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Red Sox looking at Brandon Workman as a reliever


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:12 am ET) The Red Sox are looking at pitcher Brandon Workman as a reliever this spring, according to the Boston Herald

Manager John Farrell seemed to think Workman would be more than adequate in the role. "His mentality is one that embraces those higher leverage type of innings," Farrell said. "In one-inning stints, his stuff plays up a little bit more with power, a little bit more swing-and-miss ability with his fastball."

Workman seems open to the change. "If John tells me that’s where I’m going to fit in, that’s where I’ll fit in," he said.

The 26-year-old Workman posted a 5.17 ERA over 87 innings last year. 


Twins' GM believes Kyle Gibson can get to the next level


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:44 am ET) Twins general manager Terry Ryan believes pitcher Kyle Gibson can get to the next level, according to the Star Tribune.

"The guy has too good of stuff not to be more consistent," Ryan said. "I don’t think it’s 'if' he makes another jump. He’s going to make a jump. It’s a matter of how high."

Gibson showed flashes of promise in 2014. While his overall numbers were just average, Gibson was solid during the first half of the year. He posted a 3.92 ERA over 101 innings to start the year, but struggled with a 5.17 ERA in the second half. Gibson said the reason for his success last year had to do with execution.

"The reason for the jump was my focus on executing pitches," Gibson said. "In 2013 I got caught up in all the information and the scouting reports instead of realizing this is the pitch I need to execute so let’s execute it."

Gibson said he's hoping to increase his strikeout rate this season, but wants to make sure he can still retain his strong ground ball rate. The 27-year-old posted a 4.47 ERA over 179 1/3 innings last season. 


Report: Red Sox, Phillies haven't made progress on Hamels' deal


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Red Sox and Phillies have not made progress on a deal for pitcher Cole Hamels, according to the Boston Herald. 

The Red Sox have been mentioned as a contender for Hamels in the past, but the club is hesitant to give up their top prospects for the pitcher. Though Phillies' special assistant to the general manager Charley Kerfeld was spotted at Red Sox facilities on Monday, two sources told the Herald that no progress has been made on a deal. 

The Phillies are said to covet either Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart, but Boston has refused to include either player in a deal.

Hamels, 31, posted a 2.46 ERA over 204 2/3 innings last year.


Rangers' Lewis, Gallardo to throw on Wednesday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Rangers will throw both Colby Lewis and Yovani Gallardo on Wednesday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Rangers will take on the Royals during the contest. It's unclear how long either player will throw during the outing. Both players are expected to open the year in the team's rotation. 


Astros' Brad Peacock to throw live batting practice in 8-10 days


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Astros pitcher Brad Peacock is hoping to throw live batting practice in 8-10 days, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

Peacock had offseason hip surgery, but has been able to take part in bullpen sessions. He's still a bit behind the other pitchers in camp, but the team is aiming for mid-March for his first batting practice. Manager A.J. Hinch said Peacock will need to throw a few of those before he's ready for game action.

The 27-year-old Peacock posted a 4.72 ERA over 131 2/3 innings last season. 


Astros' Hinch expecting Roberto Hernandez to report this week


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Monday he is expecting starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez to report for camp this week, per MLB.com. He has been away from camp while trying to obtain a work visa.

"I'm expecting him to get here this week," Hinch said. "Games start. He has a locker. He's assured me he's throwing bullpen and he's ready to go.

"No visa problems, it's just taking a long time. He's going to have no problem getting a visa. We signed him late and he has a lengthy process to go through. We're hopeful. We can't wait to see him."


White Sox's John Danks to start Thursday vs Dodgers


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) White Sox pitcher John Danks will start Thursday's Cactus League game against the Dodgers, according to the Chicago Sun Times

Last Friday, Danks said his shoulder, which was operated on in 2012, was feeling better. In 2014, Danks went 11-11 and posted a 4.74 ERA and a 129:74 K:BB ratio in 193 2/3 innings pitched. 


White Sox P Jose Quintana set to start Wednesday


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The White Sox have named pitcher Jose Quintana their starter for Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Dodgers, according to the Chicago Sun Times

Brad Penny, Tyler Danish, Nolan Sanburn and Zach Putnam are also slated to pitch in Wednesday's game. In 2014, Quintana went 9-11 and posted a 3.32 ERA. 


Rays' Archer aims to refine changeup during spring training


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer is working this spring to refine his changeup and improve against the running game, per MLB.com.

"Last year at the end of spring training, I felt completely comfortable throwing my changeup," Archer said. "But when there are runners on base and it was a changeup situation, I didn't feel comfortable going to that because my other two pitches are my bread and butter.

"Hopefully I can get to the point where I can have my three pitches. Throw my slider less and my changeup more. That makes my slider better because they see it less frequently."

Rays manager Kevin Cash is all for Archer working on his changeup.

"It can be another weapon," Cash said. "He's got such a great feel with the other two, I don't think him working on a changeup or focusing on it a little bit more during spring training is going to hurt anything."


Orioles' Showalter indicates Gonzalez might be ready for 200 innings


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Orioles manager Buck Showalter said starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is in good shape at the start of spring training, per MASNsports.com.

"I don't know if you all tapped on him, but he's like a rock," Showalter said. "He's got a goal of pitching 200 innings this year because that's been the one kind of bugaboo on him. Miggy's not the type of guy to talk about this, but his whole offseason he spent a lot of time with (vice president of baseball operations) Brady (Anderson). I hit him the other day and it was like hitting a rock. His body fat is actually down and his weight's up.

"The wear and tear, he's always had a couple spots where he's needed a DL period or miss a start. He's very upfront. If you know Miggy's personality, it's not like he's shirking a responsibility. If we can stay away from that, he could go to another level physically. He's done everything he can to be there for us every fifth day.

"He was pretty good last year, but the one thing he's missing is that durability."


Orioles P Bud Norris gunning for 200 innings in 2015


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Orioles pitcher Bud Norris has set a goal of pitching 200 innings for the first time in his career, according to MLB.com. 

Monday marked Norris' 30th birthday and he's yet to reach that benchmark in his career. A year ago, Norris notched 165 1/3 innings a year ago. 

"I felt I was in the best shape of my life last year, and I can say the same thing this year," Norris said. "I feel a little bit better, actually. Going out there consistently every five days and putting up innings is really what it's all about."


Mariners P Jordan Pries impresses manager Lloyd McClendon


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Though Mariners pitcher Jordan Pries isn't expected to break with the club out of camp, manager Lloyd McClendon had some positive things to say about his start to spring training

“I’ve been impressed,” McClendon said, via The News Tribune. “He’s been a strike-thrower. He shows a lot of poise. I’m excited about him being at the Triple-A level.”

Pries is expected to head to Triple-A Tacoma when spring training is over. In the minors a year ago, Pries went 9-8 and posted a 4.06 ERA.




Mariners P Hisashi Iwakuma hits OF Gabriel Guerrero in batting practice


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was forced to throw a modified batting practice since rain canceled a scheduled intrasquad scrimmage. Iwakuma got his work in by throwing to batters that were not allowed to swing since they were in a confined area.

However, Iwakuma didn't live up to his end of the bargain as he accidentally hit outfielder Gabriel Guerrero with a pitch during the session

“It was a split-finger [fastball] that just kind of slipped out of my finger,” Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki, via The News Tribune. “I felt kind of bad for [Guerrero].”

Iwakuma's first scheduled start of spring training is slated for this Saturday against the Diamondbacks. 


Mariners' James Paxton on track to throw bullpen session Friday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton (forearm) said Monday he feels great and ready to go after playing catch, per MLB.com. The plan is for Paxton to play catch again Tuesday and throw a bullpen Friday.

Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka throws live BP session Monday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka threw his first live batting practice session Monday morning and showed no signs of struggle or discomfort, The Journal News reports.

He missed significant time in 2014 due to a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament but was able to make two starts in September. He finished the season with a 13-5 record, 2.77 ERA and 141:21 K:BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings.

"As for the first time, I think it went well," Tanaka said through an interpreter, per the Associated Press. "I tried not to go too hard today. The reason is, it's natural once you get on the mound and once you're facing batters you want to go hard. That's what I was thinking on the mound.

"I understand that everybody's worried about the elbow and I understand too that I have to be cautious about it as well, but so far it's been good."


Rangers SP Derek Holland (shoulder) plans to throw Monday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland, who was scratched from pitching in Sunday's intrasquad game due to shoulder soreness, plans to throw Monday, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"Trust me, I feel very good. I'm fine," he said.

General manager Jon Daniels said Monday that Holland has "improved," and he could pitch in a spring game this weekend or early next week.


Twins send five home due to illness before Monday workouts


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe (illness) was back at workouts Monday, but the Twins sent five other players home due to illness before Monday workouts began, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Pitcher Trevor May and outfielders Byron Buxton and Jordan Schafer missed a second straight day of workouts, while catcher Kurt Suzuki and outfielder Oswaldo Arcia also had to miss the Monday session.

The Twins begin exhibition season Wednesday with a game against the University of Minnesota.


McClendon: Paxton to long toss from 120 feet Mon., throw off mound Tues.


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said the tentative plan for starting pitcher James Paxton (forearm) is to long toss from 120 feet Monday and throw off a mound Tuesday.

Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch admits to pressing too hard last spring


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch is still pushing to earn a spot on the team's starting rotation this spring, but he knows he pushed a bit too hard last year, reports the Dallas Morning News.

"I was just trying to do a little too much," said Tepesch, who threw a scoreless inning on 14 pitches in Sunday's intrasquad game. "I was trying to make perfect pitches and staying who I am. Getting sent down allowed me to look at what made me successful and try to own those types of things. It was beneficial. I also now know that I can only control what I do. If I stay focused on that, pressure takes care of itself."


Indians P Gavin Floyd comes out of live BP session pain free


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Following his first live batting practice of spring training, Indians pitcher Gavin Floyd came away without any pain the elbow he broke last season.

With the Braves in 2014, Floyd fractured his elbow in a game against the Nationals on June 19. The injury required surgery, which ended his season. Sunday morning's batting practice marked the first time he'd thrown to a batter since that game. 

"It's just another step," Floyd said via MLB.com. "It's the first time I had a significant bullpen, cooled down for a little bit and then got back out there. I felt really good. I've just got to continue to make progress and build up strength. Usually, that's just by doing it over and over again, and using spring to do that."


Orioles' Jason Garcia turns heads in spring training debut Sunday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Orioles pitcher Jason Garcia is battling to make the major-league roster this spring. If Sunday was any indication, he's got a good chance.

"He got a couple of our guys from the bench up to the top step," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Garcia threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts in the team's intrasquad scrimmage Sunday.

"It felt good. It's what you work for, throwing against those guys," Garcia said, who has never pitched above the Triple-A level. "Definitely it was a thrill. Pretty nervous out there, but it was awesome."


Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker to start Cactus League opener


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker will be given the nod for Seattle when the team makes the Cactus League debut Wednesday against the Padres, reports MLB.com.

Walker is battling with Roenis Elias for the final spot in the Mariners' rotation when the season begins. Walker admits to being a little banged up early last season.

"I wasn't available to do anything -- I wasn't even playing catch [at this time last year]," Walker said before the Mariners' workout Sunday morning. "So to be able to start a game in spring and actually have a Spring Training feels good."

Walker posted a 2-3 record with a 2.61 ERA in 38 innings in 2014 and hopes he can make an impression with his start Wednesday.

"It's a game, and it's a competition," Walker said. "I'm just going to go out there and do the best that I can. So if that means I have to go out there and go full speed, then I will."


Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish: I never quit on the team in 2014


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish squarely battled off the notion he quit on the team last season and he did so in English for the first time since joining the club in 2012, reports the Dallas Morning News.

"I never quit on the team," Darvish said. "I love this team. That is not true."

Darvish was diagnosed with elbow inflammation early in August last year and did not pitch again during the season. He felt that some of the problem may have been because of the language barrier.

"I know that when people come to Japan and they don't speak Japanese, we feel bad," he said Sunday. "I have to look at it the same way since I'm here. If I can speak English more and we can communicate better, it's good for all of us."


White Sox's Chris Sale given 'slim chance' to pitch Opening Day


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) White Sox manager Robin Ventura was not optimistic pitcher Chris Sale would be ready to pitch by Opening Day, reports ESPN.com.

“He was slated to go for Opening Day and there is a slim chance that he would be able to do that," Ventura said. "I would expect it not to be that way, but being that it's his ankle, we can treat that. It's not as though it’s his elbow where we would really be cautious."

Sale is recovering from a broken foot and if he is not ready by opening day, pitching coach Don Cooper said Brad Penny, Scott Carroll, Frankie Montas or Chris Beck would be given a chance to replace Sale.

"I think all of the guys that I've mentioned have a shot at making the rotation if [Sale] is not ready to go," Cooper said. "And then we'll make some adjustments to the schedule. Maybe it's me, but it feels like we've dealt with stuff like this before. That's OK, it is what it is. It sucks and I wish it didn't happen, but there are a lot of things people wish didn't happen. This is one with Chris and we'll deal with it."


Tigers' Ausmus impressed with Justin Verlander's live session


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) After watching pitcher Justin Verlander pitch during a live batting practice session Sunday, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he's never seen Verlander throw better, reports MLB.com.

"That's the best I've seen [Verlander throw] off the mound, stuff-wise since I got this job," Ausmus said.


 
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