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

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Player News
Orioles, Pedro Beato agree to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:21 pm ET) The Orioles and pitcher Pedro Beato have agreed to a minor-league deal, pending a physical, masnsports.com reports.

Beato was a first-round pick of the Orioles in the 2006 MLB Draft but didn't crack the major-league roster before being taken by the Mets in the 2010 Rule 5 draft. He spent most of last season with Triple-A Gwinnett, posting a 4.10 ERA and 45:17 K:BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings.


Braves' Luis Avilan feeling good heading into bullpen competition
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:15 pm ET) Braves left-handed pitcher Luis Avilan is competing for a spot in the bullpen this spring after enduring a down season last year, and he's confident he's getting back to the form he showed in 2013, MLB.com reports.

"I feel like all the work I've done in the offseason is really paying off," Avilan said. "I feel really good with my bullpen [sessions] and my live BP. I've been feeling really good with my pitches. The location has been really good, better than last year."

Avilan made 10 appearances in winter ball after posting a 4.57 ERA and 25:21 K:BB ratio in 43 1/3 innings in 2014.


Tigers' Joakim Soria throws live batting practice on Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:35 pm ET) Tigers reliever Joakim Soria was able to throw live batting practice on Tuesday, according to the Detroit Free Press

Soria wasn't listed on the team's pitching schedule for the first five spring games, which caused some confusion. While Soria said he's fine, manager Brad Ausmus said Soria is slightly behind the other pitchers in camp by his own choice. Soria did receive positive reviews during his session. "By all accounts, Soria threw very well," Ausmus said.

The 30-year-old Soria posted a 3.25 ERA over 44 1/3 innings last year.


Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland won't play spring games until next week
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:36 pm ET) Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland will run the bases on Tuesday, and won't seen any spring games until next week, according to the Star-Telegram. Texas is taking a cautious approach with Moreland in camp after he underwent ankle surgery last June.

The 29-year-old Moreland hit .246/.297/.347 over 167 at-bats last year.


Blue Jays' Gibbons yet to settle on closer, could use committee
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:34 pm ET) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Tuesday that while Brett Cecil has the ability to close, he might not serve as the team's closer, the National Post reports.

"He could do it. He might not. It might be somebody else," Gibbons said.

The manager also raised the possibility of using multiple closers.

"It could be one of those deals where one night he might be closing, the other night he might have to come in at the end of the seventh or eighth inning," Gibbons said.

Despite the face that Gibbons hasn't deemed Cecil his closer, he did praise his pitching ability Tuesday.

"He’s got some overpowering stuff," Gibbons said. "He’s a lefty and I don’t think there’s a better curveball out there. He can throw it for strikes, he can bring it down low in the zone and bounce it for a strikeout. That’s kind of his go-to pitch. He doesn’t rattle. He’s pretty confident and calm when he’s out there."

Cecil went 2-3 with a 2.70 ERA, 76:27 K:BB ratio and five saves in 53 1/3 innings in 2014. He owns a 11.1 career K/9 rate in relief.


White Sox's Geovany Soto feeling good at the start of spring games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:23 pm ET) White Sox catcher Geovany Soto said he is feeling good after being limited to 78 games the last two seasons due to injuries. He missed time in 2014 because of arthroscopic surgery on his left foot and a torn meniscus in his right knee.

"I love where I'm at," Soto said, per The Chicago Tribune. "My legs feel great. My whole body feels great. I'm just anxious to get started and show these guys what I can do, hopefully stay healthy and break camp."


Dodgers' Mattingly: Hyun-Jin Ryu's (back) next step will be BP
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:22 pm ET) Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters that starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu came out of Monday's bullpen session "fine," and that his next step will likely be throwing batting practice, according to SB Nation.

Ryu is dealing with a back injury, but has been throwing the last couple of days without pain. At this point, Ryu remains without a timetable for his first spring game. He went 14-7 in 2014 with a 3.38 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 152 innings pitched last season.


Hinch: Astros 'likely' to use seven-man bullpen in 2015
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:15 pm ET) Astros manager A.J. Hinch indicated that the team is likely to use a seven-man bullpen this season, leaving two spots open for competition this spring, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"Likely," Hinch said of a seven-man bullpen. "There’s always a chance that (changes) depending on how the schedule plays out, and there’s always a debate on how many pitchers to carry during interleague. Now interleague is pretty much year round, so I mean, in a perfect world with our roster, it’s likely to carry a seven-man ‘pen. If we feel like we need an extra pitcher or injury happens, there’s different ways to shape our roster, then we will, but likely 12."

The two open spots will likely be filled by a left-handed pitcher and a long reliever. The competition for the second lefty in the pen likely comes down to Kevin Chapman and nonroster invitees Joe Thatcher and Darin Downs. The long relief role has a broader list of candidates, including Alex White and Asher Wojciechowski, who will prepare both as starters and relievers.

"We’re going to stretch out a lot of our guys," Hinch said. "Some of them are because they’re competing in that fifth starter spot, some of them are bullpen guys. Will Harris is going to throw multiple innings. Obviously (Sam) Deduno has been a starter in the past, he’s in a competition for the fifth man spot. Wojo, White, those guys are going to need to, going to plan for the season on both fronts, whether it’s a starter or reliever. But we’re preaching multiple innings. It’s important if you have a seven-man bullpen that you have a couple of guys that can get four, five, six outs if needed and be a bridge to the rest of the bullpen."


Rangers' Tolleson: 'I'd like to be that bridge' between starters, closers
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:15 pm ET) Rangers pitcher Shawn Tolleson told reporters he would like to become the link between the starting rotation and back-end relievers Tanner Scheppers and Neftali Feliz this season, according to the Dallas Morning News.

"I would like to be that bridge," Tolleson said.

Tolleson led the club with 71 2/3 innings of relief last season. He pitched more than one inning 20 times and held left-handed hitters to a .282 on-base percentage.

"He's got the skill set to be one of those that we use in the latter portions of the game," manager Jeff Banister said. "He seems to love the competition."


Nationals faced with tough decision regarding Michael Taylor
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:10 pm ET) The Nationals are faced with a tough decision when it comes to outfield prospect Michael Taylor, who appears to be on the cusp of being ready for a regular role at the major-league level.

A major issue is playing time since the Nationals have a starting outfield of Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Denard Span. Taylor would be a solid fourth outfielder, but having him coming off the bench is not ideal for his development.

“It’s the same age-old decision that must be made regarding guys that are just on the cusp of being big-league ready and everyday players,” manager Matt Williams said, per NatsInsider.com. “And a question of depth on your team, too. … It’s a question of depth on your team, it’s a question of how much playing time they’re really going to get, and are they better served staying in the minor leagues and getting those at-bats until their opportunity arises. But Mike’s close. He’s really close.”


 
 
 
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