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Brewers GM confident Jean Segura will bounce back


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:28 pm ET) Brewers general manager Doug Melvin expressed confidence Saturday that shortstop Jean Segura will bounce back after a subpar 2014 season, the Journal Sentinel reports.

"I'm pretty confident he's going to bounce back," Melvin said. "He had a very good September. He had a lot of stuff going on last year. But everybody says he's a much happier person and everything. He's a good, athletic player that we need."

After delivering a .294 average, smacking 12 home runs and stealing 44 bases in 2013, Segura hit just .246/.289/.326 with five home runs, 31 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 513 at-bats in 2014.


Yankees' Brendan Ryan (back) making progress


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:57 pm ET) Yankees infielder Brendan Ryan is making progress in his recovery from a strained back muscle, he told MLB.com Saturday.

"It's no big deal," Ryan said. "I've had a lot more serious issues in my back before. I wasn't too concerned. It being February, let's just make sure."

Ryan is taking treatment and expects to resume baseball activities next week.

"I don't know what they're going to allow me to do," Ryan said. "If not batting practice, maybe some baseball stuff. I imagine they might baby-step me into it. We always want to jump right back into it. I'd imagine some dry swings or hit off the tee. We'll see.

"I don't want to speak for them. That's how I get in trouble."


Rockies' Tulowitzki, Gonzalez to start running bases next week


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:32 pm ET) Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez are slated to start running the bases next week, MLB.com reports.

The team is taking it slow with both players after they lost a significant part of the 2014 season to injuries after undergoing surgeries in August. Neither player will see time in Wednesday's Cactus League opener.

"There are still some things they need to do on the field before they're even ready to go into a game -- running bases, specifically," manager Walt Weiss said Saturday. "Last year, we'd have been very happy with the way they're at right now when we thought about their recovery and everything they had to go through. With where they are now, we're very encouraged by it."


Yankees' Cashman to Didi Gregorius: Don't try to be Derek Jeter


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:13 pm ET) Yankees general manager Brian Cashman isn't concerned about Didi Gregorius replacing Derek Jeter heading into the 2015 year, reports the New York Daily News.

"I personally can't worry about a shadow of Derek's somehow affecting the next guy," Cashman said. "All you can do is tell the next guy, 'You're not Derek, so don't even waste your time trying to be. Just be the best you can be.’ It’s going to fall short of anything Derek did, because he’s one of the greatest players of all-time."

The 25-year-old hit .226 with six home runs and 27 RBI in 270 plate appearances in 2014 and Cashman likes what's he's seeing.

"He's a developing guy," Cashman said. "He's definitely not a finished product. He's got a big ceiling. We'll see if we can together reach that ceiling."


Reds' Price: No competition between Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11:11 am ET) Reds manager Bryan Price said Saturday there is no competition at shortstop between Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez, reports the Cincinnati Inquirer.

Cozart was the starting shortstop for the team most of last season, hitting .221 with four home runs and 38 RBI in 506 plate appearances. While Suarez hit .242 with four home runs and 23 RBI in 244 plate appearances. 


Jose Reyes on Mets' Ruben Tejada: 'Something is wrong'


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) When asked about former Mets teammate Ruben Tejada, Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes shook his head and said "something is wrong," per Newsday.

Reyes revealed that during his final season with the Mets he tried to pass the torch to Tejada to become his replacement. Reyes landed in Miami in the offseason, and Tejada was destined to be his permanent replacement. Now entering spring training, Wilmer Flores is viewed as the favorite to win the starting job at shortstop for the Mets.

"Every time I talk to him I try to give him some advice," Reyes said. "What can I do? I try to push him to do stuff. I don't know if he gets it or not...He had the opportunity to be the everyday shortstop for a long time there in New York. You have to work, man. When you're younger, you think you have everything there for you. But if you do something wrong, it's going to go away. Quick.

"When I was there, I always give a lot of advice to him. We were always together. My last year there, every time I talk to him: 'This is going to be your position for a long time. Don't let it go away.' See what happened now? It's 2015 and he doesn't have a position to play. When they talk about who is going to play every day, they don't talk about Tejada. They talk about Flores."


Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista grateful to have starting job


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista is ready for the challenge of entering the season as a starter for the first time in his career, per MLB.com.

"I'm blessed that they gave me the opportunity and that gave me more confidence, being an everyday player," he said.

Monitoring Amarista's progress will be one thing Padres general manager A.J. Preller will watch closely this spring.

"I think, in general, we're really more anxious just to see how the spring training goes for the infield, in the middle of the infield, with Alexi and Clint Barmes, we're hoping we're covered," Preller said.


Royals' Yost: We're going to give Raul Mondesi a 'good look' in camp


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters he's going to give shortstop prospect Raul Mondesi a "good look" during spring training, per MLB.com.

"We are just here to give him a good look, let him play and get some experience and let him enjoy big league Spring Training," Yost said. "Everything jumps out. He's that kind of guy. He just stands out a little bit. He's going to be a special player."

Mondesi, the son of Raul Mondesi Sr. and the youngest player in camp at 19, is the top prospect in the organization, after signing for $2 million as an international free agent in 2011, according to MLB.com. He hit .211/.256/.354 over 435 at-bats in the Carolina League in 2014. He could be in line for a Double-A promotion in 2015.


Tigers SS Jose Iglesias does some on-field work Friday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, who used an Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill on Tuesday, finally took to the field on Friday for some baserunning and other workouts, per MLive.com. The 25-year-old shortstop missed all of last season due to fractures in both of his shins.

"We ran bases today, then he took grounders, did the fundamental and he hit," manager Brad Ausmus said. "When he got done hitting, I sent him inside. I didn't want him standing out in the outfield shagging. I don't want to say that's going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back, but any little bit of time we can get him off his feet early helps. So I sent him in about 10 minutes early."


Braves' Andrelton Simmons does light throwing, takes dry swings


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) A day after the team announced that Andrelton Simmons will not be throwing for a few days due to a sore oblique, Braves shortstop took the field Friday for some light throwing and some dry swings, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Simmons suffered the injury while working out last week. It's not considered to be a threat to his opening-day status.

"We didn't want him to throw across the (infield Friday)," manager Fredi Gonzalez said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He was cleared to do that, but it was cold and our coaches, Terry (Pendleton) and Carlos (Tosca), took the initiative and said it's cold, it's windy. He did play catch, he warmed up, but we didn't want him to throw across the diamond yet."


Angels could use combination of players at 2B


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Angels manager Mike Scioscia hinted that the second base job is wide open, and did not close the door on the possibility of using a combination of players, including Josh Rutledge, Grant Green, Johnny Giavotella and Taylor Featherston for the position, per the Orange County Register.

"If it's a combination, it's a combination," Scioscia said. "If it's one guy, it's one guy."


Yankees' Brendan Ryan to miss five days of camp with back strain


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Yankees infielder Brendan Ryan underwent a precautionary MRI on his back which revealed a mid-back strain, the team announced. The injury occurred while lifting weights in the days leading up to the start of spring training, and it will keep him sidelined from on-field activities for approximately five days.

Ryan, who is seeking more playing time this season, hit .167 over 114 at-bats in 2014.


Giants sign Ronny Cedeno to minor-league deal


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Giants have signed infielder Ronny Cedeno to a minor-league deal, according to the PCL transactions page.

Cedeno, 32, spent most of the year in the minors. He hit .313/.368/.431 over 281 at-bats in Triple-A. Cedeno received nine at-bats with the Phillies, but failed to record a hit. 


Nationals' Yunel Escobar gets strong reviews at second


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Nationals second baseman Yunel Escobar received strong reviews after taking fielding practice at the position on Thursday, according to MLB.com.

Escobar met with team officials recently to discuss the transition. While he was initially hesitant to move off shortstop, Escobar said he's now committed to being the best second baseman in the league. Escobar spent the past month preparing at second base, but asked that the Nationals be patient as he gets used to his new spot.

Nationals defensive coordinator Mark Weidemaier doesn't think it will take long for Escobar to master the new position. "His athleticism, his agility...his footwork is excellent," Weidemaier said. "I don't think it's going to be a big transition for him."

Escobar, 32, hit .258/.324/.340 over 476 at-bats last year.


Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez: 2B gig is 'wide open'


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez confirmed to reporters following Thursday's full-squad workout that the second baseman position is a "wide open" competition, and that Jose Peraza, Alberto Callaspo, Phil Gosselin and Jace Peterson are all entering camp with a chance to make the club, per MLB.com.

"It's wide open," Gonzalez said. "It's all depending on how we want to work second base, the infield and even the bench."


Reds SS Zack Cozart corrected glitch in swing during offseason


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Reds shortstop Zack Cozart told reporters he compared videos of his swing from last season to the days where his power numbers were up and noticed a glitch, per MLB.com. Cozart noted that his front shoulder was not turning correctly, and it was "easy to fix" for this season.

"I looked to find that one little thing I was doing different. It was something really small and it was an easy fix," Cozart said. "That's a huge positive when you find something like that."

Cozart will likely bat eighth in the order this season. Last season, he hit just .221 with four home runs and 38 RBI in 2014. He is a lifetime .243 hitter over his first four seasons in the majors.


Red Sox's Bogaerts restores confidence after tough year in 2014


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts admitted he lost confidence in 2014 while he was struggling to get on track offensively.

“Yeah, a little bit -- going really bad for two months, I mean extremely bad,” Bogaerts said of losing confidence, per WEEI.com. “Trying to have confidence everyday coming to the park was pretty tough. This year is a new year, I feel much better. I feel much more confident in myself so, it’s something I definitely learned, no matter how tough the situation is it’s just keep your head up.”

Bogaerts said the experiences he learned last season should help him well moving forward.

“It’s a really tough game,” Bogaerts said. “Especially in the Boston market — a lot of media attention, especially after winning the World Series, a lot of eyes were on us. I think this year will probably be the same because of all the new acquisitions that we have. You just have to have a lot of confidence in yourself. You go through your ups and downs. It’s definitely easy to lose your confidence.”


McClendon: Unlikely Mariners can keep Taylor and Miller on roster


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon indicated Thursday it is going to be tough to keep Chris Taylor and Brad Miller on the roster. The duo are competing for the starting shortstop job this spring.

“They both saw significant time last year and only one of them can play short as this team shapes up,” McClendon said, per MLB.com. “I like both guys. They both bring a lot to the table. I think Chris is probably a little bit ahead of the game defensively and Brad is probably ahead of the game offensively. It’s a nice combination and let’s see what happens. … If we don’t have injuries, I doubt that we can take them both.”


Oblique injury will keep Braves' Andrelton Simmons from throwing


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons will not throw for a few days because of a sore oblique, according to MLB.com. The Braves are hopeful he will be OK within a week.

Simmons sustained the injury while working out last week. It is not bad enough to keep him from taking infield practice, but it is keeping him from throwing, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Yankees' Brendan Ryan hoping for more playing time


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Yankees infielder Brendan Ryan is hoping for more playing time in 2015, according to MLB.com.

Ryan hit just .167 last season, but said numbers can be deceiving. "My average was terrible, but I felt like I hit the ball way better than my average showed," Ryan said. "I just didn't have much love. When you don't have a whole lot of love with few at-bats, things get blown out of proportion."

Ryan said he wants to win games, and hopes that he can earn more playing time if he's looking better at the plate, particularly against left-handers. "If I'm getting it done and helping us win, hopefully I'll get to play a little more," he said. 

Ryan hit .167 over 114 at-bats last year. 


Brewers manager Ron Roenicke eyeing infield depth this spring


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Brewers manager Ron Roenicke will spend spring training judging his infielder's versatility for depth behind Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett, per MLB.com.

Milwaukee has three shortstops on its 40-man roster with the chance to break camp with the big-league club. Hector Gomez, 26, and Luis Sardinas, 21, are expected to see time at second base behind Scooter Gennett.

"We want to give Scooter a chance against lefties, but if there's a day off we want to give him, or if it works out that we need to have a [right-handed hitting] guy there more often, who's it going to be?" Roenicke said. "Is it going to be Sardinas? Jimenez, because we know he hits lefties well? Who's that other guy who's going to be there?"

Yadiel Rivera, 22, should see some work at third behind Aramis Ramirez.


Nationals' Escobar: I'm determined to be one of best 2B in NL


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Nationals infielder Yunel Escobar initially had some doubts about moving from shortstop to second base, but after meeting with general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Matt Williams, he is all for the position switch.

“I'm determined to be one of the best second basemen in the National League,” Escobar told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman in a phone interview.

”After what they expressed to me and what their vision is, I feel more comfortable,” Escobar said through Alex Esteban, his agent who acted as interpreter. “I am going to play second base with an open mind.”


Orioles' Everth Cabrera won't go to trial, accepts plea agreement


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Wednesday infielder Everth Cabrera took a plea agreement to resolve his case for resisting arrest in San Diego. Cabrera, who will be on probation, paid a fine and will serve community service.

“It was a prerequisite,” manager Buck Showalter said of Cabrera resolving his legal problems before signing with the Orioles, per MLB.com. “That’s why it took as long as it did [after word leaked of an agreement]. It wasn’t going to happen until it did and we felt comfortable with it.”

Cabrera was expected to go to trial in April for resisting arrest after he was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on Sept. 3 on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana. He was later charged with resisting arrest.

He was cited for possession of marijuana in a car, which is a vehicle code infraction that carries a fine of up to $100. No DUI charges were filed, per U-T San Diego.


Dodgers' Mattingly noncommittal to Jimmy Rollins in leadoff spot


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters Wednesday that he's not fully committed to batting shortstop Jimmy Rollins in the leadoff spot this season, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Dee Gordon was Los Angeles full-time leadoff hitter in 201, but was shipped to Miami in an offseason trade. Rollins batted first in just 19 of 131 starts last season for the Phillies. Rollins, 36, hit .243/.323/.394 over 538 at-bats last season. He has a career .277 on-base percentage over 200 at-bats at Dodger Stadium.


Astros prospect Carlos Correa working on correcting sliding


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Astros shortstop and former No. 1 pick (2012) prospect Carlos Correa broke his right ankle and fractured his right fibula sliding into third base in June. Now that he's fully recovered from the injury, he told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday that he's working on correcting his sliding this spring.

"I really want to work on base running," Correa said. "I got hurt on it, so I want to work on it and regain my confidence on it."

Correa, considered the second-best prospect in baseball behind Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, is expected to open the season at Double-A.


 
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