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2012 Draft Prep: National League 5x5 auction

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The National League may not have the overall offensive firepower of the American League, but it offers NL-only owners a bevy of top outfield options. In our 12-team, NL-only Rotisserie league auction, many of those elite outfielders, like Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun and Justin Upton, came off the board early and set the tone for big spending at the position. Six of the first nine players nominated were outfielders, and they cost their owners a collective $188, even though the group included a $5 Bryce Harper.

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In fact, the highest bids came for players who qualify at what are arguably the NL's three deepest positions at the upper levels: outfield, shortstop and pitcher. Of the 16 players who fetched at least $30, only Joey Votto ($44) and Brandon Phillips ($30) played a position other than one of those three. This is not to say that position scarcity didn't matter, though. Votto has a greater advantage over his fellow elites at first base as compared to the top players at other positions, and he wound up being the most expensive player in the auction. Meanwhile, there are many similarly-productive options at the top of the second base, third base and catcher rankings, so owners were typically willing to wait to fill those positions, rather than spend $25 or more for the likes of Rickie Weeks or Brian McCann.

Scarcity also drove prices up as players were coming off the board. Phillips and Dee Gordon ($25) were both nominated relatively late, and both saw their values inflated compared to some similar alternatives. There weren't many late-auction bargains, as a few owners held onto their dollars deep into the auction, though Tim Hudson ($5) and Jason Kubel ($10) likely came more cheaply than they would have if they were nominated earlier.

Scoring for Batting Categories

BA - Batting Average
HR - Home Runs
R - Runs
RBI - Runs Batted In
SB - Stolen Bases

Pitching Categories

ERA - Earned Run Average
K - Strikeouts (Pitcher)
S - Saves
W - Wins
WHIP - Walks + Hits / Inning

The owners ...

1. Scott White, CBSSports.com
2. Scott Swanay and Steve Parsons, OptimalBaseball.com
3. John Toczydlowski and Mike Gianella, Patton & Co.
4. Al Melchior, CBSSports.com
5. Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire.com
6. Patrick Davitt, Baseball HQ
7. Marc Normandin, FakeTeams.com
8. Grey Albright and Rudy Gamble, Razzball
9. Tim McLeod, RotoRob
10. Mike Kuchera, FanDuel.com
11. Christopher Kreush and Todd Zola, Mastersball.com
12. Bernie Pleskoff, RotoWire.com

Editor's note: Utilize the sortable functionality to get a sense of the auction. View by team, dollar amount and position.

Have a take on our latest auction results? Share your thoughts on our Fantasy Baseball Facebook page and on our Twitter feed @CBSFantasyBB !

2012 NL-only Fantasy Auction Draft (sortable)
OrderPlayerPosPriceBid Won by
154A.J. Burnett, PITP$5Mastersball.com
201A.J. Ellis, LADC$3RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
191Aaron Harang, LADP$2Razzball
91Aaron Hill, ARI2B$13Razzball
276Adam Kennedy, LAD1B$1Baseball HQ
36Adam LaRoche, WAS1B$14OptimalBaseball.com
30Adam Wainwright, STLP$23FakeTeams.com
193Alex Gonzalez, MILSS$3Razzball
103Alex Presley, PITOF$10Mastersball.com
114Alfonso Soriano, CHCOF$6Patton & Co
187Allen Craig, STLOF$6CBSSports.com (Melchior)
61Andre Ethier, LADOF$24CBSSports.com (Melchior)
137Andres Torres, NYMOF$9OptimalBaseball.com
8Andrew McCutchen, PITOF$32Mastersball.com
101Angel Pagan, SFOF$17CBSSports.com (Melchior)
113Anibal Sanchez, MIAP$14Razzball
194Anthony Rizzo, CHC1B$2FakeTeams.com
110Aramis Ramirez, MIL3B$21Patton & Co
183Aroldis Chapman, CINP$4FakeTeams.com
50Aubrey Huff, SF1B$10OptimalBaseball.com
196Barry Zito, SFP$1FanDuel.com
250Brad Lincoln, PITP$1OptimalBaseball.com
56Brandon Beachy, ATLP$22RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
78Brandon Belt, SFOF$12OptimalBaseball.com
218Brandon Crawford, SFSS$2Mastersball.com
68Brandon Phillips, CIN2B$30Baseball HQ
227Brett Jackson, CHCOF$4Razzball
42Brett Myers, HOUP$10OptimalBaseball.com
158Brett Wallace, HOU1B$4CBSSports.com (Melchior)
225Brian Bogusevic, HOUOF$3Mastersball.com
33Brian McCann, ATLC$21RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
54Brian Wilson, SFP$13RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
155Bronson Arroyo, CINP$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
210Bryan LaHair, CHCOF$10RotoRob
6Bryce Harper, WASOF$5OptimalBaseball.com
162Bud Norris, HOUP$11RotoRob
58Buster Posey, SFC$20Baseball HQ
83Cameron Maybin, SDOF$19RotoRob
102Carlos Beltran, STLOF$17Patton & Co
243Carlos Gomez, MILOF$1FanDuel.com
40Carlos Gonzalez, COLOF$43FakeTeams.com
121Carlos Lee, HOUOF$14FanDuel.com
87Carlos Marmol, CHCP$18RotoRob
125Carlos Quentin, SDOF$10CBSSports.com (Melchior)
126Carlos Ruiz, PHIC$9Patton & Co
185Carlos Zambrano, MIAP$4RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
211Casey Blake, COL3B$2CBSSports.com (White)
263Casey McGehee, PIT3B$1FanDuel.com
180Chad Billingsley, LADP$9Patton & Co
252Charlie Morton, PITP$1FanDuel.com
107Chase Headley, SD3B$13Patton & Co
31Chase Utley, PHI2B$20Mastersball.com
147Chipper Jones, ATL3B$9FakeTeams.com
174Chris Capuano, LADP$4OptimalBaseball.com
85Chris Carpenter, STLP$15OptimalBaseball.com
260Chris Coghlan, MIAOF$1Baseball HQ
115Chris Heisey, CINOF$6FakeTeams.com
270Chris Johnson, HOU3B$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
241Chris Narveson, MILP$1Razzball
212Chris Snyder, HOUC$3Mastersball.com
60Chris Young, ARIOF$23Mastersball.com
11Clayton Kershaw, LADP$34RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
246Clayton Richard, SDP$1CBSSports.com (Melchior)
5Cliff Lee, PHIP$31CBSSports.com (Melchior)
217Clint Barmes, PITSS$6Razzball
13Cole Hamels, PHIP$25FanDuel.com
39Corey Hart, MILOF$24Baseball HQ
122Cory Luebke, SDP$18RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
19Craig Kimbrel, ATLP$23CBSSports.com (Melchior)
34Dan Uggla, ATL2B$28CBSSports.com (White)
274Daniel Descalso, STL3B$1Baseball HQ
109Daniel Hudson, ARIP$19Razzball
38Daniel Murphy, NYM1B$15FanDuel.com
79Danny Espinosa, WAS2B$17RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
237Darwin Barney, CHC2B$2CBSSports.com (Melchior)
151David DeJesus, CHCOF$5FakeTeams.com
132David Freese, STL3B$14RotoRob
238David Hernandez, ARIP$1CBSSports.com (White)
209David Ross, ATLC$2FakeTeams.com
47David Wright, NYM3B$29FanDuel.com
70Dee Gordon, LADSS$25RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
275Derrek Lee, PIT1B$1Baseball HQ
86Devin Mesoraco, CINC$10RotoRob
95Dexter Fowler, COLOF$14Patton & Co
177Dillon Gee, NYMP$2FakeTeams.com
272Domonic Brown, PHIOF$1Baseball HQ
233Drew Pomeranz, COLP$3RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
43Drew Storen, WASP$19Baseball HQ
96Drew Stubbs, CINOF$22FanDuel.com
150Edinson Volquez, SDP$6OptimalBaseball.com
223Edward Mujica, MIAP$1Baseball HQ
192Edwin Jackson, WASP$5Baseball HQ
10Emilio Bonifacio, MIASS$26CBSSports.com (White)
255Eric Surkamp, SFP$1Mastersball.com
203Erik Bedard, PITP$3FanDuel.com
216Fernando Salas, STLP$2RotoRob
232Francisco Rodriguez, MILP$1FanDuel.com
131Frank Francisco, NYMP$15RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
20Freddie Freeman, ATL1B$20CBSSports.com (Melchior)
229Freddy Sanchez, SF2B$3RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
44Gaby Sanchez, MIA1B$17Razzball
181Garrett Jones, PITOF$7FakeTeams.com
124Geovany Soto, CHCC$11Razzball
230Gerardo Parra, ARIOF$1Razzball
21Giancarlo Stanton, MIAOF$34RotoRob
77Gio Gonzalez, WASP$18RotoRob
25Hanley Ramirez, MIASS$36OptimalBaseball.com
59Heath Bell, MIAP$18FanDuel.com
143Homer Bailey, CINP$5CBSSports.com (Melchior)
51Hunter Pence, PHIOF$30RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
120Huston Street, SDP$14OptimalBaseball.com
88Ian Desmond, WASSS$17FanDuel.com
35Ian Kennedy, ARIP$20CBSSports.com (White)
146Ian Stewart, CHC3B$9FanDuel.com
22Ike Davis, NYM1B$24CBSSports.com (White)
153J.D. Martinez, HOUOF$10RotoRob
12J.J. Putz, ARIP$16CBSSports.com (White)
136Jaime Garcia, STLP$14FanDuel.com
169Jair Jurrjens, ATLP$8RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
27James Loney, LAD1B$14Patton & Co
228James McDonald, PITP$1OptimalBaseball.com
206Jason Bartlett, SDSS$9RotoRob
145Jason Bay, NYMOF$9RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
208Jason Bourgeois, HOUOF$3CBSSports.com (White)
200Jason Castro, HOUC$3FanDuel.com
72Jason Heyward, ATLOF$19FanDuel.com
111Jason Kubel, ARIOF$10Razzball
84Jason Motte, STLP$15Mastersball.com
94Javy Guerra, LADP$11Razzball
100Jay Bruce, CINOF$27Razzball
90Jayson Werth, WASOF$21FakeTeams.com
140Jed Lowrie, HOUSS$13RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
254Jeff Karstens, PITP$1Baseball HQ
179Jeremy Guthrie, COLP$2FakeTeams.com
235Jerry Sands, LADOF$2RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
268Jesus Flores, WASC$1FanDuel.com
148Jesus Guzman, SD1B$3Mastersball.com
172Jhoulys Chacin, COLP$14RotoRob
144Jimmy Paredes, HOU3B$8Mastersball.com
55Jimmy Rollins, PHISS$21Patton & Co
242Joe Blanton, PHIP$1Patton & Co
239Joe Saunders, ARIP$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
73Joel Hanrahan, PITP$17Mastersball.com
2Joey Votto, CIN1B$44Baseball HQ
105Johan Santana, NYMP$6Mastersball.com
63John Axford, MILP$18RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
123John Buck, MIAC$9OptimalBaseball.com
249John Lannan, WASP$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
141John Mayberry, PHIOF$15CBSSports.com (White)
117Johnny Cueto, CINP$12Patton & Co
170Jon Jay, STLOF$5CBSSports.com (Melchior)
24Jonathan Lucroy, MILC$12FakeTeams.com
67Jonathan Papelbon, PHIP$19Mastersball.com
129Jonathon Niese, NYMP$6RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
182Jonny Venters, ATLP$7FakeTeams.com
231Jordan Lyles, HOUP$1Patton & Co
253Jordan Pacheco, COL1B$1RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
213Jordan Schafer, HOUOF$9RotoRob
69Jordan Zimmermann, WASP$16RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
226Jorge De La Rosa, COLP$1CBSSports.com (White)
116Jose Altuve, HOU2B$15RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
17Jose Reyes, MIASS$30Patton & Co
81Jose Tabata, PITOF$15Patton & Co
156Josh Collmenter, ARIP$3Mastersball.com
23Josh Johnson, MIAP$18CBSSports.com (White)
164Josh Thole, NYMC$3Patton & Co
175Juan Nicasio, COLP$4Razzball
262Juan Pierre, PHIOF$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
244Juan Rivera, LADOF$4RotoRob
236Juan Uribe, LAD3B$2FakeTeams.com
9Justin Upton, ARIOF$36Razzball
127Kenley Jansen, LADP$8CBSSports.com (Melchior)
258Kyle Blanks, SDOF$1FanDuel.com
261Kyle Lohse, STLP$2RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
28Lance Berkman, STLOF$21CBSSports.com (White)
82Logan Morrison, MIAOF$19CBSSports.com (White)
104Lucas Duda, NYMOF$20FakeTeams.com
251Luke Gregerson, SDP$8Razzball
49Madison Bumgarner, SFP$23Patton & Co
80Marco Scutaro, COLSS$10OptimalBaseball.com
157Mark Buehrle, MIAP$5Patton & Co
168Mark Ellis, LAD2B$5FakeTeams.com
142Marlon Byrd, CHCOF$7Patton & Co
106Martin Prado, ATLOF$17CBSSports.com (White)
135Mat Gamel, MIL3B$13RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
53Mat Latos, CINP$19CBSSports.com (Melchior)
271Matt Belisle, COLP$1Baseball HQ
57Matt Cain, SFP$23OptimalBaseball.com
64Matt Garza, CHCP$18Baseball HQ
4Matt Holliday, STLOF$30RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
1Matt Kemp, LADOF$42RotoRob
65Melky Cabrera, SFOF$15Mastersball.com
18Michael Bourn, ATLOF$28FakeTeams.com
98Michael Cuddyer, COLOF$24RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
14Michael Morse, WAS1B$26FanDuel.com
74Miguel Montero, ARIC$20Mastersball.com
204Mike Leake, CINP$4FanDuel.com
159Mike Minor, ATLP$6CBSSports.com (Melchior)
259Mike Nickeas, NYMC$1RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
215Mike Pelfrey, NYMP$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
265Nate McLouth, PITOF$1Baseball HQ
221Nate Schierholtz, SFOF$3RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
75Neil Walker, PIT2B$18Mastersball.com
189Nick Hundley, SDC$7RotoRob
220Nolan Arenado, COL3B$4RotoRob
267Norichika Aoki, MILOF$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
184Nyjer Morgan, MILOF$5CBSSports.com (Melchior)
188Omar Infante, MIA2B$4RotoRob
171Orlando Hudson, SD2B$3Patton & Co
76Pablo Sandoval, SF3B$24Razzball
46Paul Goldschmidt, ARI1B$22RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
273Paul Maholm, CHCP$1Baseball HQ
178Pedro Alvarez, PIT3B$6RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
165Placido Polanco, PHI3B$2CBSSports.com (White)
173R.A. Dickey, NYMP$3CBSSports.com (White)
97Rafael Betancourt, COLP$16RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
139Rafael Furcal, STLSS$7FakeTeams.com
108Ramon Hernandez, COLC$11OptimalBaseball.com
234Randall Delgado, ATLP$1RotoRob
219Randy Wolf, MILP$2CBSSports.com (White)
222Rex Brothers, COLP$1RotoRob
62Rickie Weeks, MIL2B$21CBSSports.com (Melchior)
163Ricky Nolasco, MIAP$4Razzball
205Rod Barajas, PITC$5CBSSports.com (White)
247Roger Bernadina, WASOF$1Mastersball.com
7Roy Halladay, PHIP$33Mastersball.com
190Roy Oswalt, PHIP$2OptimalBaseball.com
197Ruben Tejada, NYM2B$3RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
3Ryan Braun, MILOF$43RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
176Ryan Dempster, CHCP$8CBSSports.com (Melchior)
167Ryan Hanigan, CINC$4Razzball
26Ryan Howard, PHI1B$14OptimalBaseball.com
199Ryan Ludwick, CINOF$3CBSSports.com (White)
48Ryan Madson, CINP$19FakeTeams.com
92Ryan Roberts, ARI3B$15CBSSports.com (Melchior)
257Ryan Theriot, SFSS$1OptimalBaseball.com
166Ryan Vogelsong, SFP$3RotoRob
89Ryan Zimmerman, WAS3B$26Razzball
245Scott Rolen, CIN3B$2Mastersball.com
207Sean Marshall, CINP$2Baseball HQ
240Sergio Romo, SFP$2RotoRob
32Shane Victorino, PHIOF$24Baseball HQ
152Shaun Marcum, MILP$11Patton & Co
266Shelby Miller, STLP$1Mastersball.com
269Skip Schumaker, STL2B$1Baseball HQ
52Starlin Castro, CHCSS$28Baseball HQ
93Stephen Drew, ARISS$11FanDuel.com
15Stephen Strasburg, WASP$23FakeTeams.com
248Taylor Green, MIL2B$4CBSSports.com (White)
195Ted Lilly, LADP$6Patton & Co
224Tim Federowicz, LADC$1CBSSports.com (Melchior)
161Tim Hudson, ATLP$5FakeTeams.com
37Tim Lincecum, SFP$28Baseball HQ
186Tim Stauffer, SDP$6FakeTeams.com
119Todd Helton, COL1B$8RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
45Tommy Hanson, ATLP$17RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
118Tony Campana, CHCOF$5Razzball
66Trevor Cahill, ARIP$10Razzball
16Troy Tulowitzki, COLSS$39OptimalBaseball.com
160Ty Wigginton, PHI3B$4OptimalBaseball.com
202Tyler Clippard, WASP$3CBSSports.com (Melchior)
264Tyler Colvin, COLOF$1RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
198Tyler Greene, STL2B$5RotoRob
134Tyler Pastornicky, ATLSS$9RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
130Vance Worley, PHIP$8Patton & Co
112Wandy Rodriguez, HOUP$8CBSSports.com (White)
214Welington Castillo, CHCC$1CBSSports.com (White)
138Wilin Rosario, COLC$7Baseball HQ
149Will Venable, SDOF$11Patton & Co
256Willie Bloomquist, ARISS$1RotoWire.com (Pleskoff)
128Wilson Ramos, WASC$15RotoWire.com (Fiorentino)
71Yadier Molina, STLC$15CBSSports.com (Melchior)
99Yonder Alonso, SDOF$10OptimalBaseball.com
29Yovani Gallardo, MILP$21CBSSports.com (White)
133Zack Cozart, CINSS$11CBSSports.com (Melchior)
41Zack Greinke, MILP$24FanDuel.com

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Player News
Giants sign Ronny Cedeno to minor-league deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11:18 pm ET) 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. 


Brewers' Scooter Gennett glad to have full-time role
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:03 pm ET) Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett is glad to have a full-time role heading into 2015, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Gennett spent last season in a platoon with Rickie Weeks, but with Weeks gone, he'll assume the full-time role. Gennett said he feels far less stressed about his position on the team this spring. "Seeing as I'm pretty much the everyday guy, that eliminated the stress, or whatever you want to call it, off my back," he said. 

"Just not having to worry about stuff out of my control. I've put myself in this position where I've earned the job, I've shown them what I can do, and now it's about consistently doing it," he added. 

Manager Ron Roenicke has already said he'll give Gennett plenty of opportunities to prove himself against left-handers. 

Gennett, 24, hit .289/.320/.434 over 440 at-bats last season. 


Cubs' Arismendy Alcantara will play all over the place
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:54 pm ET) Cubs utility man Arismendy Alcantara is going to play a lot of positions this season, according to ESPN.

Alcantara saw time in center last season, but the team's trade for Dexter Fowler will alter his role. Alcantara says he's ready for the challenge. "Mentally you have to be ready for that," Alcantara said. "They want me to play second base and the outfield." He's also expected to see some time at third base. 

Manager Joe Maddon is glad to have such a versatile player on the team. "When you get a guy like that and you want to give someone a rest, you don't feel like you're losing anything," Joe Maddon said. "And the big attraction there is also in-game. It's like having an extra guy on the bench."

The 23-year-old Alcantara hit .205/.254/.367 over 278 at-bats last year. 


Rockies ask Corey Dickerson to be more patient
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:31 pm ET) The Rockies want Corey Dickerson to be a little more patient at the plate, according to MLB.com.

Dickerson had a breakout season in 2014, hitting .312/.364/.567 over 436 at-bats. He walked in 7.7 percent of his plate appearances, which was actually just above the league average. Still, the team wants Dickerson to be slightly less of a free-swinging this year.

"I talked to Corey about adding this much discipline to his game," manager Walt Weiss said. "We don't want that much, because then he wouldn't be Corey Dickerson." Weiss explained that it's difficult to deliver this type of message, as Dickerson's aggressiveness makes him effective. 

Dickerson said he would work harder to study pitchers and work on his approach during games. 

The 25-year-old is expected to open the year as the team's starter in left.


Marlins unlikely to add reliever now
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:16 pm ET) The Marlins are unlikely to add a reliever now that Francisco Rodriguez is off the market, according to MLB.com.

The Marlins were involved in negotiations for K-Rod through at least Wednesday, and were reportedly willing to offer $10 million over two years. The club has been looking for a veteran reliever for some time, but may pass now that Rodriguez has signed with the Brewers.

Both Rafael Soriano and Phil Coke have been connected to Miami, but the team would likely only sign those players to minor-league contracts.


Diamondbacks' Chase Anderson a favorite for the rotation
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:42 pm ET) The Diamondbacks consider Chase Anderson a favorite to break camp in the rotation, according to azcentral.com.

The club wants to create a lot of competition for the rotation, and it was initially believed Anderson would be competing for a spot. General manager Dave Stewart sort of quashed those rumors, saying he perceives Anderson as a strong favorite right now. "Chase Anderson won nine games for us last year; you have to strongly consider him as part of our rotation," Stewart said. 

Anderson is expected to pair with Josh Collmenter and Jeremy Hellickson for now. The club will determine the final two spots in the rotation during camp.

Anderson, 27, posted a 4.01 ERA over 114 1/3 innings last year.


Indians' Francona: Swisher 'swinging the bat really well'
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:14 pm ET) Indians manager Terry Francona has been satisfied with Nick Swisher's performance during batting practice, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

"He's swinging the bat really well," Francona said. "He's under control and he probably has to be (because of his knees). But he's using the whole field. He really looks good." 

Swisher has been working with the team's hitting coaches on trying to go up the middle more often. Francona said that strategy has already translated to his batting practice sessions. 

Running still remains an issue for Swisher, however. He was able to do some drills on Thursday, but reportedly looked uncomfortable during the session. The club expects he'll be ready for games in mid-March.

Swisher, 34, hit .208/.278/.331 over 360 at-bats last year. 


Rockies' Jordan Lyles hoping new changeup leads to success
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:55 pm ET) Rockies pitcher Jordan Lyles is hoping a new changeup will lead to success this season, according to the Denver Post

Lyles started experimenting with a split-change last year, and spent all offseason honing the pitch. I've been working on that all offseason," Lyles said. "I wasn't paying too much attention to my curveball and cutter. I really wanted to give a bigger gap between mph."

Manager Walt Weiss came away impressed with the offering. "His confidence in that pitch has skyrocketed," he said. Weiss added that he views Lyles as "a staple for [the Rockies."

Lyles is expected to open the year in the team's rotation. He posted a 4.33 ERA over 126 2/3 innings last season.


Royals looking at Joe Blanton as a reliever
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:48 pm ET) The Royals will use Joe Blanton as a reliever, according to MLB.com.

Blanton has not pitched in the majors since 2013. While he started 20 games that season, the Royals view him strictly as a reliever. "The only way he is really going to help us is in the bullpen," manager Ned Yost said. "We're not going to stretch him out [to be a starter]."

Blanton posted a 6.04 ERA over 132 2/3 innings in 2013. He'll compete for a job in the Royals bullpen this spring. 


Giants' Santiago Casilla avoids injury during BP session
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:41 pm ET) Giants reliever Santiago Casilla avoided a major injury on Thursday after he was hit by a comebacker during a batting practice session, according to MLB.com.

Casilla took a line drive off the shin during the session. He laid on the ground for about a minute, but was able to walk off the field under his own power. X-rays came back negative, so Casilla is not dealing with a fracture. He may miss a day or two due to the injury, but that's it. Casilla said he wanted to simulate a real game, which is why he decided not to pitch behind a screen.

The 34-year-old posted a 1.70 ERA over 58 1/3 innings last year. He's expected to open the season as the team's closer. 


 
 
 
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