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Fantasy Relief: Assessing all 30 bullpens

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
  •  

I was 11 years old when Mariano Rivera recorded his first career save on May 17, 1996. Sixteen years later, Rivera has been able to stand the test of time.

Not much has changed the last two decades when it comes to the Yankees' closer situation. When "Enter Sandman" blares at Yankee Stadium, we all know what happens next. Rivera has put together a Hall-of-Fame career and has been a favorite of Fantasy owners for years.

While we know what to expect from Rivera and the Yankees, not every bullpen or closer situation is as cut and dry. Welcome to Fantasy Relief, where we focus on bullpens, how they affect the game and what Fantasy owners need to know.

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The intent is to highlight bullpen happenings around the league on a weekly basis and how they will affect your Fantasy team. And we aren't going to stop at closers. We'll spotlight setup men, left-handed specialists and whoever else needs to be on your radar.

Sifting through the reliever pool can be as stressful as any other Fantasy position, so let CBSSports.com provide some relief.

The initial piece in this series will break down the closer situation for each team by league and feature other names to know.

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks

The J.J. Putz experiment was a smashing success for Arizona in 2011. The oft-injured reliever made just one trip to the disabled list last season and finished with a career-best 45 saves. When healthy, Putz is one of the best closers in baseball. But if he has to miss any time, the Diamondbacks are confident in former starter-turned-setup-man David Hernandez, who went 11 for 14 in save chances last year.

Saves specialist: Putz
Holds Hero: Hernandez
Newcomer of note: Takashi Saito
Lefty specialist: Joe Paterson
Rainy-day name: Brad Ziegler

Atlanta Braves

We hope your lasting image of Craig Kimbrel is the 2011 NL rookie of the year and not the dejected reliever whose final blown save last year cost his team a chance at the playoffs. Kimbrel had some down moments as a rookie closer last season, but most of them were memorable on his way to 46 saves, which tied John Axford for the NL lead. Outside of the saves, Kimbrel was also a boon for Fantasy owners by averaging 14.8 strikeouts per nine innings. There's no threat to take his job, but Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty both showed last season they could thrive in late-inning situations, with each lefty reliever recording 30-plus holds.

Saves specialist: Kimbrel
Holds heroes: Venters, O'Flaherty
Bounce-back candidate: Kris Medlen
Rising reliever: Cristhian Martinez
Breakout candidate: Cory Gearrin

Chicago Cubs

Carlos Marmol has electric stuff, but he needs to do a better job of harnessing it or else the Cubs could be looking for a new closer. Lucky for Marmol, who is walking 5.9 batters per nine innings in his career, he gets a fresh start with a new regime taking over in Chicago. Marmol, who blew 10 saves last year, is hoping some mechanical tweaks and the re-emergence of his slider will get him on track. If not, then Chicago could turn to former closer Kerry Wood.

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Saves specialist: Marmol
Holds hero: Wood
Rainy-day name: James Russell

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds bullpen situation went from steady to unsettled in the blink of an eye. The loss of closer Ryan Madson, who is out for the season due to elbow surgery, now has the Reds scrambling to find a ninth-inning replacement. Newcomer Sean Marshall is the likely candidate to elevate to the closer's role, but Aroldis Chapman is also an option if he doesn't end up in the rotation. If Cincinnati goes to the committee approach, then the steady Nick Masset could be the Reds' answer for a right-handed closer.

Saves specialist: Marshall
Strikeout artist: Chapman
Innings eater: Masset
Long reliever: Sam LeCure
Rainy-day name: Jose Arredondo

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are handing the closer's responsibilities to Rafael Betancourt. If he pitches like he did down the stretch in 2011, then it will be a worthwhile gamble. Betancourt, who is replacing the traded Huston Street, had a 0.33 ERA, .029 WHIP, eight saves and 39 strikeouts in 27 second-half innings last year. The logical choice if Betancourt falters is Matt Belisle, but don't count out Rex Brothers, who has future closer written all over him.

Saves specialist: Betancourt
Wins vulture: Belisle
Breakout candidate: Brothers
Lefty specialist: Matt Reynolds
Rainy-day name: Edgmer Escalona

Houston Astros

Even though Brandon Lyon is healthy following an injury-shortened campaign last year, the Astros are turning to starter-turned-reliever Brett Myers to close out games. Perhaps this is a way for Houston to showcase Myers to potential contenders and deal him before the July 31 trade deadline. The Astros still have Lyon as a fallback option, but if Myers falters, gets injured or is traded, perhaps Houston should take a look at Wilton Lopez, who has a 2.87 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 138 innings the last two years.

Saves specialist: Myers
Holds heroes: Lyon, Lopez
Breakout candidate: David Carpenter

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles is going to give Javy Guerra every chance to keep the closer's job after the 26-year-old reliever bailed out the team last year following a myriad of injuries to the bullpen. However, we don't know how long the leash will be with strikeout artist Kenley Jansen breathing down his neck.

Saves specialist: Guerra
Rising reliever: Jansen
Holds hero: Matt Guerrier
Breakout candidate: Scott Elbert
Rainy-day name: Josh Lindblom

Miami Marlins

The Marlins added some key pieces to their roster via free agency, including All-Star closer Heath Bell. The right-handed reliever recorded 132 saves the last three seasons while striking out 9.6 batters per nine innings in that span. Bell supplants incumbent closer Juan Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez). However, Oviedo is stuck in the Dominican Republic, so Edward Mujica will serve as Bell's primary setup man in Oviedo's absence.

Saves specialist: Bell
Holds hero: Mujica
Innings eater: Mike Dunn
Rainy-day name: Steve Cishek

Milwaukee Brewers

On Draft Day 2010, John Axford wasn't even a blip on the Fantasy radar. Two years later, he's now one of the most coveted Fantasy relievers. Axford has gone 10-4 with a 2.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP the last two regular seasons. He's also converted 71 of 76 save chances in that span. Axford has such electric stuff that Francisco Rodriguez, who recorded an MLB single-season record 62 saves in 2008, is the man bridging the gap to Axford and not closing out games for Milwaukee.

Saves specialist: Axford
Holds Hero: Rodriguez
Innings eater: Kameron Loe
Newcomer of note: Jose Veras
Rising reliever: Mike McClendon

New York Mets

The Mets overhauled their bullpen by stealing Toronto's. New York plucked both its new closer -- Frank Francisco -- and setup man -- Jon Rauch -- from the Blue Jays' bullpen. Francisco is an erratic closer and isn't considered durable either, so Rauch needs to stay sharp just in case the Mets need him to close games. Don't sleep on newcomer Ramon Ramirez, who was acquired in a trade with the Giants. He has seven saves the last two seasons and is an underrated reliever.

Saves specialist: Francisco
Holds hero: Rauch
Newcomer of note: Ramirez
Innings eater: Bobby Parnell

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies once again opened the checkbook this offseason to upgrade their pitching, but this time they invested in their bullpen by adding closer Jonathan Papelbon. Philadelphia will bridge the gap to its closer by using the lefty-righty setup combo of Antonio Bastardo and Jose Contreras, who both could step into the closer's role if anything should happen to Papelbon.

Saves specialist: Papelbon
Holds heroes: Bastardo, Contreras
Newcomer of note: Chad Qualls
Long reliever: Kyle Kendrick
Rising reliever: Michael Stutes

Pittsburgh Pirates

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Joel Hanrahan was one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2011 season. He beat out Evan Meek for the closer's job last spring and finished as a top 10 Fantasy reliever thanks to 40 saves in 44 opportunities. Hanrahan's biggest disappointment was that his strikeouts per nine innings dropped from 12.9 in 2010 to 8.0 last year, but he countered that with a career-best 1.83 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Meek might be healthy heading into 2012 after an injury-plagued '11, but he's no threat to a healthy Hanrahan.

Saves specialist: Hanrahan
Holds hero: Meek
Strikeout artist: Chris Resop
Long reliever: Daniel McCutchen
Rising reliever: Daniel Moskos

San Diego Padres

The Padres filled the vacant closer's role left by Heath Bell's departure to Miami by acquiring veteran closer Huston Street. While the move to pitcher-friendly PETCO Park should be a boon for the right-handed reliever, Street has durability issues, so San Diego needs to have a contingency plan. That could consist of either Andrew Cashner, who was acquired in a trade with the Cubs, or Luke Gregerson, since both pitchers have the arsenal to close out games.

Saves specialist: Street
Breakout candidate: Cashner
Bounce-back candidate: Gregerson
Strikeout artist: Ernesto Frieri
Rising reliever: Brad Brach

San Francisco Giants

Closer Brian Wilson battled through adversity last season, but he still finished on a sour note because of an elbow injury. Luckily, Wilson avoided surgery and rest seemed to be the right call since Wilson has pitched well this spring. Unfortunately, if Wilson has a setback, then manager Bruce Bochy is likely to go back to a committee approach that has worked well in the past. Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez could all be candidates for saves.

Saves specialist: Wilson
Holds hero: Romo
Innings eaters: Affeldt, Lopez
Rainy-day name: Casilla

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals used the hot hand in the closer's role in 2011 after Ryan Franklin faltered at the start of the season. Fernando Salas ended up with a team-high 24 saves, but the closer's role going into 2012 belongs to Jason Motte, who recorded five saves during the Cardinals' postseason run. It's tough to say how much room for error first-year manager Mike Matheny will give the 29-year-old reliever, but he does have fallback options like Salas, Mitchell Boggs and Lance Lynn, who is expected to work in a setup role once he returns to the bullpen.

Saves specialist: Motte
Innings eaters: Salas, Marc Rzepczynski
Long reliever: Kyle McClellan

Washington Nationals

Drew Storen is coming off a breakout season in 2011, when everyone saw why he was fast tracked to the majors after being selected 10th overall in the 2009 MLB draft. Unfortunately, an elbow injury might force Storen to miss the start of his third major-league season. Surprisingly, too, manager Davey Johnson wouldn't turn to setup stud Tyler Clippard in Storen's absence. Johnson has said newcomer Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez would be candidates for saves in Storen's absence.

Saves specialist: Storen
Holds hero: Clippard
Newcomer of note: Lidge
Rising reliever: Rodriguez
Long relievers: Ross Detwiler, Tom Gorzelanny

American League

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles rotation is a mess and their bullpen situation isn't much better. It appears Jim Johnson is going to take over the closer's responsibilities despite the presence of Kevin Gregg, who had a team-high 22 saves in 2011. Johnson has just a 57 percent save conversion rate (21 of 37) in his career, so he still has a lot to prove. There are rumors the Orioles are looking to trade Gregg. If that happens, then Matt Lindstrom could get the first chance at save opportunities should Johnson falter.

Saves specialist: Johnson
Holds heroes: Gregg, Lindstrom
Rising reliever: Pedro Strop

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox countered losing Jonathan Papelbon to free agency by trading for former A's closer Andrew Bailey. Durability problems are an issue with Bailey, which is why the Red Sox overhaul didn't stop at one move. Boston also added former Astros closer Mark Melancon as a setup man and insurance policy in case anything happens with Bailey, who was already hurt for a period this spring.

Saves specialist: Bailey
Holds hero: Melancon
Innings eater: Matt Albers
Lefty specialist: Franklin Morales

Chicago White Sox

Chicago dealt closer Sergio Santos and moved Chris Sale to the rotation, leaving first-year manager Robin Ventura to sift through a myriad of candidates for the closer's role. Ventura has named Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, Addison Reed, Hector Santiago and Will Ohman as ninth-inning options. Thornton seems like the ideal candidate, but don't discard Reed and Santiago, who are rookie sleepers for the position.

Saves specialist: Thornton
Holds hero: Crain
Breakout candidate: Reed
Rising reliever: Santiago
Lefty specialist: Ohman

Cleveland Indians

Chris Perez regressed in 2011. His ERA and WHIP both took significant hits, while his strikeouts per nine innings dropped from 8.7 to 5.9. Despite the shaky performance, Perez was still an All-Star and will remain the Indians' closer heading into 2012. Unfortunately, Perez might miss the start of the season with an oblique injury. The team has said Vinnie Pestano will fill in for Perez if needed.

Saves specialist: Perez
Holds heroes: Pestano, Tony Sipp
Innings eater: Joe Smith
Wins vulture: Rafael Perez

Detroit Tigers

He might have some quirky antics, but Tigers closer Jose Valverde showed in 2011 he is still one of the best closers in the game. Valverde had an MLB-best 49 saves and didn't blow one save opportunity. It was the third time in five seasons he had 40-plus saves. Joaquin Benoit is also back as Valverde's setup man to give Detroit one of the best back-of-the-bullpen tandems in the majors.

Saves specialist: Valverde
Holds hero: Benoit
Newcomer of note: Octavio Dotel
Long reliever: Phil Coke
Injury-risk stashee: Al Alburquerque

Kansas City Royals

Much like the Cincinnati Reds, the Royals are scrambling after losing their closer -- Joakim Soria -- to a season-ending elbow injury. Luckily for them, Kansas City signed an experienced closer in the offseason in Jonathan Broxton, who is considered the favorite to take over the closer's duties. However, Greg Holland and Aaron Crow are also potential candidates for saves since manager Ned Yost is considering a committee approach.

Saves specialist: Broxton
Holds hero: Holland
Innings eater: Crow
Breakout candidates: Louis Coleman, Tim Collins

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels were rumored to be in the market for a proven closer this offseason, but nothing materialized and the team chose to spend its resources on other needs. That means Jordan Walden returns in 2012 for his second full year as the team's closer. But the Angels still have their concerns after Walden had 10 blown saves last season. The Angels did add veteran LaTroy Hawkins in the offseason and he will likely share setup duties with Scott Downs. Both of them could be options for saves if Walden struggles. Hisanori Takahashi is also a dark-horse candidate.

Saves specialist: Walden
Holds hero: Downs
Newcomer of note: Hawkins
Rainy-day name: Takahashi

Minnesota Twins

Matt Capps is back in the closer's role for Minnesota after being removed from it in the second half last season. He became the De facto choice after Joe Nathan left for Texas. However, Capps will need a course correction after posting a 4.83 ERA and .299 opponents' batting average in his final 38 outings last season. He also had nine blown saves for the year. Setup man Glen Perkins might be the Twins' first choice to replace Capps if he falters or gets injured.

Saves specialist: Capps
Holds hero: Perkins
Long relievers: Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak

New York Yankees

As we have already mentioned in the lead, the Yankees situation needs little clarity. But outside of Mariano Rivera, New York still has some very good bullpen arms, including 2011 breakout star David Robertson, who might be the Yankees' closer post-Rivera. However, if anything were to happen to Rivera this season, don't forget about former Rays closer Rafael Soriano, who had 23 holds and two saves last season for New York.

Saves specialist: Rivera
Holds heroes: Robertson, Soriano
Lefty specialist: Boone Logan
Wins vulture: Cory Wade
Injury-risk stashee: David Aardsma

Oakland A's

The A's traded oft-injured Andrew Bailey to Boston, creating a vacancy at closer. The team opted to go with Grant Balfour over veteran closer Brian Fuentes, who will now likely share setup duties with Fautino De Los Santos, who has future closer potential. Balfour has just 10 career saves and his strikeouts per nine innings declined for a third straight season in 2011. But he has a 2.38 ERA and 1.06 WHIP the last two years, so Oakland is hoping he can keep those numbers pitching in a high-pressure role.

Saves specialist: Balfour
Holds hero: Fuentes
Rising reliever: De Los Santos
Lefty specialist: Jerry Blevins
Injury-risk stashee: Joey Devine

Seattle Mariners

Seattle had to alter its bullpen plans in 2011 when closer David Aardsma couldn't shake the injury bug. Luckily, Brandon League helped ease the burden of losing Aardsma and now Seattle has a steady option at closer heading into 2012. However, it's worth noting that League will be a free agent after the season, so unless Seattle locks him up long-term, he could be on the move to a contender this summer. If that happens, then Tom Wilhelmsen and Shawn Kelley could be in line for save chances.

Saves specialist: League
Rising reliever: Wilhelmsen
Bounce-back candidate: Kelley
Breakout candidate: Steve Delabar
Rainy-day name: Hisashi Iwakuma

Tampa Bay Rays

For superstitious purposes, Rays manager Joe Maddon refuses to name Kyle Farnsworth his closer. However, it's not hard to figure out who is Maddon's first choice to close out games after Farnsworth recorded a team-best 25 saves in 2011. He did have some elbow issues down the stretch last season, which was a main reason why Farnsworth was brought along slowly this spring. Obviously, that should be of concern for Fantasy owners. Joel Peralta was second on the team in saves last season with six, but if Farnsworth gets hurt or struggles, Maddon might go with a committee approach that could include J.P. Howell, Fernando Rodney and Jake McGee.

Saves specialist: Farnsworth
Holds hero: Peralta
Bounce-back candidates: Howell, Rodney
Breakout candidate: McGee

Texas Rangers

After toiling with the idea for a few years, the Rangers finally made the decision to move closer Neftali Feliz into the rotation. They filled his absence at the back end of the bullpen by bringing in veteran closer Joe Nathan. The 37-year-old reliever struggled coming off Tommy John surgery, but he reverted back to his old form down the stretch last season for Minnesota, posting 11 saves and a 1.00 WHIP in the second half. Mike Adams is back as one of the best setup man in baseball and has the ability to close if needed. Alexi Ogando could also be a candidate for saves if something happens to Nathan, but Texas might want to use him in long relief so he can stay stretched out if the Rangers ever need a spot starter.

Saves specialist: Nathan
Holds hero: Adams
Strikeout artist: Koji Uehara
Bounce-back candidate: Scott Feldman

Toronto Blue Jays

The back of the Toronto bullpen was a mess in 2011. The team converted just 57 percent of its save opportunities and had 25 blown saves. Therefore, it was out with the old and in with the new this offseason. General manager Alex Anthopoulos strengthened the bullpen by trading for former White Sox closer Sergio Santos and bringing in former Reds closer Francisco Cordero as his setup man. Casey Janssen will also work in the late innings, but Cordero would be the first guy up if Toronto needs a replacement closer.

Saves specialist: Santos
Holds hero: Cordero
Rainy-day name: Janssen
Innings eater: Jason Frasor
Newcomer of note: Darren Oliver

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Michael Hurcomb at @CBSHurc . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
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.


Angels, Huston Street haven't talked extension yet
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) The Angels and closer Huston Street have not talked about an extension yet, according to MLB.com.

Both sides are reportedly interested in a deal, but Street wanted to wait a week in order to settle in to camp. Once that happens, the two sides are expected to start negotiating a new deal. Street is entering the final year of his contract, and will make $7 million in 2015.

Street, 31, posted a 1.37 ERA over 59 1/3 innings last year.


Phillies' Ryan Howard working on his swing
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is working on his swing, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Howard has spent time working with Charlie Manuel during camp. Manuel was brought in as spring training hitting instructor. Manager Ryan Sandberg has noticed the change in Howard's approach already. "As far as making some adjustments there, to really zone in to something that can really be productive for him and a little bit more consistent," Sandberg said. "I think there has been a little tweaking going on there."

Howard apparently has looked different at the plate. His stance has been described as "looser" and his hands are much lower when he starts his swing. 

The 35-year-old hit .223/.310/.380 over 569 at-bats last year. 


Dodgers unsure how Grandal, Ellis will split time
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Dodgers aren't sure how they'll platoon their two catchers, according to the Orange County Register.

A.J. Ellis has been the team's primary option the past few seasons, but the club brought in Yasmani Grandal during the offseason. While Grandal has a much higher offensive upside, it's unclear how much he'll play once the regular season begins. 

"There’s nothing going to come out of this camp where we’re going to say, ‘OK, this guy is going to start 72 percent of the time’" general manager Andrew Friedman said. "It’s going to be much more about Donnie (Mattingly) writing the lineup each and every day for what gives us the best chance to win that day."

Mattingly admitted that Grandal has "tremendous upside offensively," so it's possible he could lead that way more often. While Mattingly has indicated that he doesn't want to assign any personal catchers yet, there's a sense Ellis could be used when Clayton Kershaw is on the mound. 

Grandal hit .225/.327/.401 over 377 at-bats last year. Ellis hit .191/.323/.254 over 283 at-bats. 


Giants sign Ronny Cedeno to minor-league deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) 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
(2/26/2015) 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
(2/26/2015) 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
(2/26/2015) 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
(2/26/2015) 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
(2/26/2015) 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.


 
 
 
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