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Nationals pitcher Doug Fister struggles again in outing Sunday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Nationals pitcher Doug Fister surrendered six runs in four innings of work Sunday against the Marlins, pushing his spring training ERA to 7.02 in five starts. Fister gave up three more home runs in the outing.

"I can't let any of that affect me. I know I have to get the ball down regardless," Fister said to MLB.com. "I felt good today. I felt I was almost back in the swing of things. There are obviously some things I have to fine tune at the end of spring.

"I left the ball up, and it allowed the Marlins to get good contact on the ball. I don't let outside influences affect the game. It's a game I have to control and make adjustments."


Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson goes 3 2/3 innings Sunday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson tossed 3 2/3 innings Sunday, allowing no runs on three hits with four strikeouts against the Rockies. It was Hudson's longest outing of spring training.

"For a couple of hitters there, I'd lose the release point and fly open a little bit and fall behind," Hudson said to MLB.com. "My two-strike pitches were better today, but I wasn't getting ahead as much as I wanted. It'll come.

"I was pretty disappointed about the way I threw to hitters in the first part of the game. It's the first time I've gone [into] four innings in 2 1/2 years. It kind of comes with it."


Padres outfielder Wil Myers working at first base in workouts


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Padres outfielder Wil Myers is taking limited practice time at first base during workouts, manager Bub Black said Sunday according to MLB.com.

Myers, who is hitting .278 with three home runs this spring, is currently projected to be the team's starting center fielder, but is part of a very deep outfield.


Giants first baseman Travis Ishikawa leaves with back tightness Sunday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Giants first baseman Travis Ishikawa left Sunday's game after his back flared up, manager Bruce Bochy said according to Andrew Baggarly.

Ishikawa, who is hitting .191 with six RBI in 47 plate appearances this spring, is expected to be re-evaluated Monday.


Brewers release reliever Chris Perez


(3/29/2015) The Brewers have released reliever Chris Perez , the team announced.

In camp on a minor league deal, Perez pitched in 10 spring games, surrendering three earned runs in 10 innings (2.70 ERA). 

Perez pitched in Sunday's game but left with a right ankle sprain.

With the departure, the Brewers will consider Rob Wooten, Tyler Thornburg and Michael Blazek for their remaining two bullpen roles.


Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson allows just one hit Sunday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson surrendered just one hit Sunday in 4 2/3 innings against the Royals. Jackson, who missed his last start after his GPS sent him to the wrong ballpark, is battling with Travis Wood for the final spot in the starting rotation.

"It was a little bit of everything working in my favor today," Jackson said to MLB.com.

Jackson is now 2-1 with a 5.28 ERA in five spring training starts.


Brewers pitcher Michael Blazek struggles in outing Sunday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Brewers pitcher Michael Blazek allowed three runs on four hits, including a home run, in 3 2/3 innings of work Sunday against the Athletics. Blazek, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen, knows it just wasn't there, reports MLB.com.

"I just didn't really feel like I had my best stuff today," said Blazek, who entered the game with a 3.29 ERA. "I didn't really have the breaking ball like I had the last few outings. I was kind of battling trying to get command of that. It was kind of an off-mechanics day, really is what it felt like. I was kind of fighting it."


Brewers pitcher Chris Perez leaves game Sunday with ankle sprain


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Brewers pitcher Chris Perez left Sunday's game after recording just one out with a right ankle sprain, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Although it appears to be a slight sprain, Perez is competing with Michael Blazek, Tyler Thornburg and Rob Wooten for the final two spots in the bullpen and could make this injury the deciding factor.

"They did (struggle)," said manager Ron Roenicke. "But it's one outing. We're not concerned with that. We still have seen enough of guys that we have a pretty good idea. We’ll probably make a decision here in a couple days on a couple of them, and then we’ll see."


Reds pitcher Jason Marquis continues to make case for pitching staff


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Reds pitcher Jason Marquis gave up three earned runs on seven hits in six innings of work Sunday. Marquis, who also added three strikeouts, now has a 3-1 record with a 3.46 ERA in six starts.

"He's really taken advantage of his opportunity," manager Bryan Price said. "I'm pleased with the way he's thrown the ball. When he’s been down in the zone with that sinker and slider and split combination, he's been pretty effective. He had another pretty good start today."

Marquis used 96 pitches to get through his outing.

"After the last outing, I felt pretty good with going deep into games," Marquis said. "I responded really well after the last start. Today coming in, I didn't know what my pitch limit was but I felt good enough to treat it like a regular season game. I was glad I was able to get that far."


Mets' Matt Reynolds could start at second if Daniel Murphy isn't ready


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Mets middle infielder Matt Reynolds may get the nod at second base if regular starter Daniel Murphy is not healthy enough to play on Opening Day, reports MLB.com.

Reynolds, who spent most of last season in Triple-A, is hitting .381 in 42 spring training at-bats, making the decision tough for manager Terry Collins.

"He's a baseball player -- everybody keeps saying that about him, but that's what he is," Collins said. "He handles the bat, he runs the bases, he does a lot of little things right. But Danny Muno's a dangerous bat -- I'll tell you what, he can get a hit. And the other kid, Ruben, he's played there. He's played there under the bright lights and been very successful. So we've got a lot of options."

Murphy is still recovering from a hamstring injury and is uncertain for Opening Day.


Braves third baseman Chris Johnson making adjustments at the plate


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Braves third baseman Chris Johnson needed to make some slight adjustments to his swing at the plate to get things on the right track, reports MLB.com. Johnson, who struggled early in camp with a 4 for 30 stretch, has now hit two home runs in the last four days.

"It was not easy during the first couple weeks of games," said Johnson. "I struggled, and it was hard for me mentally. I'm a results-oriented kind of guy. So, it was tough for me. Being able to stick with it and then see results is a lot of fun."

After he realized he needed to lower his hands at the plate, Johnson improved his reaction time and is able to pull the ball better.

"Pulling the ball is good for me because the book on me is to pitch me [inside] and not allow me to go to right field," Johnson said. "The new approach and [placement of my hands] is allowing me to get [opposing pitchers] out of there. Then when they go [outside], I'll be able to do what I want to do."


Dodgers' Dustin McGowan pitches back-to-back days


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Dodgers pitcher Dustin McGowan threw 19 pitches in a minor-league game Sunday, and it was the first time this spring he has pitched on back-to-back days, MLB.com reports.

"Haven't felt this good since I was completely healthy -- a long time ago," McGowan said Sunday. "Knock on wood."

McGowan has dealt with shoulder issues throughout his career while also undergoing Tommy John surgery once. He's given up six runs in eight innings while competing for a bullpen role.

"I don't think he's comfortable yet," Mattingly said. "We've seen some good sliders, offspeed [pitches], but I don't think he feels as consistent, throwing the ball where he wants. It's spring training and a new organization factors with him. That makes the situation tougher to figure out."

McGowan will receive a $1 million bonus if he spends one day on the active roster this year, due to the terms of his contract. He is out of minor-league options and must clear waivers before being sent down.


Brewers' Roenicke, Aramis Ramirez to discuss plan to stay 'strong'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez plans to meet with manager Ron Roenicke Sunday to discuss different ways to keep the veteran "strong" through scheduled off-days and playing-time considerations, MLB.com reports.

"I think that's really important to try to get the most out of him and make sure we keep him on the field, strong and productive," Roenicke said. "How do we do it? We adjust to it as the season goes along. But how do we come up with some kind of a plan to give him his days [off]? Not when he needs it, but days to make sure that he stays strong."

Ramirez has hit .241/.353/.310 in 29 spring at-bats. He's likely to retire at the end of the season.


Maddon: Cubs will play Kris Bryant in the outfield more


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Kris Bryant got a start in left field for the Cubs on Sunday, the second time this spring he's played there. 

Manager Joe Maddon would like to see Bryant there more. "You never know where the need will arise," Maddon said, per MLB.com. "All of a sudden, you could have a need here, and he hasn’t played there." 

Maddon also thinks it will help Bryant at the plate. "I honestly believe it makes a younger hitter a better hitter," he said. "If he’s moving around a lot, and has to work with so many different defensive positions, he doesn’t worry so much about his hitting."


Brewers test out Gerardo Parra at first, Luis Jimenez at catcher


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is checking out his options around the field defensively this spring, reports MLB.com. Regular outfielder Gerardo Parra is getting some work at first base and third baseman Luis Jimenez is being looked at as an emergency catcher.

"Trying to figure out what can happen during ball games," Roenicke said. "If [Parra's] really good at it and Lind's down for a couple days, you just don't know. He looks great. He works at it all the time. Getting him more experience with all the situations that can come up in a ball game."

Jimenez caught a bullpen session Sunday and is competing for a bench role.

"If he's going to be on our squad, it's nice to have somebody who can do that job," Roenicke said. "He's been going out and warming up pitchers between innings. He's pretty good at it."


Cubs' Maddon on Jason Motte: 'I'm not worried about him'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Cubs manager Joe Maddon indicated Sunday that he's not concerned with the struggles of pitcher Jason Motte, who has posted a 14.21 ERA in 6 1/3 spring innings, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"Something that I’m not often into is mechanical adjustments," Maddon said of Motte. "It's something that [pitching coach Chris Bosio] picked up on in a conversation. I'm not worried about him. I think the velocity is very good. Just the shape of his pitches were different."


Pirates second baseman Jung Ho Kang gets on track at the plate


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Pirates second baseman Jung Ho Kang broke out of a mini slump Sunday by belting a two-run home run in the ninth inning to take down the Braves.

Kang had two hits on the game and brought a smile to manager Clint Hurdle's face, reports MLB.com.

"A very, very good day at the plate for him," Hurdle said of Kang. "He stayed on a breaking ball and lined out hard, singled sharply to center, then got all of that fastball. Nothing can breed confidence like success."

Kang was just 2 for 29 coming into Sunday during spring training.


Rockies' Corey Dickerson on back: 'I'm good to go'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Rockies outfielder Corey Dickerson did not make the trip for Sunday's split-squad game as scheduled but said that his back is fine, the Denver Post reports.

"It feels good, I’m good to go," Dickerson said. "Actually, it feels good to get a little break before the (regular) season starts."

Dickerson came out of Saturday's game with a tight back, but it doesn't appear the injury will affect his availability for the regular season. He has hit .289/.333/.489 in 45 spring at-bats.


Rockies' Jon Gray dealing with 'mild' groin strain


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Rockies pitcher Jon Gray said Sunday he's dealing with a "mild" groin strain, the Denver Post reports.

"I’m just a little bit sore from everything, from playing and from lifting," Gray said. "It’s just a little bit of soreness in my groin. I’ll be fine. There will be some treatment."

Gray surrendered seven runs (six earned) in just two-thirds of an inning Saturday. However, he believes he's ready to make his major-league debut in regular-season play.

"If I pitch the way I can, I’m definitely ready, but there are still things I have to learn," Gray said. "It’s far from perfection. There are obviously going to be thing I pick up as I go, but there is a lot of stuff I need to work on as well."

Gray said that he anticipates making his next start.


Cardinals cut four from major-league camp Sunday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) The Cardinals have cut catcher Ed Easley and infielders Dean Anna, Xavier Scruggs and Jacob Wilson from major-league camp, MLB.com reports. The moves leave the team with 33 players in big-league camp.

Nationals' Casey Janssen to get MRI on shoulder


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Nationals pitcher Casey Janssen will get an MRI on his right shoulder, MASN Sports reported. 

Janssen will undergo the test on Monday.

Janssen is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA this spring. 


Braves' Shelby Miller tosses six one-hit innings Sunday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Braves pitcher Shelby Miller allowed one earned run on just one hit and one walk in six innings while striking out four in Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Pirates.

Miller's longest outing of the spring was also his best, though he was unable to turn in his first spring performance with no walks. He has posted a 3.44 ERA and 14:7 K:BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings.

"When you get close to the season, you want to start feeling good, and right now, I feel like I'm right where I need to be physically," Miller said. "I've still got some things to work on, but I feel really good," Miller said to MLB.com.


Phillies likely to open with Ben Revere in LF, Odubel Herrera in CF


(3/29/2015) Phillies manager Ryan Sandberg said Ben Revere will most likely remain in left field and Odubel Herrera will be in center on opening day, reports The News Journal.

Revere and Herrera were shifted to their respective outfield positions less than two weeks ago and it appears the move will carry over into the regular season.

For the spring, Revere his hitting .170 with in 53 at-bats while Herrera is hitting .346 in 52 at-bats.


Reds' Devin Mesoraco exits game with quad cramp


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco was removed from Sunday's game due to a cramp in his left quad, the team announced.

Mesoraco came up lame while rounding third base. He finished the game 0 for 2 at the plate and is just 6 for 28 with two home runs this spring.


Phillies' Chase Utley homers twice Sunday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/29/2015) Phillies second baseman Chase Utley went 2 for 2 with a walk and two home runs in Sunday's 4-4 tie with the Tigers.

Utley has been dealing with an ankle sprain this spring but has looked excellent at the plate, going 9 for 24 heading into Sunday's game before smacking his first two home runs of Grapefruit League play.


 
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