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Mets RP Bobby Parnell (elbow) will pitch in game March 11


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:58 pm ET) Mets reliever Bobby Parnell (elbow) said he will pitch in a game March 11, per NJ.com. However, Parnell is uncertain if he will make his spring debut against the Marlins or pitch in a minor-league game.

"It's the next step," Parnell said.


Report: Royals RP Tim Collins has ligament damage in elbow


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:32 am ET) The MRI on Royals reliever Tim Collins' elbow revealed ligament damage, according to The Kansas City Star. The team is now seeking a second opinion.

Collins missed time in 2014 inflammation around the flexor tendon in his elbow. He made just 22 relief appearances for Kansas City, going 0-3 with a 3.86 ERA. The left-handed hurler is 12-17 with a 3.54 ERA over four MLB seasons.


Phillippe Aumont's bid for spot on Phillies' roster not off to great start


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:39 am ET) Phillies reliever Phillippe Aumont is out of minor-league options, so if he doesn't make the team this spring, he is subject to waivers. Thus far, however, his bid for a roster spot is not going well.

After allowing a run in his lone inning of work Sunday against the University of Tampa, Aumont allowed solo homers on consecutive pitches in the fifth inning of Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Astros.

"This is a big spring training for him as far as the Phillies go and him (being) with the Phillies," manager Ryne Sandberg said after Thursday's game, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. "He's had multiple chances and this is a clean slate opportunity for him in spring training coming in with opportunities and with some spots available.

"It should be a fresh start for him after the offseason. The biggest thing for him is to work ahead, and really, he has a good breaking ball when he can get to those counts. But sometimes he gets hit before he gets to those counts."


Orioles' Brian Matusz tosses scoreless inning in return


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:09 am ET) Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz tossed a scoreless inning in his return to the mound.

Matusz came into camp dealing with a shoulder issue, but said he was pretty close to 100 percent. He allowed one hit during his one inning of work, and struck out one batter. Matusz is expected to open the season in the team's bullpen. 

The 28-year-old posted a 3.48 ERA over 51 2/3 innings last year.


Rays' Alex Colome still not in camp


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Rays pitcher Alex Colome still hasn't reported to camp due to a visa issue, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Colome was a candidate for the fifth spot in the team's rotation, at least until Matt Moore was able to return from Tommy John surgery. He's been able to put in work at the club's facility in the Domincan Republic, and manager Kevin Cash doesn't want to rule him out just yet. 

"Colome is getting his work in. We know that. We’ve had communication on that," Cash said. "As I’ve said the whole time, we’d like to have him here. I don’t think it’s fair to punish a guy for being held up, so he’s still very much a factor."

Colome, 26, posted a 2.66 ERA over 23 2/3 innings last year. 


Tolleson, Feliz, Scheppers likely to make Rangers


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) The Rangers are likely to put Shawn Tolleson, Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers in the bullpen this season, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Manager Jeff Banister implied that all three players would make the team out of camp. That's not necessarily a surprise for Tolleson, who led the team in relief appearances last year, but both Feliz and Scheppers had been mentioned as fringe candidates thus far. 


Twins' Michael Tonkin hoping to catch on with the club


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Twins pitcher Michael Tonkin is hoping to break camp on the 25-man roster, according to MLB.com.

Tonkin has been up and down the past two seasons, but is competing for a bullpen spot this spring. He has one option year left on his contract, but he's hoping he can break camp with the major-league club.

"It would be huge," Tonkin said. "It's a pretty important year for me. Just the business side of it, having just one option left. It's important to show them I can be a big leaguer. I feel like I'm ready."

Tonkin, 25, posted a 4.74 ERA over 19 innings last season. 


Black: Shawn Kelley 'brings talent' to Padres bullpen


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Padres pitcher Shawn Kelley was traded to San Diego this offseason, and manager Bud Black spoke Thursday about the talent and experience the lefty brings to the Padres bullpen, U-T San Diego reports.

"You've got some guys now who are starting to get some tenure, some experience, in (Dale) Thayer and (Nick) Vincent and (Kevin) Quackenbush," Black said. "Shawn brings a little bit of that service time, but more importantly, he brings talent. He's got a good arm, he's got a good, live fastball, he's got a good slider, he's pitched at the backend of bullpens, he's been around some good closers, he's been in good bullpens."

Kelley threw his slider 57.7 percent of the time last season, second among all qualified relievers, but has confidence throwing his pitches in any situation.

"I have no problem throwing both pitches (fastball and slider) of the plate, up and down to lefties," Kelley said. "I think with the advanced scouting reports and all the information we have, every lefty has at least one hole or two against a righty, and I feel like I have something I'm comfortable doing to match that. ... I'll do whatever I have to do to exploit a lefty's weakness."

Set to become a free agent after the season, Kelley went 3-6 with a 4.53 ERA and 67:20 K:BB ratio in 51 2/3 innings with the Yankees last season.


Mariners place Edgar Olmos back on the 40-man roster


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Mariners pitcher Edgar Olmos has been placed on the team's 40-man roster, according to MLB.com.

Olmos went over to the Rangers briefly, but was sent back to the Mariners after it was revealed he had a shoulder issue. Olmos will replace Ji-Man Choi on the 40-man roster.


Braves sign Peter Moylan to minor-league deal


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) The Braves have signed pitcher Peter Moylan to a minor-league deal, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Moylan had Tommy John surgery last season, but is hoping to be able to pitch in games in April or May. The 36-year-old posted a 6.46 ERA over 15 1/3 innings in 2013. 


White Sox's Jesse Crain close to facing hitters


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) White Sox pitcher Jesse Crain is getting close to facing hitters, according to MLB.com.

Crain is coming back from shoulder and biceps injuries, but will throw his third bullpen session on Friday. If that goes well he could throw live batting practice next week. 

"It's exciting and I've been feeling really well, but in the meantime, I'm not going to get too high until I get out there," Crain said. "When I face hitters, it will be a good test, because I'll be letting it go even more than I have. I'll wait to get too excited until I know exactly how I feel." 

Crain admitted he's taking things slow, but he's hoping to get into games this spring. "I'm not going to put any timetables on anything," he said. "But if I keep progressing like I am, there's a good chance I can hopefully get into a couple or few games."


Diamondbacks' Trevor Cahill shows off new mechanics


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Cahill showed off his new mechanics against the Rockies on Thursday. 

Cahill gave up two hits and one walk over two scoreless innings of work. The 27-year-old came into camp competing for a spot in the rotation, but has impressed thus far. In order to make the club, Cahill overhauled his mechanics. After his first start, he came away encouraged. 

"I could definitely tell there is some stuff," Cahill said. "Just where I have to set my sights on pitches has to change a little bit, because the ball doesn't run as much."

Cahill posted a 5.61 ERA over 110 2/3 innings last season. 


Tigers' Bruce Rondon to throw live batting practice on Friday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon will throw live batting practice on Friday, according to mlive.com.

Rondon is on schedule in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, according to manger Brad Ausmus. "His schedule was behind what the others were, so he's on schedule," Ausmus said. "We were going to take it slower with him regardless."

While he's on schedule, Rondon still has a lot of work to do. "First, he's got to get comfortable throwing to hitters," Ausmus said. "He's not quite there yet. Then, once we get him into games, we have to get him into back-to-back days. I would imagine that would be toward the end though."

The 24-year-old Rondon posted a 3.45 ERA over 28 2/3 innings in 2013. 


Indians SP Carlos Carrasco throws in 'B' game Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco threw two innings in a "B" game against the Reds on Thursday morning. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway was pleased with what he saw from the right-handed pitcher.

"He had a good tempo. He wasn't overdoing it," Callaway said, per MLB.com. "The thing that worried me coming into spring was we talked about intent and letting it go and pitching like you're out of the 'pen. Well, we don't want him doing that right now. We don't want him averaging 97 yet. He did a really good job of controlling his effort level."


Phillies' Sandberg: Elvis Araujo 'impressive' in two spring outings


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Thursday that pitcher Elvis Araujo has impressed in his two outings this spring, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

"He was a bright spot today once again," Sandberg said after Araujo pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning Thursday. "He just has that angle coming in with his height and he seems to pitch down in the zone. But that ball has a real nice angle to it, so he's been impressive the two times we've seen him."

Araujo made his spring debut in Sunday's exhibition loss to the University of Tampa, striking out the side in his one inning of action. He went 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA and 50:28 K:BB ratio in 50 innings with high Class A Carolina and Double-A Akron.


Cardinals' Carlos Martinez dominates in early start


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez dominated on Thursday against the Marlins.

Martinez tossed two perfect innings, striking out three batters in the process. The 23-year-old is considered a strong favorite for the fifth spot in the rotation, but must beat out Jaime Garcia and Marco Gonzales for the role. 

Following the start, Martinez said throwing strikes was his main goal. "I tried to focus on every pitch and be on the zone," Martinez said. "That's basically my main focus right now, to concentrate on the strike zone. That's how I want to work until the end."

Martinez posted a 4.03 ERA over 89 1/3 innings last season. 


Padres' Black: Joaquin Benoit to close, happy with options


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Padres manager Bud Black said Thursday that while Joaquin Benoit is set to be the team's closer, other relievers could see save chances as well, MLB.com reports.

"You want to get your closer in games because that means you have a lead … and if he's closing games that means you are winning," Black explained. "That means at some point, we have got to put Joaquin down [because], he can't pitch every game. That's what I want."

Black said he has five players available that he's comfortable using in the ninth inning: Benoit, Kevin Quackenbush, Shawn Kelley, Nick Vincent and Dale Thayer.

"Joaquin is projected to be our closer but if he's down then we have a number of options to choose from, guys who have closed major-league games and guys who have been successful at it," Black said. "We have five guys we feel comfortable giving the ball to. That's one of those situations we won't know until we get into the season to see how guys are throwing, how well they're executing their pitches, their confidence, their arms, their stuff … all that stuff adds into the daily decision as to who might close a game if Joaquin is down."

Benoit earned 11 saves in 12 chances with the Padres in 2014, posting a 1.49 ERA and 64:14 K:BB ratio in 54 1/3 innings.


Lance Berkman helps Astros' Gregerson on approach vs. LH batters


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Astros pitching coach Brent Strom had reliever Luke Gregerson meet with retired MLB slugger Lance Berkman to get a better idea on how left-handed batters view Gregerson's sinker, per MLB.com.

"Everything's always helpful when you get to talk to someone who has such success as a hitter," Gregerson said. "From a pitcher's standpoint, it's interesting to hear what gets in your head and what messes with them as a hitter and what keeps them off balance. Hopefully, it's something that I can transition to the mound against other guys down the road."

Berkman, who spent three days in Astros' camp as a guest instructor, liked hitting against sinkerball pitchers during his career, so he had a lot of wisdom to share with Gregerson, who is competing for the closer's role.

"You always hear lefties are low-ball hitters and most lefties don't want balls in on their hands or anything on the inside part of the plate," Berkman said. "Generally with sinkerballers, that's where they're trying to throw it, is down and out over the plate.

"Those are fun conversations to have, because then there's back and forth. It's a cat-and-mouse game all over again. That's the part of the game I really enjoyed."


Report: Details finalized in new deal between Brewers and K-Rod


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) The Brewers and pitcher Francisco Rodriguez have hashed out the necessary details on his new contract, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

However, Rodriguez has to pass a physical for the deal to become official. It was previously reported that Rodriguez agreed to a two-year, $13 million deal that includes a club option for the 2017 season. 

With the new contract in place, the process for Rodriguez to obtain a work visa from Venezuela has begun. 

Nicknamed K-Rod, the 33-year-old closer reunites with the team he played for from 2011-2013. 


Royals P Tim Collins (elbow) to have MRI on Thursday


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Royals pitcher Tim Collins is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his sore elbow Thursday, according to MLB.com

Collins left Wednesday's game against the Rangers after experiencing tightness in his elbow. Kansas City won the game 13-2. Though further testing will take place, Collins expressed optimism about the injury. 

"I think it's just spring training," Collins said. "Everybody goes through this. It's just some tightness. I don't know what the plan is yet with the trainers."


Orioles' Brian Matusz expected to throw one inning Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz, who received a cortisone injection in his right shoulder Monday due to an AC joint sprain, will work one inning during Thursday's split squad game against the Blue Jays, according to manager Buck Showalter. He is slated to start March 14 against the Rays.

Michael Kirkman reported normal soreness after 'pen session


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Rangers pitcher Michael Kirkman felt normal soreness from his bullpen session on Wednesday, according to the Star-Telegram. Kirkman, who has been working his way back from an impingement on his throwing shoulder, will need a few more bullpen sessions before he sees any game action this spring.

Yankees eye Esmil Rogers in role of long reliever/spot starter


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday he would like Esmil Rogers to fill the role David Phelps had in 2014 as a long reliever and spot starter, per ESPN.

"We think he’s got good stuff," Girardi said. "It’s learning how to use it and become more consistent. He’s got velocity, he’s got a good breaking ball, he's got a changeup. He has the ability to pitch. We feel he can do a lot of different things. He gives us a lot of flexibility, which is good. We like having that on our pitching staff, because you never know when something’s going to pop up." 


Phil Coke signs minor-league deal with Cubs


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) The Cubs have agreed to a minor-league deal with free agent reliever Phil Coke, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. He has received an invite to major-league camp.

Coke turned down at least one major-league offer for a chance to compete for a spot in the Cubs' bullpen, one source told FOX Sports.

“They just all made me feel very welcomed and I feel like I have a great opportunity to help this team get to next level," Coke said, per FOX Sports. “I am looking forward to challenge of competing for a spot and helping this team bring a championship to north side of Chicago.”

The 32-year-old Coke went 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA and one save in 62 relief outings for Detroit in 2014. He has spent his entire seven-year MLB career in the AL, pitching for the Yankees and Tigers.


Rangers' Alexander Claudio hoping to earn a role


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Rangers pitcher Alexander Claudio is hoping to be the team's lefty in the bullpen, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Claudio is one of three lefties in camp competing for the job. He performed well in his first taste of spring training, retiring two lefties during his inning of work. He allowed one hit, and struck out two batters. While Claudio's fastball barely registers on the radar gun, manager Jeff Banister still came away impressed.

"I like the secondary stuff," Banister said. "He's accepted the type of pitcher he is and is willing to be that guy. He’s really intriguing with the kind of deception he brings."

Claudio posted a 2.92 ERA over 12 1/3 innings last season.


 
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