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

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Player News
Nationals sign Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor-league deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:57 pm ET) The Nationals have signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor-league deal, the team announced. 

Gwynn will be invited to major-league camp with the deal. The 32-year-old hit .152 over 105 at-bats with the Phillies last season. 


Nationals' Matt Purke hoping to get on a mound soon
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:31 pm ET) Nationals pitcher Matt Purke is hoping to throw off a mound in a few weeks, according to MLB.com.

Purke had Tommy John surgery last May, and has struggled with injuries since being selected in the third round of the 2011 draft. Purke was actually released by the club during the offseason, but came back on a minor-league deal. 

Purke said he was frustrated by the injuries, but understands he has to take it all in stride. "It's just something you have to take in stride, keep moving forward," he explained. "I'm ready to keep progressing the best I can and really get myself out there and pitch and perform. When my number is called, I'll be able to help when I can."

Purke is currently in the middle of a throwing program. He's been able to long toss, and hopes to throw off a mound in a few weeks. The team is still unsure when Purke will be ready for game action.


Twins' Danny Santana learning to play multiple positions
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:16 pm ET) Danny Santana came to the Twins in 2007 playing primarily shortstop. Now, Santana is playing in the outfield and learning how to transition to a new position on the field.

"I didn't know how to play the outfield and I needed a lot of work," he said to MLB.com. "It wasn't hard, because I have the ability to play many positions. But the hard part was being in center field and throwing to the bases. At shortstop, you throw from different angles. In the outfield, you need to be on top to throw."

Santana hit .319 with 40 RBI and 70 runs scored in 405 plate appearances in 2014.

"There's a lot of people here who believed in Danny Santana's future for a long time. We were able to get a glimpse of that last year," manager Paul Molitor said. "I have a lot of confidence in that kid. He's going about his business very professionally. He's really a good listener and applier. Some guys listen well and have trouble taking it out there. He's pretty good at taking information and putting it into play."


Padres' Cameron Maybin to hit leadoff in first spring game
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:07 pm ET) Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin will hit leadoff in the team's first spring game, according to MLB.com.

Manager Bud Black basically confirmed the news, though he wouldn't make it official as he prefers to let the player know before the media. Maybin is the forgotten man in the team's outfield heading into camp. While he's proven he can play center field, the club is expected to go with Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton when the regular season starts. 

Maybin, 27, hit .235/.290/.331 over 251 at-bats last season. 


Giants experimenting with Norichika Aoki in the leadoff spot
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:43 pm ET) The Giants are experimenting with using outfielder Norichika Aoki in the leadoff spot, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Aoki will hit leadoff on Tuesday with Angel Pagan sidelined. While Pagan is expected to claim the role once the regular season begins, manager Bruce Bochy said he would consider using Aoki in the leadoff role occasionally. When that happens, Pagan would hit in the third spot in the order. 

Aoki, 33, hit .285/.349/.360 over 491 at-bats last year. 


Twins' Glen Perkins feeling healthy heading into games
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:34 pm ET) Twins reliever Glen Perkins is feeling healthy heading into spring games, according to the Pioneer Press.

Perkins was shut down at the end of last season due to forearm and elbow issues. He hasn't experienced any of those issues this spring. "Really the barometer on how my arm feels is the bite on my slider," Perkins said. "If my slider is loopy, then my arm is probably tired, especially my forearm."

Perkins added that he threw a few sliders during a recent bullpen session, and was happy with how they looked. "I told them it was coming and they swung and missed at a few," he said. "It's got good movement right now. That means obviously I'm fresh, but also I'm strong and healthy."

Perkins is expected to pitch during an exhibition game on Wednesday. He posted a 3.65 ERA over 61 2/3 innings last season. 


Red Sox OFs Betts, Castillo to share time in CF this spring
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:30 pm ET) Red Sox manager John Farrell said Sunday that outfielders Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo will get equal playing time in center field this spring, MLB.com reports.

"Like we said at the outset of camp, we'll take all of camp to determine that," said Farrell. "They're going to get equal playing time. But I think it's important they both get comfortable with the combination of the guys on the flank because of communication, the responsibilities for balls in the gap, fly ball communication and those priorities."

While Betts had ample time to make an impression on the team during his rookie season, the Red Sox are still getting to know Castillo and his capabilities.

"With Rusney, I think it's a matter of frequent at-bats, more games played," Farrell said. "Particularly after our season concluded, he went to the [Arizona] Fall League and Puerto Rico, and through repetition, I think he's just gotten better timing and consistent routes in the outfield and he's looked very good here in camp so far."

Castillo went 12 for 36 in his short time with the Red Sox last season.


Report: Red Sox, Phillies haven't made progress on Hamels' deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:16 pm ET) The Red Sox and Phillies have not made progress on a deal for pitcher Cole Hamels, according to the Boston Herald. 

The Red Sox have been mentioned as a contender for Hamels in the past, but the club is hesitant to give up their top prospects for the pitcher. Though Phillies' special assistant to the general manager Charley Kerfeld was spotted at Red Sox facilities on Monday, two sources told the Herald that no progress has been made on a deal. 

The Phillies are said to covet either Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart, but Boston has refused to include either player in a deal.

Hamels, 31, posted a 2.46 ERA over 204 2/3 innings last year.


Cardinals' Carpenter seeks to balance aggressiveness, patience
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:04 pm ET) Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter hopes to combine the aggressiveness he displayed in 2013 with the patience he showed in 2014, MLB.com reports.

"I've had both extremes of it," Carpenter said. "I've had it where I've led the leagues in walks [2014], and I've had where I've led the league in hits [2013]. I'm trying to search for that perfect balance where you're aggressive, but you're still patient.

"In the postseason, I felt that I was more aggressive than I had been at any point in my career, but at the same time, I wasn't flailing at balls. I didn't lose anything. Now, it's finding the perfect balance to where I'm swinging the bat, I'm being aggressive, I'm trying to do damage, but at the same time, I'm a guy who can walk a lot, get on base and set the tone as a leadoff hitter. I think that's part of growing up as a baseball player. You learn and you adapt and you continue to try to figure out who you are as a hitter."

Carpenter homered four times during last year's postseason after hitting just eight home runs during the regular season, with his first two postseason blasts coming on the first pitch of his at-bats. He's looking to capture that approach more often this season.

"I think he's a smart enough guy to do it because he knows what he does really well," hitting coach John Mabry said. "That's what you take pride in -- those guys who put in all the work to get to where they are and then say, 'I'm not happy.' They want to put in the extra work to get to that next step, the next level."

Carpenter is looking to build off a 2014 season in which he hit .272/.375/.375 with eight home runs and 59 RBI in 595 at-bats.


Mariners' Dustin Ackley to get a lot of playing time this spring
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:01 pm ET) Mariners outfielder Dustin Ackley will get a ton of playing time this spring, according to MLB.com.

Manager Lloyd McClendon said he wants Ackley to get off to a strong start, and will give the outfielder a lot of at-bats in March. Ackley seemed happy with the arrangement. "I think that's good," Ackley said. "The more at-bats you get, the better your timing gets and the more comfortable you feel. I think everybody wants to get at-bats and get ready."

Ackley had a tough first half of the season in 2014, but seemed to come on strong late. He stressed that being strong mentally should help in 2015. "I just need to stay consistent and don't start pressing if I don't get a hit for a couple games or don't do this or that," he said. "It's not being result-oriented and just going out there and playing and trusting in my swing and my mental standpoint."

The 27-year-old hit .245/.293/.398 over 502 at-bats last year. He's expected to open the season in a platoon role with Rickie Weeks. 


 
 
 
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