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Blue Jays' Daniel Norris performs well in first start


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11:30 pm ET) Blue Jays pitcher Daniel Norris tossed a strong start in his first spring appearance on Thursday.

Norris is competing for the fifth spot in the team's rotation, and got off to a nice start. Norris allowed one hit and one walk over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two during the outing. 

Norris said he was glad to be taking on a strong lineup his first time out, according to the Toronto Sun. "I liked the fact I was facing a good lineup. You have to bring your 'A' game" Norris said. While it wasn't a perfect outing, Norris was pleased with his stuff.

"I struggled a little with it (staying closed) in the first, but was much better in the second inning," said Norris. "Years back in spring training, I can remember my stuff not doing much."

The 21-year-old posted a 5.40 ERA over 6 2/3 innings in the majors last year. 


Orioles' Chris Davis goes yard on Thursday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:51 pm ET) Orioles infielder Chris Davis crushed a home run on Thursday against the Blue Jays. 

Davis, who is coming off a poor season, is attempting to get back to his previous level of performance. His ability to hit for power has never been a question, and he proved that again on Thursday. With two men on, Davis took a fastball out to right center for a three-run shot in the third inning. 

Manager Buck Showalter said Davis' hard work has paid off thus far. "He's been working real hard," Showalter said. "Get a little return on it. Nothing wind-aided tonight, thick air. He had to square it up."

The 28-year-old Davis hit .196/.300/.404 over 450 at-bats last year. 


Mariners place Edgar Olmos back on the 40-man roster


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:38 pm ET) Mariners pitcher Edgar Olmos has been placed on the team's 40-man roster, according to MLB.com.

Olmos went over to the Rangers briefly, but was sent back to the Mariners after it was revealed he had a shoulder issue. Olmos will replace Ji-Man Choi on the 40-man roster.


MLBPA on Josh Hamilton leaks: 'Cowardly'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:43 pm ET) The Major League Baseball Players Association issued a statement about leaked information regarding Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton, MLB.com reports.

"It is regrettable that people who want to see Josh Hamilton hurt personally and professionally have started leaking information about the status of his treatment program and the confidential processes under our Joint Drug Agreement," the statement read. "These anonymous leaks are cowardly, undermine the integrity of our collectively bargained agreements and in some instances have been wholly inaccurate. The Major League Baseball Players Association will use every right we have under the collective bargaining agreement to make sure Josh gets the help he needs, and the fair and confidential process to which he is entitled."

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that an arbitrator would be needed to break the league's split on whether Hamilton should enter a rehab program for substance abuse. It was reported early Thursday that the decision on whether the league will suspend the outfielder could come as early as next week.


White Sox expect Chris Sale back not long after opening day


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:15 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Chris Sale (foot) is not expected to be ready by opening day, but the team sees him returning not long after the regular-season opener, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said earlier this week that Sale had "a slim chance" to be ready for the opener. The ace suffered an avuncular fracture in his right foot in late February, delaying the start of his camp.


Red Sox OF Rusney Castillo's oblique injury improving


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4:10 pm ET) Red Sox manager John Farrell said outfielder Rusney Castillo's oblique strain is "much better," according to The Boston Globe

The Red Sox are still expected to take a cautious approach with Castillo. 

His injury isn't considered serious though he's expected to miss about a week of spring training. Castillo is competing for the center fielder job. 


Rangers P Yu Darvish (triceps) pulled from start against Royals


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3:39 pm ET) Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish left Thursday's game against the Royals due to right triceps tightness, according to MLB.com. 

The injury is not believed to be serious and Darvish will be re-evaluated on Friday. 

Darvis said he felt tightness in his arm before the game, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He added it's nothing to worry about, though. 

"I felt some tightness with my triceps and I focused only on my location and command with my pitches," Darvish said, via FOX Sports Southwest. "Today in the bullpen I felt the tightness was more so I didn't have a lot of effort on the mound in the game. It wasn't serious so I went to the mound as usual."

Darvish was still able to pitch a scoreless first inning with just 12 pitches. 


Indians' Corey Kluber (illness) throws side session on Thursday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:12 pm ET) Indians pitcher Corey Kluber, who had his start on Saturday pushed back due to flu-like symptoms, threw a side session and appears fully recovered, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The Indians have not announced when Kluber will make his Cactus League debut.

Yankees' Carlos Beltran hopes to be factor again in right field


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3:04 pm ET) After an injury-filled 2014 season, Carlos Beltran is looking to be back in right field for the Yankees. 

A right elbow injury forced Beltran to spend most of his games as a designated hitter. In September, he had surgery to remove a bone spur and three chips. Now that his elbow has healed, Beltran is ready to play both offense and defense in 2015. 

"I just want to be productive," Beltran said, per MLB.com. "When I play baseball, I just want to put myself in a position where I can impact the team in a positive way, defensively or offensively. I understand that as a hitter, I'm going to have my month where I'm hitting .230. That's not going to go away. It's always been like that."

In 2014, Beltran posted a .233 batting average with 15 home runs and 49 RBI, with the elbow injury playing a large reason why. 


Royals P Tim Collins (elbow) to have MRI on Thursday


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(1:48 pm ET) Royals pitcher Tim Collins is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his sore elbow Thursday, according to MLB.com

Collins left Wednesday's game against the Rangers after experiencing tightness in his elbow. Kansas City won the game 13-2. Though further testing will take place, Collins expressed optimism about the injury. 

"I think it's just spring training," Collins said. "Everybody goes through this. It's just some tightness. I don't know what the plan is yet with the trainers."


Angels' Garrett Richards could face hitters soon


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:22 pm ET) Angels manager Mike Scioscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher told reporters that starting pitcher Garrett Richards could be ready to face hitters in live batting practice as early as his next time on the mound, per the Orange County Register.

"That's an important step," Scioscia said.

Richards, who is working his way back from knee surgery, has done extensive fielding drills and logged six bullpen sessions this spring. He's reached approximately 50 pitches in each of the last three sessions. He's on track to make his season debut two-to-three weeks into the regular season.


Orioles' Brian Matusz expected to throw one inning Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:08 pm ET) Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz, who received a cortisone injection in his right shoulder Monday due to an AC joint sprain, will work one inning during Thursday's split squad game against the Blue Jays, according to manager Buck Showalter. He is slated to start March 14 against the Rays.

Rangers OF Shin-Soo Choo sent home from camp with illness


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:59 pm ET) Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was sent home from camp on Wednesday due to upper respiratory infection and flu-like symptoms, according to the Star-Telegram. Assistant general manager Thad Levine indicated that he sent Choo home to avoid getting other teammates in the clubhouse sick. 

Rangers SS Elvis Andrus targeting Cactus League action next week


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:55 pm ET) Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who is working his way back from a mild patella tendinitis in his left knee, is targeting game action at some point next week, per the Star-Telegram. Although he's scheduled to miss at least Texas' first four spring games, Andrus has been taking batting practice and working on his fielding.

"I'm still doing everything, still hitting," Andrus said. "It's a long spring training.

"I feel better," Andrus said. "If I keep feeling this way I think I'll be ready to play next week. I don't think missing four or five games is going to do something good or bad to me."


Rangers' Martin Perez to throw off half-mound on Tuesday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:48 pm ET) Rangers pitcher Martin Perez, recovering from Tommy John surgery last May, is scheduled to throw off a half-mound on Tuesday, according to FOX Sports Southwest on Thursday. Perez took a few days off as a precaution, and is targeting a return at some point in the middle of the season.

Lower back tightness keeps Cespedes out of Tigers' lineup


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:21 pm ET) Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was scratched from the lineup Thursday against Atlanta due to lower back tightness, according to the team's official website. Cespedes was acquired in an offseason trade with the Red Sox. He hit a grand slam in his first spring training at-bat in a Tigers uniform.

Cespedes will not be in the Tigers will face the Mets on Friday in Port St. Lucie. He's likely to return Saturday against Atlanta, per the Detroit Free Press.


Report: MLB could have Josh Hamilton decision next week


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:13 pm ET) Major League Baseball could have a decision on whether or not to discipline Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton as early as next week, industry sources told FOX Sports.

Currently, MLB is undecided about having Hamilton enter a rehabilitation program following a drug relapse, according to the Los Angeles Times. An arbitrator has been appointed after the four-member panel -- with two representatives each from MLB and the MLB Players Association -- assigned to Hamilton's case could not reach a majority opinion on the proper course.

MLB officials believe Hamilton should be suspended for at least 25 games and potentially for one year. However, the union is arguing for a lesser penalty, potentially 15 games and Hamilton entering a treatment program.

If Hamilton is sent to rehab, he would receive his full salary for 30 days, and then half his salary over the next 30 days. If he's suspended, Hamilton would not be paid during the suspension and would not have to enter a treatment program. 

Hamilton, who was suspended from baseball from 2004-06 for issues related to cocaine and alcohol abuse, admitted to MLB he experienced a relapse a few months ago, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. A source told Heyman in late February that Hamilton confessed to going on a binge that involved cocaine.


Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (hand) to make spring debut Saturday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:50 am ET) Indians manager Terry Francona said second baseman Jason Kipnis will make his spring debut Saturday against the Dodgers, per MLB.com. Kipnis had surgery in December to repair a damaged tendon in the ring finger on his left hand.

Manager: Miguel Cabrera really close to running on flat ground


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:45 am ET) Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (ankle) has run at 72 percent body weight on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday. Once Cabrera can run at 80 percent body weight, he will be cleared to run on flat ground and have grounders hit directly at him.

"He should be really close," Ausmus said, per the Detroit Free Press.

Cabrera participated in batting practice on the field Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

"He was hitting balls 425 feet out to left-center," Ausmus said.


A's 1B Nate Freiman to miss at least two weeks with back injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:26 am ET) Athletics manager Bob Melvin said first baseman Nate Freiman will miss at least two weeks due to a muscle strain in his back, per MLB.com. Freiman is competing for a spot on the A's bench.

Astros' Brad Peacock (hip) expected to face batters next week


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:42 am ET) Astros pitcher Brad Peacock (hip) is slated to throw to batters around March 10-12, according to the Houston Chronicle. Still, Peacock might not have enough time to get ready by the season opener.

“I don’t know,” manager A.J. Hinch said when asked if Peacock will be ready by opening day. “I’m so happy with where he’s at and he’s happy with where he’s at. The No. 1 goal is to get him healthy. … I’m still not sure until we see how he responds to all this.”


Report: MLB split on whether Josh Hamilton should go to rehab


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Major League Baseball is split over whether Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton should go to rehab, according to the Los Angeles Times

The four person panel assigned to Hamilton's case are deadlocked, and the group will have to bring in an arbitrator in order to break the tie. The panel first must decide whether Hamilton violated any rules, and then must agree on a course of treatment. The panel has not been able to agree on the latter of those conditions, which is why an arbitrator is necessary. 

If Hamilton is sent to rehab, he would receive his full salary for 30 days, and then half his salary over the next 30 days. If he's suspended, but does not have to attend rehab, Hamilton would not be paid during the suspension. 

MLB is also trying to determine whether Hamilton should be charged as a fourth-time offender of the drug policy. If that's the case, Hamilton could be suspended for the entire season.

Hamilton, 33, admitted to MLB that he experienced a relapse a few months ago, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Hamilton has dealt with drug and alcohol issues throughout his career, and was suspended for three seasons after failing drug tests as a minor-leaguer. He met with officials in New York in February regarding the incident. 


Royals' Tim Collins dealing with elbow soreness


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Royals reliever Tim Collins is dealing with elbow soreness, according to the Kansas City Star.

Collins will head for an MRI on Wednesday in order to determine the severity of the injury. The team won't have a timetable for Collins until they receive the results of the MRI. 

The 25-year-old posted a 3.86 ERA over 21 innings last year.


Astros' Vincent Velasquez still unable to throw off mound


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Astros pitcher Vincent Velasquez has yet to throw off a mound, according to MLB.com.

Velasquez is dealing with a lat injury, and was expected to miss 2-3 weeks. He has not thrown off a mound yet, and could require more time before he's ready to return to action. Velasquez is fighting for a roster spot this spring. 


Astros' Brad Peacock able to throw bullpen session on Wednesday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Astros pitcher Brad Peacock was able to get through a bullpen session on Wednesday, according to MLB.com.

Peacock is recovering from offseason hip surgery. He's working his way toward live batting practice, but is not expected to throw BP for a few more days. Peacock posted a 4.72 ERA over 131 2/3 innings last season. 


 
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