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Scott White chat transcript (3/20)

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Player News
Yankees' Chase Headley finding his way in the batting order
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:42 pm ET) Yankees third baseman Chase Headley is finding the transition to New York to be easy so far, according to NJ.com.

Headley, heading into Saturday's game, is hitting .242 with two home runs and nine RBI in 66 at-bats. 

"It's fun to just be another guy in the lineup," Headley said before the game Saturday against the Mets. "I feel like guys aren't game planing against just me. There's other guys in the lineup they have to worry about."

Headley is glad that his so-so start to the season isn't effecting everyone else in the batting order.

"If you're going to do that, there are other guys who can get you," Headley said of opposing pitcher game-planning against one hitter in the Yankees' lineup. "There's consequences with that."


Astros' Brett Oberholtzer tosses three innings in extended spring
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:27 pm ET) Astros pitcher Brett Oberholtzer was able to throw three innings in an extended spring training game Saturday, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Oberholtzer, who is currently on the 15-day DL after picking up a blister on his left index finger, may be back with the big league club in a couple weeks. He posted a 5-13 record in 2014 with a 4.39 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 143 2/3 innings.


Astros' A.J. Hinch not concerned with Pat Neshek's slow start
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:21 pm ET) Astros reliever Pat Neshek hasn't had the best start to the 2015 season. The veteran has a team-high 5.87 ERA with three home runs allowed in 7 2/3 innings. Neshek also struggled Friday, allowing a two-run shot to Marcus Semien in the bottom of the 11th.

With all the problems, manager A.J. Hinch remains optimistic Neshek will figure it out, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"He hasn't gotten away with too many mistakes and I think that’s unfortunate for him and ultimately unfortunate for us," Hinch said. "You want him to make better pitches. … It's not (always) going to be that way for him, if he hangs a slider every time it’s hit out. But it feels like that in the early going. One of the home runs, I think the one he gave up to (Albert Pujols on April 19 at Minute Maid Park) was a little more of a fly ball. The ball last night was hit pretty well."

Neshek has recorded 10 strikeouts without allowing a walk so far this season.

"I don't make too much of it," Hinch said. "I think he's tough on righthanded hitters. He's had little stretches in his career where he's given up a little bit of damage and responded fine. Regardless of the couple home runs that he's given up, I don't think right handed hitters will be comfortable when he’s coming in."


Angels' Mr. Freese shows Friday he's still hot in the clutch
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:21 pm ET) There is nothing cold about Mr. Freese. Angels third baseman David Freese has been consistently hot since the bell rang to start the season - at least in terms of production - and Friday night was no exception. He slammed his fourth home run, a game-winning two-run shot in the seventh inning.

The blast gave Freese hits in 12 of his last 16 games and six RBI in the last five. His 13 RBI on the year ties him for sixth in the American League. His .250 batting average is at its highest point since April 12.


Rays' James Loney hits homer on Friday after return from DL
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:19 pm ET) James Loney returned from the disable list on Friday and hit his first home run, a two-run shot, since Sept. 9 in the Rays' victory over the Blue Jays.

"It's fun being back out there again," Loney said. "I'm just glad it's over." 

Loney's 15-day stint for a strained right oblique was his first-ever trip to the DL.


Yankees pitcher Nathan Eovaldi looking to build off strong outing
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:13 pm ET) Yankees pitcher Nathan Eovaldi is hoping to continue his hot start Sunday when he takes the hill against the Mets. Manager Joe Girardi is hoping to see more of the same, including his devastating slide, reports The Journal News.

"I saw in Detroit the best slider I've seen him have. I thought it had great depth," Girardi said. "I thought he threw his curve ball well. They had a predominantly right-handed lineup, so maybe he didn't throw as many splits as in some of the other games. Probably as important as anything, I thought he pitched inside to them. You throw 95, 96 and you're able to pitch inside for strikes and a little bit off the plate, guys aren't really comfortable. That's really important."

Eovaldi is 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings pitched this season.

"I think sometimes because he's been up a few years, people forget about how young he really is," Girardi said. "He's a young starting pitcher. He's still developing. When you learn how to do some of the things he’s learning how to do, it just makes you that much more effective."


Blue Jays' Justin Smoak hits second HR in three games in Friday's loss
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(6:12 pm ET) After entering the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning, first baseman Justin Smoak connected for a ninth-inning solo home run in the Blue Jays' loss to the Rays on Friday.

It was his second home run in three games.

Rays C Rene Rivera makes rare contribution with Friday blast
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6:12 pm ET) Rays catcher Rene Rivera only joined his team's hit parade against Toronto once Friday night, but he had a "blast" doing it.

Rivera slugged his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to center that landed 421 feet from the plate. The tater only served to brighten a still-dismal slash line of .143/.186/.232, but Rivera has managed four hits in his last five games.


Yankees manager Joe Girardi believes in Carlos Beltran getting going
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:07 pm ET) Yankees veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran isn't hitting well to start the 2015 season. Beltran is hitting a lowly .173 and just 6 for 39 batting left-handed. After going with Chris Young over Beltran in the lineup Saturday, manger Joe Girardi had words of encouragement for the veteran, according to The Journal News.

"I know he's frustrated," Girardi said. "He had a couple big hits the other day. It's been a little bit harder left-handed for him, but I really believe he's going to get going. I do. He probably needs a break here and there and it will start happening for him."

Beltran also sat out two games last week due to an illness and Girardi was worried he wasn't ready to come back when he did.

"I'm sure it hasn't helped," Girardi said. "I thought he was still somewhat weak in Detroit. At the end of the road trip, he still had a little bit of a chest cold. I think he's better now. He's really important to our offense and we have to get him going."


Cards INF Pete Kozma to serve as emergency catcher on Saturday
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(6:06 pm ET) With catcher Yadier Molina day to day due to a sore knee, INF Pete Kozma caught a side session and will serve as the Cardinals' emergency catcher Saturday in Milwaukee, reports MLB.com.

Molina took a foul tip off his right knee guard in Friday's win and is experiencing soreness.

Tony Cruz gets the start behind the plate for the Cards.

 
 
 
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