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Report: Angels' Hamilton likely to receive suspension


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2:05 am ET) Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will likely be suspended for at least 25 games, according to FoxSports.com.

Hamilton met with Major League Baseball on Wednesday for a disciplinary hearing. CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reported that Hamilton experienced a drug relapse a few months ago, and confessed that relapse to MLB. 

This is technically Hamilton's second violation as a major-leaguer. Hamilton was on the Rays 40-man roster during his first suspension, making him a major-league player. Typically, players who violate their drug treatment program for the first time are subject to a 15-25 game suspension. Given that this is Hamilton's second violation of his drug treatment program, it's unclear how severe the punishment will be.

With that said, commissioner Rob Manfred is reportedly trying to be lenient with any punishment. The league has a "favorable view of Hamilton's efforts to remain sober." Since his return to the majors, Hamilton has spoken honestly about his struggles with addition.

On top of that, Manfred is concerned about making the punishment too harsh. Hamilton's past relaspes have come when he's been away from the game. Manfred reportedly is not close to making a final decision on Hamilton's punishment at this time. 

Hamilton was already expected to miss the beginning of the season due to a shoulder surgery. It's unclear how much longer he'll be out due to a suspension.


Braves' Markakis apologizes for comments about the Orioles


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Braves outfielder Nick Markakis apologized for calling out the Orioles organization, according to MASN.

Markakis was recently quoted saying the Orioles organization couldn't be trusted after he felt they were disingenuous about why contract negotiations broke down. "Don't believe a word they say," Markakis said. "It was all because of my neck. They can say what they want to make them look good."

He backpedaled from those comments on Thursday. "What I said wasn't directed at any way to the Orioles organization or ownership. It's just one of those things where I kind of said sarcastically, 'B.S., I wouldn't believe everything you hear. Don't believe them.'" he said. "I just want to put it behind me and I apologize for what I did, but there's a reason why it came out of my mouth." 

The 31-year-old hit .276/.342/.386 over 642 at-bats last year.


Royals' Infante having no health issues at start of spring training


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Royals second baseman Omar Infante dealt with some injury issues in 2014, including soreness in his elbow, back and shoulder. However, after two days of throwing and hitting at camp, Infante is feeling fine, per MLB.com.

"Everything's good," Infante said on Thursday. "I'm trying to take it a little slow, but right now it all feels fine.

"The shoulder is fine now. I don't really feel anything with [the elbow] either, maybe just a little bit. Not worried."


Report: Angels' Hamilton won't receive a ruling on Thursday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Major League Baseball will not announce a possible suspension for Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton on Thursday, according to FoxSports.com.


Hamilton met with the league for a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday. CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reported that Hamilton relapsed a few months ago, and told MLB about his relapse. It's not clear how Hamilton will be treated given his history with drugs and alcohol. Hamilton is technically a first-time offender since his past suspensions happened when he was a minor-leaguer, but it appears it will be up to commissioner Rob Manfred will make the decision about a possible Hamilton suspension.

The 33-year-old Hamilton was already sidelined after having offseason surgery. He hit .263/.331/.414 over 338 at-bats last year.  


Angels' Garrett Richards mixes offspeed pitches in latest 'pen session


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards took a big step forward in his recovery from August knee surgery during his fourth bullpen session on Thursday, according to MLB.com.

"Looked good, man," pitching coach Mike Butcher said. "Real good. Stable, repeated well."

Richards, who logged 50 pitches in his latest session, mixed in offspeed pitches from the stretch and windup. He is scheduled to throw again on Sunday.


Hamilton's mentor, friend: 'His baseball career should be over'


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Roy Silver, a friend and mentor responsible for helping Josh Hamilton get his career back on track after the embattled Angels outfielder missed the 2002-2006 seasons while recovering from drug addiction, suggested that Hamilton should call it a career to focus on getting his life in order.

"His life isn't over, but his baseball career should be," Silver said in a phone interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Hamilton met with MLB officials on Wednesday and confessed to going on a binge that involved cocaine and alcohol a couple of months ago. At this point, it's uncertain if Hamilton has failed a drug test.

"I'm not shocked or surprised,'' Silver said. "People don't understand that this hasn't been easy for him. I knew something was not right for the last couple of months. The fact that he's turning himself in is a sign that he got tired of the same old spin cycle. He's trying to get well.

"He needs to get down and dirty with himself.''

Although his previous issues occurred in the minors, it's unlikely that Hamilton will be treated strictly as a first-time offender for his relapse. First-time offenders in the MLB are put into a program and subject to increase testing. Hamilton, however, is already tested three times per week.

At this point, the Angels are unsure what to expect from Hamilton, who is due $25.4 million this season, and $32.4 million in 2016 and 2017.

"We're going to take one step at a time," manager Mike Scioscia said. "There is no sense in getting too far out in front because information is still evolving."


A's place Taylor Thompson on 60-day DL with shoulder issue


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Athletics have placed pitcher Taylor Thompson on the 60-day disabled list on Thursday with a shoulder strain, per the team's official website. The move made room for the addition of Chad Smith, who was claimed off waivers from Detroit.

Giants' Sergio Romo (shoulder) should throw off mound soon


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday reliever Sergio Romo's sore shoulder is getting better and he should throw off a bullpen mound in a few days. Bochy added Romo also got hit on the pitching hand by an errant baseball while running, but his hand is fine.

Matt Cain expected to pitch first time through spring rotation


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Giants manager Bruce Bochy said starting pitcher Matt Cain is expected to make his spring debut during the first turn through the rotation. Cain is coming off surgeries to his elbow and ankle.

Mets' Parnell faces live hitters for first time since Tommy John


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Mets reliever Bobby Parnell faced faced live hitters Thursday for the first time since having Tommy John surgery last April. Hitters did not swing on any of Parnell pitches during the session, according to ESPN.

"It felt good to see some hitters in the box," Parnell said. "It means I'm making the right steps forward. It was a big step."

Although Parnell is expected to start the season on the disabled list, manager Terry Collins did leave the door open for some major-league exhibition games late in spring training.

"He's going to be a piece we're going to have to have. Like I said to him, 'You've got to still take it slow.' Hopefully by the end of spring training he gets into a couple of games."


Nationals' Jayson Werth still aiming to be ready by season opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth, who was limited in workouts Thursday, said his surgically repaired right shoulder feels good and he will ramp up activities at the eight-week mark in his recovery, according to The Washington Post. Werth underwent surgery Jan. 9.

Werth is still aiming to be ready by opening day, but added he will be cautious in his recovery.

“You got to err on the side of caution,” Werth said. “You come back too early and then you have a setback or something like that so it’s a fine line. But our trainers and doctors are on top of it. I feel like I have a good sense of where I’m at and where I want to be so it’s just a time thing. It’s good to get down here and have our guys, so to speak, looking at it and caring for it. And it’s just good to be back around everybody.”


Orioles' Wieters will catch 5-7 innings in first game behind plate


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Thursday catcher Matt Wieters (elbow) will catch 5-7 innings when he plays in his first spring game at catcher March 17, per MLB.com.

Cards' Adam Wainwright prescribed two weeks rest for abdominal pain


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) After being examined Thursday in St. Louis for lower abdominal soreness, Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright won't need surgery and was only prescribed two weeks rest, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Based on all the different studies and what the doctor saw, (the doctor) feels this probably is the best news you could have gotten," general manager John Mozeliak said.

Wainwright was already on a delayed throwing schedule before injuring himself while replacing a 45-pound weight during a workout session. The right-hander can still throw despite the discomfort, but his workout will be limited and his throwing schedule will modified moving forward.

"If all goes well, he should be full-go probably in a couple of weeks," Mozeliak said.

Wainwright, 33, posted a 2.38 ERA over 227 innings in 2014 before having surgery to trim cartilage in his throwing elbow in October.


Astros' Peacock (hip) reports no issues after running Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Astros pitcher Brad Peacock reported no discomfort in his surgically repaired hip Thursday, while running a day after throwing his second bullpen session, per the Houston Chronicle. Peacock ran for 20 minutes at 80 percent of his body weight on an AlterG anti-gravity treadmill.

“I felt good,” he said. “I felt pretty good, no pain. I did 20 minutes of running on the AlterG, which takes away body weight, which is nice. I’m at 80 percent body weight.”

Peacock was happy with Thursday's progress since he didn't respond as well after running Monday.

“I felt a little bit of awkwardness in there (Monday), but that’s gone,” he said.


Shoulder injury could keep A's Thompson sidelined this spring


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Thursday pitcher Taylor Thompson has a shoulder strain, which could keep him sidelined during spring training, according to Comcast SportsNet California.

Blue Jays' Dirks (back) will start baseball activities in 7-10 days


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Blue Jays outfielder Andy Dirks (back) will start baseball activities in 7-10 days, per MLB.com. He could be elevated to major-league camp later this spring, but it appears his chances of being ready for opening day are not great.

"No, I wouldn't think," manager John Gibbons said when asked if Dirks could be considered for a spot on the opening day roster. "He still has some time he's going to need, but that could change."


McClendon: James Paxton doing well in recovery from forearm injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Thursday starting pitcher James Paxton is “progressing fine" in his recovery from a bruised left forearm, per MLB.com.

“He feels good. They just want to wait until the first of the week to have him throw," McClendon said.


Mattingly: Dodgers not concerned about Peralta missing start of season


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Thursday the team isn't concerned about reliever Joel Peralta (shoulder) being ready for the start of the season, per MLB.com. He has yet to throw a bullpen session because of shoulder stiffness.

Dodgers SP Hyun-Jin Ryu (back) undergoes MRI, results negative


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was held out of workouts again Thursday due to a back injury. However, Mattingly had some good news as Ryu underwent an MRI and the results were negative.

Ryu told reporters that he expects to return within a few days, and doesn't see his back issue affecting his spring schedule too much, according to SB Nation.


Mets 1B Lucas Duda (oblique) not ready to swing a bat


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Mets first baseman Lucas Duda, who is dealing with a left oblique injury, will not swing a bat Thursday, but he will go through the team's first full-squad workout, per ESPN. 

Manager Terry Collins said Duda will not swing for at least a week. He has done fielding drills all week. 


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.


Tigers star Miguel Cabrera getting closer to fielding grounders


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday star slugger Miguel Cabrera (ankle) is running at 65 percent body weight with a slight incline on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill, per MLive.com. 

Ausmus added once Cabrera gets to 80 percent body weight on the treadmill, he can start fielding grounders hit directly to him.

Cabrera already has the option to hit on the field against a batting practice pitcher. However, he has chosen to hit in the batting cages.


Padres' Kelly hoping to resume baseball activities in 7-10 days


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Padres starting pitcher Casey Kelly (groin) hopes to run and resume baseball activities in 7-10 days, per MLB.com. Kelly suffered a minor groin strain over the weekend.

Blue Jays lose LF Michael Saunders (knee) for first half of season


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders revealed Thursday he is expected to be sidelined until the All-Star break due to a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Saunders, who was slated to start in left field for Toronto, said he suffered the injury Wednesday after he stepped on a sprinkler head while shagging fly balls during batting practice, per the National Post.

“My goal is to be back by the All-Star break,” Saunders said. “I don’t see why there should be any hiccups in my rehab.”

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said the team would most likely replace Saunders, who was acquired in a December trade with the Mariners, with an internal candidate. Kevin Pillar and Dalton Pompey, who are competing for the starting job in center field, could be options since they can play all three outfield spots. Andy Dirks could also be a candidate, but he is in camp on a minor-league deal and still rehabbing from a back injury that sidelined him in 2014.

Saunders spent the first six seasons of his MLB career with Seattle. He hit .273 with a .341 on-base percentage, .450 slugging percentage and .791 OPS in 78 games last season.


Blue Jays view Daniel Norris as a starter


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Blue Jays view pitcher Daniel Norris as a starter, according to Sportsnet.

Norris will be stretched out during the spring, but will compete with both Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada for the fifth spot in the team's rotation. If Norris happens to lose out on that spot, it's more likely the team sends him to the minors to continue starting.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos wouldn't rule out Norris starting the year as a reliever, but admitted starting was the bigger priority. "In a perfect scenario if he didn’t make the team as a starter he’d be in the minors being stretched out," Anthopoulos said. "We wouldn’t rule it out if he’s throwing the ball that well and Sanchez or Estrada are throwing the ball that well that he could start in the bullpen as well."

The 21-year-old Norris posted a 5.40 ERA in five games with the club last year. 


 
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