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Player News
Rockies' Jhoulys Chacin (shoulder) 'felt very good' in spring debut
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:38 pm ET) Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin made his spring debut Thursday, and though he surrendered two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings, he "felt very good" with the outing, the Denver Post reports.

"I felt very good, and I hope I can keep going like this all year," Chacin said. "I threw a lot of changeups and sliders today because that’s what I’ve been working on. I have been working on the slider because that’s my strikeout pitch."

Chacin was making his first appearance in a game since June 28 after missing much of the 2014 season due to a shoulder injury. Manager Walt Weiss said that the pitcher was throwing with less effort than he did last spring.

"We are trying to build him back up this spring," Weiss said. "The main thing is that he’s healthy and able to bounce back. There is no reason to think he’s not going to be fine."

Chacin went 1-7 with a 5.40 ERA and 42:28 K:BB ratio in 63 1/3 innings over 11 starts last season.


Giants believe Hunter Pence has forearm fracture
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:28 pm ET) The Giants believe that outfielder Hunter Pence fractured his left forearm after being hit by a pitch Thursday, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reports.

The team doctor diagnosed the break, but the outfielder will undergo X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. Manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that Pence is upbeat and hoping for the best.

"Silver lining is it's early in spring," Bochy said.

Pence hit .277/.332/.445 with 20 home runs, 74 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 650 at-bats in 2014, playing 162 games for the second straight season. Should Pence miss opening day, the Giants could turn to fourth outfielder Gregor Blanco to fill in regularly in the lineup.


Orioles release Suk-Min Yoon
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:20 pm ET) The Orioles announced Thursday that pitcher Suk-Min Yoon has been released, allowing him to sign with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization.

The Orioles signed Yoon to a three-year, $5.575-million deal last February, and the pitcher went 4-8 with a 5.74 ERA in 95 2/3 innings with Triple-A Norfolk. Prior to signing with the Orioles, he pitched with Kia for nine seasons, amassing a 73-59 record along with a 3.19 ERA and 949 strikeouts in 1,129 innings.


Royals yet to decide Brandon Finnegan's role
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:04 pm ET) The Royals have yet to decide whether to use Brandon Finnegan as a reliever with the major-league team or continue his development as a starter in the minors, MLB.com reports.

"It's not a decision we have to make right now," general manager Dayton Moore said. "We'll just have to see how it all plays out."

Finnegan gave up just one earned run in seven innings as a reliever last season while striking out 10, and the team could choose to keep him in the bullpen in order to make another World Series push.

"We [have] a chance to compete," manager Ned Yost said, "and you want to take your best players when you have a chance to compete."


Giants' Ryan Vogelsong happy after first spring outing
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:01 pm ET) Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was satisfied after his first outing of the spring, according to MLB.com.

"All of my pitches are close to being where I want them already, so from that standpoint it was good," Vogelsong said. "Just [need to] work on the mental side a little bit."

Vogelsong had an iffy start. He was able to get through the first inning quickly, but allowed four runs in the second. Vogelsong explained that he lost his focus during the inning. "I just lost my focus a little bit, just got in the stretch and started rushing a little bit, just never slowed myself down."

The 37-year-old posted a 4.00 ERA over 184 2/3 innings last season. He's expected to open the year in the Giants bullpen. 


Braves P Eric Stults impresses in Grapefruit League win against Tigers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:59 pm ET) Braves pitcher Eric Stults logged two scoreless innings during Thursday's 6-4 Grapefruit League win over the Tigers.

Stults gave up two hits but also got two Tigers players to hit into double plays. 

“The first time out in spring you don’t know what to expect,” Stults said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “so my mindset is, I want to stay down in the zone and make them put the ball on the ground. For the most part, I was able to do that. Guys made some plays behind me to turn two, so that was nice.”

Stults, 35, is competing with Wandy Rodriguez for the fifth spot in the Braves' pitching rotation. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was pleased with what he saw in Stults Thursday. 

“You can never have too much pitching, like we know from the past," Gonzalez said. "And all of a sudden we get bad news, or possibility of bad news with Mikey, and you feel good that you have some depth in the rotation.”


Angels' Mike Trout to be more aggressive early in count
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:56 pm ET) Angels outfielder Mike Trout said Thursday that he plans to be more aggressive early in the count this spring, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"Gonna be locked and loaded on the first pitch," Trout said.

Trout made contact on the first pitch 24 times last season, hitting six singles and a double and posting a .292/.286/.333 line. He hit .287/.377/.561 in 602 at-bats overall in 2014.


Astros' Mark Appel goes two innings in spring debut
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:54 pm ET) Astros pitcher Mark Appel tossed two innings in his spring debut on Thursday.

Appel allowed one run on three hits during the outing. He struck out two batters. The 23-year-old is expected to begin the season in the minors, but is considered one of the team's top prospects. The former top overall pick experienced some struggles last season, posting a 6.91 ERA over two minor-league levels. 

Appel made it clear that every inning counts this spring. "It's two innings in spring training, so I'm going to need innings if I want to show why I deserve to be here and hopefully have a shot at being in Houston at some point this season," he said. 


Indians SP Carlos Carrasco throws in 'B' game Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:54 pm ET) Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco threw two innings in a "B" game against the Reds on Thursday morning. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway was pleased with what he saw from the right-handed pitcher.

"He had a good tempo. He wasn't overdoing it," Callaway said, per MLB.com. "The thing that worried me coming into spring was we talked about intent and letting it go and pitching like you're out of the 'pen. Well, we don't want him doing that right now. We don't want him averaging 97 yet. He did a really good job of controlling his effort level."


Phils' Sandberg on Gonzalez's spring debut: Best I've seen him throw
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:47 pm ET) Phillies pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez didn't make a strong impression Thursday against the Astros in his first attempt to win a spot in the team's rotation. However, manager Ryne Sandberg wasn't just focused on the results of Gonzalez's spring debut.

“The best stuff I’ve seen since he’s come over here [from Cuba],” Sandberg said, per The Journal News. “It looks like he’s healthy. Looks like he has some zip on his fastball. That can get better as he goes here. Compared to last year, night and day.”

The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits in two relief innings. He entered the game after Cliff Lee threw two scoreless innings. Gonzalez struck out one and gave up a home run.

“It doesn’t matter about the line,” Gonzalez said through a translator. “My plan that I had all along was to show my work ethic today. I don’t look at the numbers.”


 
 
 
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