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Rangers' Andrus not expected to play in first four spring games


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:20 am ET) Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was held out of Wednesday's spring opener against the Royals due to mild patella tendinitis in his left knee. He is not scheduled to play in the first four Cactus League games, per MLB.com.

Royals' Yost: Cain, Gordon, Hosmer, Rios all candidate to bat second


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:10 am ET) Royals manager Ned Yost listed Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer and Alex Rios as viable candidates to bat second in the lineup this season, reports the Kansas City Star.

Gordon, Rios never batted second last season. Cain had only only 13 plate appearances at the No. 2 spot in 2014. Hosmer played 33 games and logged 144 plate appearance at the No. 2 spot in 2014, slashing .275/.326/.344 in those appearances.


Mariners' James Paxton scheduled for Friday bullpen


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:00 am ET) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon indicated that will stick to the original plan and have starting pitcher James Paxton (forearm) throw his first bullpen session on Friday, reports MLB.com. 

Mariners SP Danny Hultzen could pitch in game by end of week


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:50 am ET) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said starting pitcher prospect Danny Hultzen's live batting practice session went well Tuesday, and he should throw in a game by the end of the week, per 710 ESPN Seattle.

Hultzen is working his way back after having missed the 2014 season due to rotator cuff surgery.


A's DH Billy Butler takes a seat Wednesday due to stomach bug


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:48 am ET) Athletics designated hitter Billy Butler was not in the lineup for Wednesday's Cactus League game against San Francisco because of a stomach bug, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Matt Olson will take his spot as the team's designated hitter.

Butler signed a three-year deal with the A's in the offseason. He hit .271/.323/.379 over 549 at-bats last year for the Royals.

Edgar Olmos headed back to Mariners due to shoulder injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:54 am ET) The Rangers announced Wednesday the waiver claim for pitcher Edgar Olmos is being reversed due to a shoulder injury, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Olmos, who was claimed off waivers last week, will head back to the Mariners roster.

Rays manager Kevin Cash tabs Alex Cobb as opening day starter


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:41 am ET) Rays manager Kevin Cash announced Wednesday starting pitcher Alex Cobb will start the season opener on April 6 against Baltimore.

"There's a lot of things on your short list of career highlights that you can say you've done," Cobb said, per the Tampa Bay Times. "Obvioiusly, with being in the World Series and winning the World Series being at the top. Being an opening day starter falls somewhat shorter than that, but it's right up on that list."

Cash also announced Cobb will be followed in the rotation by Chris Archer, Drew Smyly and Jake Odorizzi. The team will choose a fifth starter this spring.

"He was extremely excited," Cash said of Cobb. "I kind of expected him to say, 'Yeah, OK, whatever,' but he was pumped. And you look back and you're like, 'Man, he's had some good pitchers here that maybe he's had to wait in turn for (James) Shields and (David) Price and those guys. I think he looks at it as being an honor, because there have been some good ones here in the past that have done it."


Red Sox's Castillo on injury to left side: 'Thankfully it's nothing serious'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:34 am ET) Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo underwent a medical exam Wednesday for an issue on the left side of his body, according to CSNNE.com. 

"Thankfully it's nothing serious," said Castillo, who added he expects to be available for Thursday's spring game against the Twins.


Tigers 3B Nick Castellanos (hand) able to play Wednesday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:27 am ET) Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos made it into the lineup for Wednesday's spring game against the Orioles after leaving Tuesday's game with a left hand contusion, per MLB.com. Castellanos underwent X-rays on Tuesday, which came back negative.

Tigers release Joel Hanrahan, who needs another Tommy John surgery


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:06 am ET) After visiting a specialist on Tuesday, reliever Joel Hanrahan will undergo a second Tommy John surgery, ending his stint with the Tigers. Detroit released him Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press. He will have surgery on his right elbow on March 18, per the team's official website.

Hanrahan never pitched in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery May of 2013, and signed a minor-league deal with Detroit before he was released. Now he will likely be out of commission until the early portion of the 2016. The 33-year-old registered a career 3.85 ERA over 404 2/3 innings.


Blue Jays' Martin: Pirates 'were going to do everything they could'


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:37 am ET) Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin says the Pirates did everything they could to try and re-sign him, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Martin signed a five-year, $82 million deal with Toronto, but said the Pirates really pushed to keep him around. "They were going to do everything they could," Martin said. "They were pretty vocal about that. But then it comes to a point where, as an organization, if you're thinking business-wise, you can't stack all your chips and then leave yourself vulnerable for later."

Martin also admitted that the opportunity to be a role model in Canada was a big reason he signed in Toronto. "The opportunity to play in Canada, for my family to be able to watch me play, to be a role model for younger Canadians and be that guy, it's a better fit for me overall for that reason," he explained.

In the end, the money and a fifth year led Martin to the Blue Jays. "[The Pirates] were pretty vocal, and I think that they definitely wanted me back. It was just a feeling that Toronto wanted me a little bit more," he said.

The 32-year-old hit .290/.402/.430 over 379 at-bats last season.


Athletics' Craig Gentry hoping for a fast start in 2015


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Athletics outfielder Craig Gentry is hoping for a fast start in 2015, according to the Bay Area News Group.

Gentry missed time early last year with a back injury, but feels refreshed this season. "Last year was definitely frustrating, because you want to be here with your new team, and I wasn’t healthy," Gentry said. "Now I feel great and I’m really excited about this season."

Gentry stressed that he's working on stealing bases this spring, as he plans to be aggressive once the regular season begins. "I want to be aggressive and practice is what does it. I need to work on getting jumps, trying to read the pitcher and all of that."

Gentry, 31, hit .254/.319/.289 over 232 at-bats last season. 


Indians' Fracona on McAllister: 'I thought he was pretty good'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Indians pitcher Zach McAllister allowed one run on three hits in two innings while striking out three in Tuesday's Cactus League opener, and manager Terry Francona was pleased with his performance, MLB.com reports.

"He was actually pretty good," Francona said. "He gave up the two-out hit, but I thought he was down in the zone, showed good arm strength and used all his pitches. I thought he was pretty good."

McAllister is out of options and competing for the fifth spot in the rotation this spring.


Blue Jays' Steve Delabar embracing competition in camp


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Blue Jays pitcher Steve Delabar is embracing the competition for a roster spot, according to MLB.com.

"If I was locked in as the go-to guy in the 'pen or if I'm the last guy in camp, I'm here to compete," Delabar said. "I always say I'm going to put more pressure on myself than any staff member here, because we all want to be perfect every time out."

Delbar was a sure thing to make the 25-man roster last season, but had some issues in 2014. He's now in a competition to earn one of the team's open spots in the pen. 

Delabar explained that the goal for him succeeding was making sure he kept his fastball down. "If the ball gets up, it doesn't matter how fast it is, it's going to get hit," Delabar said. "Fastball down, fastball location, coming later into games you're going to have to spot up a little better. That just comes with a little more reps and work, and then we'll get to that point."

Delabar posted a 4.91 ERA over 25 1/3 innings last season. 


Angels' Scioscia weighing second-base options


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Angels manager Mike Scioscia is weighing how much emphasis to put on spring-training performance as he decides how to approach the second-base position this season, MLB.com reports.

"A lot of it is to see what the best fit is for your group of guys, what your lineup needs are," Scioscia said. "There's an absolute to people winning jobs at spring training. Probably not at the analysis you're looking at -- 'Oh, he hit .340 in spring training' -- but there are a lot of things we're looking at as to how a guy fits in our lineup. You can make the team in spring, for sure, with the things that you show."

Scioscia hasn't ruled out the option of using multiple players at the position as the situation dictates.

"That's one of the options," he said. "There are guys that have the ability to go out there and do what we need to do on the defensive end and the offensive end, and we'll see who emerges and who gives us the best look."

Josh Rutledge highlights a second-base competition that also includes Grant Green, Johnny Giavotella and Taylor Featherston.


Angels' Cam Bedrosian working on location this season


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian is working on his location this season, according to MLB.com.

Bedrosian strugged in 19 1/3 innings last season, but knows his stuff can play in the majors. For him, it's all about putting the ball in the right place. "The big thing is just keeping the ball down," he said. "A lot of times last year, it was up too much, getting too excited. Guys get in the box, and you want to do too much with it. The only thing I have to do is just keep the ball down."

Bedrosian said minor-league players will bite on high fastballs, but stressed that players are "a lot more disciplined" in the majors. Though Bedrosian faces an uphill battle to open the year on the 25-man roster, that's his goal this spring. 

The 23-year-old posted a 6.52 ERA over 19 1/3 innings in the majors last season. 


Angels' Collin Cowgill not taking spot for granted


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Angels outfielder Collin Cowgill is not taking his spot for granted, according to MLB.com.

"I understand how the game works," Cowgill said. "I understand a lot, maybe more so than a lot of people, because I've found myself in a lot of situations. I don't take anything for granted. So I'm going to keep trying to work and earn it."

Cowgill has spent time with four different teams in his young career, and understands how often you can lose your role. With Josh Hamilton expected to miss time early in the season, it appears Cowgill's spot on the roster is safe, even though he remains skeptical. 

"If [Angels manager Mike] Scioscia's going to play me, it's because I deserve it," Cowgill said. "He's going to play me because he thinks I give him a chance to win, and that's the only way I want it to be."

The 28-year-old hit .250/.330/.354 over 260 at-bats last season. 


Hahn: White Sox RP Michael Ynoa 'really took to' bullpen role


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) White Sox pitching prospect Michael Ynoa was shifted to the bullpen last season while still with the A's after serving primarily as a starter in the minors, and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn sees him as a potential long-term fit as a reliever, MLB.com reports.

"He's a potential long-term fit for us," Hahn said. "We think he really took to the change in role to the bullpen. He's an interesting guy because he still has a starter's mix of pitches. He certainly seemed more comfortable, and he's been able to stay healthy."

Ynoa signed with Oakland as an international free agent at the age of 16. He missed the 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and dealt with a shoulder injury in 2013 and a right biceps injury last season, in which he posted a 5.52 ERA and 64:21 K:BB ratio in 45 2/3 innings out of the bullpen with high Class A Stockton. He was then included in the offseason deal that brought Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox.

"The injuries took away some of the development time, but he has the ability, and once he is able to find that consistency in a role, he'll come quickly," Hahn said. "We haven't decided where we will start him, but it makes sense that he would be challenged at Double-A this year, and we'll see where he goes from there. He's certainly not far away once he is in Double-A."

Ynoa retired all four batters he faced in Tuesday's intrasquad game.


Tigers' Jose Iglesias to see action on Wednesday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias will play on Wednesday against the Orioles, according to MLB.com.

Iglesias missed the entire 2014 season due to a shin injury. He'll be eased into action this spring in order to make sure he can handle the workload of regular playing time. Iglesias is expected to play three innings on Wednesday. Iglesias was able to play one inning on Monday.

While he wants to receive a lot of playing time, Iglesias understands the situation. "I would love to play in every single game," he said, "but I've got to be smart about it and take it step by step."

The 25-year-old hit .303 over 350 at-bats back in 2013. 


Yankees' Warren: 'Versatility helps me more than hurts me'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Yankees pitcher Adam Warren doesn't see his ability to pitch out of the bullpen as a hindrance to his chances of making the starting rotation, MLB.com reports.

"I think it helps me more," Warren said Tuesday. "If they like what they see out of me as a starter, then they can throw me there. I always feel like versatility helps me more than hurts me. I'm just trying to go out there and prove that I can start, and that way I can add that versatility that I can do any role."

Warren tossed two scoreless innings in Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener Tuesday. He said he's focused on proving he's one of Joe Girardi's five best starting options.

"I did have some success last year, but I don't want to get comfortable," Warren said. "I know I can be much better. People always talk about, 'Once you get comfortable, you need to quit.' I always want to keep pushing forward. I feel like I've never proven myself because I feel like I always want to prove that I'm better than people think I am."


Athletics' Jesse Chavez gunning for rotation spot


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Athletics pitcher Jesse Chavez is hoping to lock down a rotation spot, according to the Bay Area News Group.

Chavez performed well in 21 starts with the club in 2014, but lost his job after the team acquired Jon Lester midseason. Chavez blames himself for the demotion. "It wasn’t a case of the job being taken away," he said. "It was a case of I didn’t hold it. I shouldn’t have put the team in a position to doubt me."

After the Athletics brought in a fair amount of pitching in the offseason, Chavez has become somewhat of an after-thought as the team's fifth starter. He believes the opportunity is there, though. "The chance to be a starter is there," Chavez said. "For me, I just approach it like last year when I was trying to just win a spot on the staff. I’m always going to pitch like I’m pitching to win a job."

Chavez, 31, posted a 3.45 ERA over 146 innings last year. 


White Sox SP Jeff Samardzija: '100 percent ready' for camp


(3/3/2015) White Sox starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija said Tuesday he came into camp "100 percent ready" after throwing all his pitches before reporting, ESPNChicago.com reports.

“I held back a couple pitches last year in spring training and it affected me early in the season so this year I started throwing all my pitches before camp so coming in I was 100 percent ready,” Samardzija said. “For me these next handful of starts will be about getting on same page with (catcher Tyler Flowers), what pitches I like to match up, let him realize what I like to do, how I like to put guys away and when do we want action, when do we want a strikeout. So for me that will be big.”

Samardzija had a rough outing in his first intrasquad game giving up two runs on three hits in only two innings. But it appears that he is healthy and ready to get things started.

“It’s good to feel the arm. My arm feels great. It’s coming out real good. You do what you do to keep getting stronger and build from here.”

Samardzija split time between the Cubs and A's last season, going 7-13 with a 2.99 ERA and 202:43 K:BB ratio in 219 2/3 innings.


Athletics' Marcus Semien homers twice in spring debut


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Athletics infielder Marcus Semien hit two home runs in his spring debut on Tuesday.

Semien didn't take long to strike. In his first at-bat, Semien crushed an 0-2 pitch from Madison Bumgarner for a two-run shot. He added a solo shot in the fifth inning off Cody Hall. Semien finished 3 for 3, with two runs scored and four RBI. He's expected to open the season as the team's starting shortstop. 


Red Sox SP Rick Porcello on Tuesday outing: 'My arm felt good'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello retired all six batters he faced Tuesday and threw all four of his pitches in his relief appearance, MLB.com reports.

"It felt good to get out there," said Porcello. "I was obviously just trying to work on the little things: Throw strikes and get ahead. Location wasn't quite where I wanted it, but for the first time out, my arm felt good and the ball was coming out of my hand well. That's the most important thing."

Manager John Farrell said he was pleased with Porcello's efficiency, location and aggression in the strike zone. Porcello indicated he treated the spring appearance no differently than a regular-season game.

"I'm not going to take anything for granted," Porcello said. "Baseball is baseball, and on any given day, you can go out there and get your butt whipped. First thing first is just getting the ball down and throwing strikes. For the most part, I felt pretty good about that today. There's a couple things mechanically I need to continue to iron out and just keep refining everything, but a good first day."

Porcello joined the Red Sox this offseason via trade. He went 15-13 with a 3.43 ERA and 129:41 K:BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings with the Tigers last season.


Red Sox's Clay Buchholz feeling good about new mechanics


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is feeling good about his new mechanics, according to MLB.com.

Buchholz tossed one inning during the team's exhibition game against Northeastern University, and came away encouraged with his offseason work. When asked about his mechanics, Buchholz said, "They feel natural. I've been working a lot on it. It's basically the only thing I worked on in the offseason and throughout camp. It's pretty much to the point of being second nature." 

Manager John Farrell was impressed as well. "This has been a continuation from the end of last year through his offseason bullpens," he said. "He's been able to execute so far." 

Buchholz, 30, posted a 5.34 ERA over 170 1/3 innings last year. 


 
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