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J.J. Hardy exits spring game after collision with Jonathan Schoop


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:17 pm ET) Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy suffered a shoulder injury during a second-inning collision with second baseman Jonathan Schoop on Friday, according to MLB.com. Manager Buck Showalter removed him from the game and will evaluate him on Saturday.

"I was kind of falling, diving at the same time just to knock that ball down and keep it in the infield and then I think Schoopy was doing the same thing," Hardy said. "We kind of collided. It wasn't bad. My glasses came down, my hat, all that stuff, but nothing was ... It was no big deal."


Astros' Grossman, Villar due back in spring lineup Saturday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:13 pm ET) Astros outfielder Robbie Grossman (quadriceps) and infielder/outfielder Jonathan Villar (ankle) are expected back in the spring lineup Saturday, manager A.J. Hinch said Friday. Both players were involved in an outfield collision Wednesday. Both outfielders were involved in an outfield collision on Wednesday.

Rays reassign Belisario, Bellatti, Stowell, Velez to minors


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) The Rays reassigned right-hander Ronald Belisario, right-hander Andrew Bellatti, right-hander Bryce Stowell and infielder Eugenio Velez to minor-league camp, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Twins IF Eduardo Escobar hits homer in loss to Red Sox


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar hits a homerun in the team's 5-4 loss to the Red Sox.

The homer was Escobar's third this spring. The 26-year-old is batting .333, adding 13 RBI. Escobar has seen time at shortstop, second base and third base over his career.


Astros' Jonathan Villar, Robbie Grossman remains uncertain Friday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Though he told reporters that his sprained ankle has gotten better, Astros outfielder Jonathan Villar was held out of workouts on Thursday as a precaution, according to MLB.com. Meanwhile, Robbie Grossman (quadriceps contusion) could return to action as early as Friday.

Both outfielders were involved in an outfield collision on Wednesday. Villar took the legs out from under Grossman while making a sliding catch in the fourth inning against the Phillies. 

Houston will face the Marlins on Friday.


Indians' Lindor among players assigned to minors Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) The Indians announced Monday they optioned pitcher C.C. Lee to Triple-A Columbus. They also reassigned seven players to minor-league camp, including top prospect Francisco Lindor.

Also sent to minor-league camp were infielder Audy Ciriaco, outfielder Destin Hood, pitcher Dustin Molleken, catcher Adam Moore, pitcher Bryan Price and pitcher Michael Roth.


Yankees' Mark Teixeira: Didi Gregorius is 'as good a SS as I've seen'


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has big shoes to fill replacing Derek Jeter, but so far he's earned nothing but praise from his New York teammates this spring.

"Didi is unbelievable, as good a shortstop as I've seen," first baseman Mark Teixeira said, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. "And I'm not overexaggerating."

Teixeira was Alex Rodriguez's teammate back 2003 with the Rangers, when Rodriguez was highly touted for his defensive skillset at shortstop. When Rosenthal relayed Teixeira's comments to Rodriguez, he said: "He has a rare combination of speed and explosiveness. But what you don't see is an incredibly strong arm that is so accurate. That combination is lethal," Rodriguez said.

"[Gregorius] has made plays from the hole, from his back foot, throwing the ball 90 mph across the diamond from his back foot," Rodriguez said. "You don't see that. It also makes it a lot easier for your third baseman to play third base."

Still, manager Joe Girardi doesn't plan on changing the way his club uses defensive shifts based on Gregorius' range.

"We'll still shift. We'll still go according to the charts," Girardi said.

Gregorius, 25, was acquired from the Diamondbacks in a three-team trade this offseason. He hit .226 with six home runs and 27 RBI in 270 plate appearances in 2014. He has a .680 OPS in 724 career plate appearances, including a .490 OPS against left-handed pitching.


Tigers' Ausmus not concerned about SS Jose Iglesias


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias is struggling at the plate with a batting average of .091 this spring. Manager Brad Ausmus is not worried about the infielder.

"He hasn't swung the bat like his numbers. He's swung the bat much better," Ausmus said. "I'm not overly concerned. I'm not concerned at all, actually."

 Ausmus attributed his lack of success at the plate to bad luck.

"He's struck out, what, twice in 30 at-bats?" Ausmus said. "Somewhere there's bad luck involved. If you're putting the ball in play that much and you're not getting hits, there's a little bit of bad luck involved. He's not a .100 hitter."

After singling on Wednesday, Iglesias broke a string of 23 at-bats without a hit. He is now 3 for 33 during the spring.


Report: Mariners SS Chris Taylor taking ground balls


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Mariners shortstop Chris Taylor is taking groundballs for the first time since suffering a broken right wrist, reports the Tacoma News Tribune. He has been out of the lineup since March 13th.The same report states that Taylor will have his wrist reevaluated in a week.

The 24-year-old was batting .421 in spring training prior to the injury.


Rays' rotation hopeful Matt Andriese goes five strong in start


(3/25/2015) Competing for a spot in the Rays' starting rotation, Matt Andriese threw 75 pitches over five innings Wednesday against the Twins, allowing no earned runs, three hits, six strikeouts and one walk.

Andriese retired his first six batters before allowing a double to Twins third basemen Eduardo Nunez.

"I thought I commanded the strike zone with the sinker today," Andriese said. "Just throwing all of my pitches for strikes. The cutter was good on both sides of the plate and the sinker as well."

Andriese's numbers for the spring include a 1.10 ERA, 10 strikeouts and six walks in 16 1/3 innings.


White Sox send Brantly, Hawkins, Diaz to minor leagues


(3/25/2015) The White Sox have optioned catcher Rob Brantly to their Triple-A team in Charlotte and have reassigned outfielder Courtney Hawkins and infielder Juan Diaz to their minor league camp, reports MLB.com

In 18 at-bats this spring, Brantley hit .167 with one home run and three RBI.

Hawkins hit .412 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 34 at-bats while Diaz hit .250 in 16 at-bats.

Astros' Villar, Grossman collide in outfield, leave game as precaution


(3/25/2015) Astros outfielders Robbie Grossman (quadriceps contusion) and Jonathan Villar (ankle sprain) left Wednesday's game against the Phillies after colliding into each other in the fourth inning.

The injuries are not considered serious as the player removals were precautionary.

Villar, starting in center field, took the legs out from under Grossman while making a sliding catch. 

"I just banged my knee against him," Grossman said.

Villar is hitting .281 with eight RBI this spring while seeing time at shortstop, second base, third base and centerfield. 

Grossman is hitting .389 with one homer and two doubles.


Cashman: Jose Pirela won't be on Yankees' Opening Day roster


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday infielder Jose Pirela wasn't going to make the Opening Day roster, despite a productive spring, per NJ.com. Pirela is sidelined after colliding with the outfield wall Sunday, but even if he was healthy, Cashman said it wouldn't have mattered.

Pirela is batting .370 (10 for 27) with two triples, three doubles, five RBI, three walks, four runs and six strikeouts in 15 spring games.


Rays' Nick Franklin could miss 4-8 weeks due to oblique injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash said infielder Nick Franklin is in between the gray area of 4-6 weeks and 6-8 weeks of recovery and rehab for his oblique injury, per The Tampa Tribune.

Franklin, who will begin the season on the disabled list, is expected to platoon at second base with Logan Forsythe and back up Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop when healthy.


Rays' Forsythe to get majority of starts at 2B with Franklin sidelined


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash said Wednesday infielder Logan Forsythe will get the majority of playing time at second base to open the season with Nick Franklin sidelined due to an oblique injury, per the Tampa Bay Times.

The two infielders are expected to platoon at second base when Franklin is healthy.

The 28-year-old Forysthe has a career .235/.303/.343/.646 slash line. He played in a career-high 110 games in 2014.

"I think Logan's had a good spring," Cash said, per MLB.com. "Logan's a good defender. Plays second base really well.

"I think we're all very happy about the way his spring has gone. Him and [Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton] have had a lot of discussions on some adjustments and they seem to have paid off. He's barreled a lot of balls this spring."


Astros' Jonathan Villar increasing value by learning new positions


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Jonathan Villar is in good position to make the Astros roster, but if he wants to play, he needed to become more versatile. 

So the shortstop has been seeing work at second base, third base and center field. 

He's been terrific this camp," manager A.J. Hinch said, per MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. "I'm very proud of his attention to detail. I've been very proud of his openness to move around the field. It's not easy to do for a young player that's been primarily a shortstop his entire career. It's nice to see him hungry enough to be open to the instruction."

Villar is hitting .281 with eight RBI and two stolen bases this spring. Just as important as is production is the work he's putting in to learn three new spots. 

"I've played him as much as you could possibly play in Spring Training, and he's shown up every day with a good attitude," Hinch said. "He's really taken ownership of his career. I don't know if he wasn't doing that before. He can help us win by doing something every day."


Yankees' Pirela on outfield collision: Nobody wants to go through that


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Yankees utility man Jose Pirela revealed he was scared when he hit the warning track floor following his outfield-wall collision on Sunday, according to NJ.com.

"Yes, a little," he said. "I tried to relax and stay positive that everything was going to be alright."

Pirela was stretchered off the field with a concussion, and was discharged from the hospital Sunday night after an MRI and a CT scan camp back normal. He said he no longer feels any dizziness on Tuesday, but is still experiencing soreness in his neck and in his back from Sunday's collision. Manager Joe Girardi told the paper he still has some hurdles to pass before he is cleared for game action.

"Nobody wants to go through something like this," Pirela said. "I'm going to keep working and hopefully everything comes out alright."


Red Sox to trim down loaded outfield soon


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) The Red Sox are expected to trim down its crowded outfield soon, with less than two weeks before Opening Day, according to MLB.com on Tuesday.

"We have to take these remaining days in camp here and determine what's best for us as an organization," said Farrell. "I'm not suggesting there's player movement anywhere, but there's only going to be three [starting] spots."

At this point, it appears as if Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts have left and center field locked up, respectively. Daniel Nava, Shane Victorino, Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig are all in the mix for the final spots.

"And there's six guys -- well, there will be five guys in that group to handle those three spots, with two guys coming off the bench. What that means for the final Opening Day roster remains to be seen.

"We're just trying to get more exposure to Rusney in right field; we need to get a better gauge on Vic's durability, if we can, over the coming days. We acknowledged from the first day in camp, the outfield, there's going to be a lot of focus on our outfield.

"That pretty much hasn't changed, but what we've seen are some really encouraging things. And that's how quickly Rusney's come back and shown decent timing at the plate [and] what Mookie's done in center field speaks for itself."


Rays manager Cash: Nick Franklin 'won't be ready' for opener


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash revealed that infielder Nick Franklin "will not be ready for Opening Day," according to the Tampa Bay Times. Franklin was scratched from the lineup after suffering a strained oblique on the last swing of batting practice Monday.  

Rangers option Alberto; re-assign Alex Gonzalez, Ross Wolf


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) The Rangers optioned shortstop Hanser Alberto and re-assigned pitchers Alex Gonzalez and Ross Wolf to minor-league camp Tuesday.

Alberto went 7 for 30 with two steals in 13 games this spring. Gonzalez, who was thought to be in the mix for a rotation spot, posted a 3.95 ERA and 15:6 K:BB ratio in 13 2/3 innings. Wolf allowed five earned runs in 8 2/3 innings.


White Sox's Sanchez, Johnson continue to compete for starting role


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Monday he intends to let the competition for the starting job at second base play out the rest of the spring. Although, Ventura added he's been impressed with Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez.

“Both of those guys come to play,” Ventura said, per the Chicago Tribune. “When you’re young and in a competitive position battle like this, it’s good not only for them but for everybody else to see it.”

Johnson and Sanchez have both been doing well offensively. Johnson is batting .455 with a .514 on-base percentage, .636 slugging percentage and 1.150 OPS in 13 spring games, while Sanchez is batting .346 with a .414 on-base percentage.

While Johnson is putting up big numbers offensively, there are still some questions as to whether he is ready defensively. Johnson committed an error and misplayed another hit during Sunday's spring game against the Brewers.

“Even some of the best defensive players have those days, and you have to put it behind you (and) come out here in the morning and maybe figure out what happened,” Ventura said. “The game’s a little bit faster up here, and he’s getting a taste of that on occasion.”


A.J. Achter among six Twins players cut on Tuesday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) The Twins announced six roster moves on Tuesday, according to the MLB.com. The club optioned right-hander A.J. Achter to Triple-A Rochester, and reassigned catcher Tyler Grimes, infielders James Beresford and Jose Martinez, and outfielders Eric Farris and Danny Ortiz down to minor-league camp.

Rangers expecting big season from shortstop Elvis Andrus


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) The Rangers are invested in shortstop Elvis Andrus. The veteran is signed through 2022 and after the struggles of last year, general manager Jon Daniels wants to see him move forward, reports MLB.com.

"We invested in him because we thought he was arrow-up. We've been encouraged this winter and this spring by the feeling that he's kind of recommitted, after last year being below his standards.

"We don't see why he can't be one of the best defensive players and baserunners in the game. He controls the bat, he can get on base, do some different things. I don't expect him to hit for power, but I think he can be an impactful player. He's a winning player."

Andrus, a defensive-minded player, was told by manager Jeff Bannister he should be able to win a Gold Glove.

"I'm working on it," Andrus said. "It's easy to say. But you have to go out there and be consistent, especially on routine ground balls. That's one of the things I'm working on right now. I know that if I can make that happen, I would have a chance to win."


Mariners' Willie Bloomquist called on to provide depth at short


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Mariners veteran infielder Willie Bloomquist is doing it all for Seattle this spring. Monday, he was given his first start at shortstop after playing second and first most of camp. For Bloomquist, who is coming off of microfracture knee surgery in the offseason, it was a chance to loosen up a bit, reports MLB.com.

"It is an important step," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "I think his legs are under him a little more now and he's feeling a lot better. "He booted the one ball, but it wasn't because of lack of mobility. He just booted it. He looked OK."

Bloomquist is expected to back up Brad Miller after Chris Taylor suffered a broken bone in his wrist.


Twins' Eduardo Escobar gets work in the outfield Monday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/23/2015) Twins utility man Eduardo Escobar, who has been said to be pushing Danny Santana for the starting shortstop role, got some extra work in the outfield Monday.

Escobar started the game at third base but was moved to the outfield in the fifth inning. Minnesota likes the options Escobar gives them, reports MLB.com.

"It's a good thing for us," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We like versatility. [Eduardo] Nunez has also been out there, and now Escobar is out there. Versatility is important when you carry 12 pitchers because you don't have much of a bench."


 
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