I wanted to make sure I can go out there and throw quality strikes in the zone."


Bruce Rondon unable to pitch for Tigers due to shoulder issue


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon was unable to pitch on Wednesday because of a sore shoulder, which isn't related to the neck issue he experienced recently, manager Brad Ausmus told reporters, per the Detroit Free Press. He traveled back to the team's spring training facility to receive more treatment, according to MLB.com. Rondon has not been scheduled for an MRI.

"If he can’t pitch, obviously it's a lot tougher to be on the team," Ausmus said.


Yankees name Adam Warren fifth starter in rotation


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Yankees manager Joe Girardi made it official on Wednesday, announcing that pitcher Adam Warren will be New York's fifth starter in the rotation, according to the Wall Street Journal. Warren beat out Esmil Rogers, Bryan Mitchell, Chase Whitley and Scott Baker for the final spot in the rotation.

Warren has posted a 2.70 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and 11:1 K:BB ratio over 16 2/3 innings this spring. He registered a 2.97 ERA over 78 2/3 innings last season.


Hutchison, Dickey, Norris will headline Blue Jays rotation


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) The Blue Jays finalized their rotation order to start the season, according to MLB.com. John Gibbons will roll with Drew Hutchison on Opening Day against the Yankees on Monday, followed by R.A. Dickey on Wednesday and Daniel Norris on Thursday. Mark Buehrle and Aaron Sanchez will take the mound Friday and Saturday at Baltimore, respectively. 

White Sox pitcher Jake Petricka plays catch Wednesday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) White Sox pitcher Jake Petricka was able to play catch Wednesday after dealing with a forearm injury. Petricka is expected to begin the season on the disabled list with the injury, but said he feels like he's "on the right track," according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Athletics pitcher Sean Doolittle to throw long toss Thursday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Athletics pitcher Sean Doolittle continues to progress through his rehab and it will continue Thursday when the closer is scheduled to throw long toss out to 75 feet, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Doolittle, who tore his rotator cuff late in January, still remains without a timetable for his return to the field and has thrown a few times this spring. He went 2-4 last season with 22 saves in 62 2/3 innings.

"To get him out to 75 feet and be aggressive with it, he feels really good about where his arm is right now," manager Bob Melvin said to MLB.com. "It hasn't been sore, no trepidation with what he's doing right now. He's gotten past that first hurdle and our training staff has done a great job putting him in this position."


Report: Rangers decide on starting rotation to begin season


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) The Rangers reportedly believe they have their starting rotation set for the beginning of the season, reports the Dallas Morning News.

The rotation will go Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, Nick Martinez, and Derek Holland.

Detwiler and Martinez will have beat out Nick Tepesch, Ross Ohlendorf, Anthony Ranaudo, Lisalverto Bonilla and Anthony Bass for two open spots in the starting rotation this spring.

 Martinez posted a 4.20 ERA in four appearances this spring with 11 strikeouts. Detwiler posted a 4.15 ERA with eight strikeouts in three appearances this spring.


Astros' Vincent Velasquez throws first 'pen session of spring


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Astros pitcher Vincent Velasquez threw 30 fastballs in his first bullpen session of the spring on Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle. Velasquez has been behind schedule due to a lat strain he suffered last October at the Arizona Fall League. He hopes to leave extended spring training by the end of April.

White Sox's Nate Jones tosses first bullpen since Tommy John


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) White Sox reliever Nate Jones threw his first bullpen in nearly 12 months, according to the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday.

"I'm just excited to be out there an almost be normal," Jones said.

Jones was placed on the 60-day disabled list last week, as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery last July. He is targeting a mid-season return.


White Sox reassign Rodon, Crain to minor-league camp.


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Prior to Wednesday's spring games, the White Sox reassigned right-hander Jesse Crain and left-hander Carlos Rodon to minor-league camp, per the team's official website.

Rodon, Chicago's top-ranked prospect and 2014 No. 3 overall draft pick, went 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and 21:5 K:BB ratio over 17 2/3 innings this spring. he will begin the season at Triple-A Charlotte.

"I had a real fun spring," Rodon said, per ESPN. "I got to spend it in big league camp the whole time, which was exciting. I learned a lot of stuff. It was just an overall great experience."

Crain is working his way back from shoulder and bicep issues that caused him to miss the entire 2014 season. He suffered a minor setback in his recovery in mid-March, which kept him out of Cactus League action this season.


Rangers' Kyuji Fujikawa (groin) will visit doctor in Arlington


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Rangers pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa is experiencing tightness in his right groin, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He is expected to be evaluated by Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, leaving his status for the start of the regular season up in the air. He allowed five earned runs over seven innings of work in Cactus League action.

Redmond, Hynes make roster; Last spot down to Goins, Hendriks


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Blue Jays manager Jon Gibbons confirmed that Todd Redmond and Colt Hynes are on the team to start the season, according to TSN.ca on Wednesday. Barring any changes to the rosters, the last spot on the roster will come down to second baseman Ryan Goins and pitcher Liam Hendriks.

Rays will revisit closer-by committee approach once McGee returns


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash reiterated that he won't name a closer for now, and will take a closer-by committee approach to start the season, per the Tampa Tribune on Wednesday.

"We're not going to name a closer," Cash said. "There's going to be guys that we'll lean on to pitch in those (high) leverage situations. It just doesn't make sense to me to come out and name a closer when the game can be on the line in the seventh and eighth inning."

Brad Boxberger, who saved two games last season, was deemed as the favorite by Cash earlier this spring to see the ball in the ninth while Jake McGee is sidelined with an elbow injury. Grant Balfour and Ernesto Frieri have combined for 152 out of 164 career saves on Tampa Bay's active roster.

Cash indicated that he will revisit his closer approach once McGee returns from injury.

"We'll revisit it," Cash said, "but it's too early to tell."


Alex Colome, Drew Smyly to face live hitters


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters that pitchers Alex Colome (illness) will throw a live batting practice on Friday, while Drew Smyly (shoulder) will face live hitters Wednesday and Saturday, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Twins bullpen set after Caleb Thielbar sent down to minors


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) The Twins have optioned left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar down to Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday, according to MLB.com.

With Thielbar heading down to the minors to start the season, Minnesota's seven-man bullpen will include Glen Perkins, Casey Fien, Brian Duensing, JR Graham, Blaine Boyer, Mike Pelfrey and Tim Stauffer.


Astros' Oberholtzer, Fields, Peacock will start season on DL


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) The Astros announced that Brett Oberholtzer, Josh Fields and Brad Peacock will all start the season on the 15-day disabled list, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Oberholtzer  is dealing with a blister on his left index finger, and will have his DL stint backdated to March 31.

"It's a blister. It's not an arm injury," Oberholtzer said. "I just have to wait until the skin heals and take a little time and get back at it. ... I'm just day to day right how, obviously. I'll just wait until the skin heals up and gets right and allows me to make pitches comfortably and not deal with any side effects from the skin."

Fields is working his way back from a groin injury, and will have his DL stint backdated to March 27.

"I was trying to push it pretty hard, but I felt like I was going about it in a wise way," Fields said. "I made pretty quick progress. The fact that they've laid something out for me like that I think is going to help of 'OK, I can relax. I have a plan now of when I'm supposed to be back and just make sure everything is good and right.'"

Peacock, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery, will start the first game of the season at Triple-A Fresno, per MLB.com. His DL will be backdated to March 30.


Jake Marisnick, Jonathan Villar, Will Harris crack Astros' roster


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick, utility man Jonathan Villar and pitcher Will Harris have all been informed they will break camp with the big-league club, according to the Houston Chronicle.

It will be the first time Marisnick has cracked the Opening Day roster. The 24-year-old hit .306/.395/.500 this spring and is a candidate to play regularly at center field.

"It's going to feel like Christmas," Marisnick said.

Villar, 23, batted .209 during his second season in the majors in 2014. This spring, he slashed .256/.356/.436 over 39 at-bats.

"He's made some of the most spectacular plays of the spring, both in the outfield and in the infield," general manager Jeff Luhnow said of Villar. "It's a great story."

Harris, 30, will join Houston's bullpen this season after posting a 4.34 ERA last season with the Diamondbacks. He registered a 2.45 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and 5:2 K:BB ratio over 11 innings this spring.


Astros send Singleton, Chapman to Triple-A; DFA Alex Presley


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) The Astros have optioned first baseman Jon Singleton and left-hander Kevin Chapman down to Triple-A Fresno, and designated outfielder Alex Presley for assignment, according to the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday.

According to MLB.com, the Astros may try to trade Presley if they are unable to keep him. Presley, 29, slashed .212/.316/.333 with three RBI over 33 spring at-bats.

Singleton, 23, made his debut in 2014 and hit .168 over 310 at-bats in his first season in the majors. He hit .213 this spring.

"There are definitely things I need to improve on," Singleton said. "This move was necessary."

Chapman, 27, registered a 4.64 ERA in his second season in the majors last year. This spring, he posted a 2.16 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP and 10:3 K:BB ratio over 8 1/3 innings.

"I just need to just polish up a little bit," Chapman said.


Rays pitchers Colome, McGee, Moore throw bullpen sessions


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Rays pitchers Alex Colome (illness), Jake McGee (elbow surgery) and Matt Moore (Tommy John surgery) were each able to throw bullpen sessions Tuesday as a part of their rehab, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

"(Colome) looks like he feels really good," manager Kevin Cash said. "It's exciting to see."

The trio has yet to see any action this spring as they recover from elbow injuries.


Jose Alvarez ready to be Angels' long reliever


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Angels pitcher Jose Alvarez transitioned from starting to the bullpen, this spring, and it looks like he's landed a job as the team's long man out of the bullpen. 

"It's a little different, but have to do it," Alvarez said per MLB.com. "We're looking for a spot no matter what position, starter or reliever."

Alvarez has a 2.16 ERA this spring. 

"We're definitely impressed with his stuff," manager Mike Scioscia said. "His velocity is better, his slider is tighter. He looks much better than he did last year. ... He has enough stuff to start. But his stuff definitely plays in a bullpen, both as a lefty specialist, but also a guy who can give you some length because he has really good stuff against right-handers also."


Yankees' Andrew Bailey must pitch back-to-back days to make roster


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Yankees pitcher Andrew Bailey is still working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery. Bailey has pitched four innings this spring without giving up an earned run and just three hits.

But for Bailey to make the Opening Day roster, manager Joe Girardi wants to see Bailey pitch on back-to-back days, reports The Journal News.

"I don't see how you could do that," Girardi said. "And the one thing is, we're not going to rush him. I think it comes down to who we think is going to help us the most is the bottom line. I don't think you necessarily in your mind say (for example) I have to have a third lefty. Is it a luxury, sure it is, but I think it's who we think is going to help us the most."


 
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