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

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Player News
David Buchanan will compete for one of two spots in Phillies' rotation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:08 pm ET) Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan said refininig his curveball has been a point of emphasis this offseason, as he prepares to compete for a spot in the rotation this spring, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I had success with (my curveball) in certain games,” he said. “It started coming along there toward the end. But it’s definitely something that has a lot of work still to go. It’s definitely something I’m working on. It’s getting better, which is all I can ask for.”

There is two spots currently open in the rotation behind Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Aaron Harang. Buchanan, Jerome Williams and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez are considered the leading candidates for the openings in the rotation. 

“There’s going to be some competition,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week. “I think that’s the only way that you can get better is by creating competition. I can’t sit here and tell you today that David Buchanan’s going to be one of our guys in the rotation, but he absolutely is going to get an opportunity to pitch in spring training and be ready and compete for one of those spots.”


Santana fine after throwing bullpen session; winter-league status is TBD
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:55 am ET) Free agent starting pitcher Johan Santana threw a bullpen session Sunday and is said to be feeling fine, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. It is now up to his Venezuelan winter league team to decide if he will pitch for them in the finals.

Santana has been dealing with some shoulder discomfort, which has put his status for the remainder of the winter-league season in doubt. Santana is hoping to latch on with another major-league team after suffering a torn Achilles in June.

The Yankees, Padres and Blue Jays are among the teams showing interest in signing the former two-time AL Cy Young award winner.


Mariners planning on batting Smith, Ruggiano in second spot in lineup
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:31 am ET) Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said he is tentatively planning to bat the right-field tandem of Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano second in the lineup, per The New Tribune.

The Mariners ranked last in the majors last season in on-base percentage (.260) from their No. 2 hitters. No other team was lower than .279.

Smith had a .367 OBP last season for San Diego, while Ruggiano had a .337 OBP in 81 games for the Cubs.


Rays' Jake McGee plays catch for first time since elbow surgery
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:25 am ET) The Rays announced Monday reliever Jake McGee played catch for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery in December. McGee is still expected to miss the start of the season.

Cardinals' Carpenter hoping to build off postseason power surge
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:17 am ET) Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter hit just eight home runs with a .375 slugging percentage during the 2014 regular season, but had a much better power swing in the postseason, belting four home runs and slugging .722 in nine games.

“I took a more of an aggressive approach in the postseason,” Carpenter said, per STLBaseballWeekly.com. “Part of that was from the experience that I had gathered the year before. After a long season, going into the playoffs I felt like I wasn’t as prepared as I felt like I could’ve been. It kind of snowballed and my approach and the way I took the regular season at-bat in the postseason it wasn’t playing out well.”

Carpenter said his postseason success could have a positive impact on his power numbers in 2015.

"Certainly, I’m always going to be a guy who’s patient at the plate, but that was a good learning experience for me -- being aggressive," he said. "I don’t remember the exact numbers but out of the four home runs I hit, I think three of them were on the first pitch. That’s something typically I don’t do a lot of, and it was a good learning experience.”


Tigers' Dombrowski expecting 'real big season' for Justin Verlander
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:48 am ET) Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander said last week this is the best he's felt physically approaching the start of spring training in at least three years.

Apparently, the optimism doesn't end with Verlander. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski indicated the Tigers are expecting big things from Verlander in 2015 after he posted a 4.54 ERA in 2014, failing to make the All-Star team for the first time in six seasons.

"Justin Verlander is as prime a pitcher as there is in the game of baseball," Dombrowski said, per the Detroit Free Press. "Last year, he was not the traditional Justin. But when you look at what he came back from with the surgery, I think he's going to go out and have a real big season for us."


Sleep apnea almost caused Red Sox's Mike Napoli to retire
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:47 am ET) Dealing with sleep apnea almost caused Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli to retire prematurely from baseball, reports the Boston Globe.

"I couldn't do it anymore, feeling the way I was feeling," Napoli said. "I was like, 'I need to have the surgery or I'm not going play anymore.' That's how bad it was."

During the offseason, Napoli underwent facial reconstruction surgery to correct the condition, which was preventing him from getting a proper night of rest.

"It was a brutal process," Napoli said. "It was probably one of the worse things I've ever done."

With the surgery a success and Napoli recovered from losing weight due to a six-week liquid diet, Napoli is now sleeping better than he ever has.

Before the surgery, Napoli turned to medication, mouthpieces and a CPAP mask, but said those problems are now behind him.

"I wake up now and I'm ready to start my day," he said. "It's great."


Angels' Jered Weaver bulks up in effort to pitch deeper into games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:36 am ET) Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver has bulked up to 224 pounds, which is six pounds heavier than he has ever been, in an effort to pitch deeper into games in 2015, per the Los Angeles Times. Weaver dropped to as low as 199 pounds during the 2014 season.

“Numbers-wise, it was all right,” Weaver said of his 2014 season (18-9, 3.59 ERA). “But from a personal standpoint, me being ultra-competitive, I want to get deeper in games.

“The bullpen helped me a lot last year. I just want to gain some strength. I went on a different weight-lifting program last year, and it’s been paying off. I’m going to stick with it.”

The average velocity of Weaver’s fastball dipped to a career-low 86.3 mph last season. However, he said the added weight gain is more for endurance than velocity on his fastball. He averaged just over six innings per start last season and has just one complete game over the last two seasons after throwing seven complete games in 2011-12.

“I don’t care about velocity -- I just want to be stronger for the whole nine innings,” Weaver said. “If velocity comes along, so be it. I think I’ve shown I can pitch from 83 to 93 mph.”


Mariners' Austin Jackson looking to bounce back in 2015
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:08 am ET) After being acquired by the Mariners at the trade deadline last season, outfielder Austin Jackson struggled to produce for the Mariners. In 54 games, Jackson hit .229 and Jackson said the trade affected his playing ability, reports The News Tribune.

"Not making excuses, but I think getting traded and trying to get used to the travel and the sleep - those things affect your play on the field," Jackson said.

By starting the season in Seattle, Jackson said he hopes to avoid the distractions from last season and he's looking to return to his old form.

"Hopefully, getting started here and staying here, those distractions won't be there," Jackson said.


White Sox OF Avisail Garcia dropped weight during offseason
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia dropped roughly 15 pounds during the offseason, according to MLB.com.

"I've been eating healthy, working real hard at the gym, Garcia said. "I have to be ready for spring training. I can't go there and be fat." With the weight loss, Garcia is hoping to keep his power potential. "I don't want to lose speed, I don't want to lose power," Garcia said. "I want to be in the middle. I know I can do a little bit of everything, so that's why I've been working really hard on speed, power, hitting and defense, so I can help my team win."

Garcia hit .244/.305/.413 over 172 at-bats last year.


 
 
 
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