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Rangers pitcher Nick Tepesch admits to pressing too hard last spring


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:41 am ET) 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."


Rockies' Jhoulys Chacin faces hitters for first time Saturday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin is feeling good about his health so far in camp. Good enough, in fact, that the 27-year-old faced hitters Saturday for the first time this spring.

Sunday, Chacin said he was without pain.

"Today I feel normal -- not like before," Chacin said. "I threw everything and felt good. I need to get into games to really feel back to normal, like it did two years ago [14-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts]. I know I've got a long way to go. I don't know what my velocity was, but it'll come up a little."

Chacin injured his rotator cuff in the middle of last season, forcing him out of action for nearly half the season.


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."


Giants' Tim Lincecum to 'piggyback' starter this week


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Giants manager Bruce Bochy said pitcher Tim Lincecum will see a relief appearance early this week, according to MLB.com

Lincecum is generating rave reviews for his performance early on in spring training. However, he won't be getting a start this week. Bochy said Lincecum will "piggyback" either Madison Bumgarner (Tuesday), Jake Peavy (Wednesday), Ryan Vogelsong (Thursday) or Yusmeiro Petit (Friday) this week. 

This means Lincecum will come in and get a starter's workload in relief. 


Giants' Jake Peavy to start Wednesday for Giants


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Following Madison Bumgarner's exhibition start on Tuesday, the Giants will go with Jake Peavy to start Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Athletics, manager Bruce Bochy announced via MLB.com

Ryan Vogelsong will pitch Thursday against the Cubs and Yusmeiro Petit will go Friday against the Rangers. 


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."


Nationals' Max Scherzer faces live hitters for first time this spring


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) New Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer is already looking like the ace of the staff. Scherzer faced live batters for the first time Sunday since signing with the club.

"It felt great. It has been a few months since I've been out there facing hitters," Scherzer said. "It actually seemed like I knew what I was doing. It was a good feeling."

One of the hitters who faced him, Dan Butler, said his pitches were moving well around the strike zone.

"He threw his fastball down," said Butler, who hit a weak ground ball on the second-base side of the diamond. "It looked like he was throwing from both sides of the plate. ... It looked like the breaking ball was sharp. As he got settled in with the hitters in there, the fastball was coming out. He was doing a good job of it."


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."


Phillies' Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez pushing for starting role in 2015


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Phillies pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is pushing for a spot in the starting rotation in 2015. He and David Buchanan look to be fighting for the final spot in Philadelphia's rotation, reports MLB.com.

"I've always been a starter," Gonzalez said through a translator Sunday. "That's important. I'm used to that. I've always been one."

Gonzalez appeared in six games in 2014, posting an 0-1 mark with a 6.75 ERA in 5 1/3 innings.

"It didn't go as well as I wanted last year," Gonzalez said. "This year I'm much better prepared, and much more mentally focused on what I have to do. The setbacks last season … I thought I was physically ready and I'd have a setback. If it wasn't one thing it was another. This year, all that stuff is out of the way."


Wandy Rodriguez will start spring training opener for Braves


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Braves pitcher Wandy Rodriguez is scheduled to start the team's first spring training game, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rodriguez is competing for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.


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.


Dodgers scratch Mike Bolsinger from Sunday's throwing session


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Citing leg tightness, the Dodgers shut pitcher Mike Bolsinger down during his live batting practice session Sunday, reports ESPN Los Angeles.

Despite being scratched, the injury does not appear to be serious and he'll be reevaluated Monday.


Twins scratch Alex Meyer from Wednesday's start


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Twins pitcher Alex Meyer is no longer scheduled to start Wednesday's scrimmage against the University of Minnesota, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Meyer is reportedly dealing with an illness.

Brewers' Johnson, Wang report no issues after bullpen sessions


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Brewers pitchers Hobbs Johnson and Wei-Chung Wang reported no issues after throwing bullpen sessions Sunday, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Johnson has been dealing with a quad issue, while Wang recently had some teeth extracted from his mouth.


Indians' Corey Kulber isn't worried about contract extension


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) With the Indians considering giving pitcher Corey Kluber a contract extension, Kluber said the only thing on his mind is performing well, reports Newsradio WTAM 1100.

Astros leaning toward Collin McHugh to open spring training


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) The Astros are leaning toward pitcher Collin McHugh as their starter for the opening of spring training, reports The Houston Chronicle.

"It's trending toward Collin McHugh starting that first game and getting our pitching lined up," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Everybody should pitch in the next four or five games, so [pitching coach Brent Strom] and I are putting that list together. He's got another live BP, so that's why I hesitate to put it in pen. But right now we're planning on seeing him early."

However, Hinch indicated the starter for Opening Day has not been determined.

"Truthfully, I mean, that and even who throws game one of the regular season — game one of the regular season's a little more kind of like a nod to more what you did in the past year, usually," he said. "But, yeah, all five of us are going to get a chance somewhere through the rotation. It's just where we fall."


Rays move pitcher Mike Montgomery to bullpen


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) The Rays moved pitcher Mike Montgomery to the bullpen, reports The Tampa Tribune.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said the move will allow Montgomery to have a bigger impact on the team and Montgomery did not object to the move.

"As a player, I want to make myself as valuable as I can," he said.


Yankees to start Warren, Eovaldi, Rogers during first three games


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) The Yankees will open the first three games of spring training with pitchers Adam Warren, Nathan Eovaldi and Esmil Rogers as their starting pitchers, reports Newsday. All three are expected to compete for a fifth or sixth starting rotation spot.

Giants' Matt Cain completes first live batting practice session


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Giants pitcher Matt Cain completed his first live batting practice session Sunday and said it felt normal, reports MLB.com.

"I felt like I was pitching today," he said.

Cain is recovering from elbow and ankle surgery, which ended his 2014 season. He is expected to make his spring debut around March 10 to March 14.


Reds' Paul Maholm, Jason Marquis competing for rotation spot


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) If pitcher Homer Bailey is not on the Opening Day roster, Reds manager Bryan Price indicated his spot in the rotation could go to Paul Maholm or Jason Marquis, reports Cincinnati.com.

"An example would be if Homer is not able to go. If we're healthy, that means Cueto and Leake and three spots in the rotation – two that we think could potentially be filled by young pitchers in Cingrani and DeSclafani," Price said. "That to me suggests that a veteran guy in that other spot would be fairly important, someone who knows how to manage a game and has pitched in the league and has had success in the league. I think that's why guys like Jason and Paul are here."


Brewers' Jimmy Nelson throw live batting practice Sunday


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson threw live batting practice Sunday and reported no issues, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Nelson has been suffering from a hamstring injury, which pushed back his previous batting practice session.


Mets not considering Matt Harvey for Opening Day


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Mets manager Terry Collins said the team is considering every pitcher a candidate to start Opening Day, except for Matt Harvey, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Harvey is working his way back from elbow surgery in October 2013 and has begun throwing live batting practice.


Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda feeling good after bullpen session


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda threw a bullpen session and live batting practice Sunday and said he felt no issues, reports NJ.com.

"I feel pretty good, everything is good," Pineda said. "My fastball's coming out, my other pitches have good [movement.]"


 
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