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Player News
Braves outfielder Joe Benson still pushing for roster spot
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:00 pm ET) Braves outfielder Joe Benson continues to impress the organization as they prepare to make the final roster adjustments before Opening Day.

Wednesday, Benson drew the start in center field and ripped a solo home run in his appearance.

"He barreled two balls off of Cole Hamels," manager Fredi Gonzalez said to MLB.com. "The center fielder made a terrific play on a ball that I thought beat him out in right-center field. He made a really, really nice swing on the home run."

Benson is hitting .250 with two RBI in 12 plate appearances this spring and Gonzalez wants to see him continue on this path for the next few days.

"[Benson] hasn't done anything not to be in the mix, really," Gonzalez said. "He's played some solid center field, and you trust him out there. He takes solid routes."


Reds' Johnny Cueto strikes out seven but gives up three runs
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:59 pm ET) Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto had a mixed bag of results in Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Diamondbacks. 

Cueto went five innings and gave up three earned runs on three hits. One of those hits was a three-run double given up to Yasmany Tomas in the top of the fourth. Other than that one half-inning, Cueto fared well, striking out seven batters and walking two. 

Cueto faced a total of 14 batters in the first, second, third and fifth innings. He went against seven in the fourth. 


Padres' Shields tosses three scoreless innings in spring finale
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:58 pm ET) Padres pitcher James Shields allowed three hits and no walks in three scoreless innings while striking out two in his team's 8-2 win over the White Sox Wednesday.

Shields has alternated scoreless outings with mediocre appearances over his last four games but was able to end spring on a high note. He finishes the Cactus League season with a 2.79 ERA and 23:5 K:BB ratio in 19 1/3 innings. Shields will square off with the Dodgers Monday on Opening Day.


White Sox SP Samardzija allows five runs in spring finale
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:54 pm ET) White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija surrendered five earned runs on six hits in four innings while striking out three and walking none in his team's 8-2 loss to the Padres.

Samardzija has put up mediocre results this spring, posting an 8.44 ERA but also recording an 18:2 K:BB ratio in 21 1/3 innings. He's set to make his regular-season debut Monday against the Royals on Opening Day.


Yankees still considering Robert Refsnyder for Opening Day roster
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:51 pm ET) Yankees second baseman Robert Refsnyder is still being considered for an Opening Day roster spot after shortstop Brendan Ryan went down with a calf injury Wednesday, reports The Journal News.

"The young man, I think, has continually improved," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's a name that I'm sure is going to fly around a lot today."

Refsnyder is hitting .333 with five RBI in 39 plate appearances this spring.

"Things can happen quick," Girardi said. "I think a lot of clubs hold their breath this time of year that you leave camp the way you are. Sometimes it doesn't happen and you've got to deal with it. … Didi and Drew are healthy, so we're going to have to look at probably more of a second baseman in a sense. You could look at a second baseman more than a shortstop because you have two shortstops."


Royals' Yordano Ventura throws four innings in spring finale
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:44 pm ET) Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura made his final start of the spring Wednesday, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk in four innings while striking out three in his team's 4-4 tie with the Dodgers.

Ventura finishes the Cactus League season with a 4.50 ERA and 16:7 K:BB ratio in 18 innings. His next will come Monday against the White Sox on Opening Day.


Brewers shortstop Jean Segura working on hitting to opposite field
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(6:40 pm ET) Brewers shortstop Jean Segura has worked all spring on his swing at the plate. With Opening Day on the horizon, Segura is putting the finishing touches on his swing and working to hit the ball to the opposite field, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"That's my approach," Segura said. "I always hit the ball to the other side of the field. When you lose that, you want to get it back because not many players can do it in the big leagues. I'm just lucky to have the ability to do that, and I'm just trying to improve every day."

Manager Ron Roenickes is taking notice of Segura's adjustments. 

"The sound of that ball is different," he said. "You're like 'Whoa.' I'm watching as he hits and the load is different. The hands work better. He's doing a couple of things really nice."


Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw tosses three innings in spring finale
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:40 pm ET) Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw gave up one unearned run on just one hit and two walks in three innings while striking out two in his final spring performance in Wednesday's 4-4 tie with the Royals.

Kershaw closes the spring with a 1.61 ERA and 22:7 K:BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings. He'll next take the mound Monday for Opening Day against the Padres.


Cubs' Welington Castillo to open season as No. 3 catcher
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:29 pm ET) Cubs catcher Welington Castillo has made the team's initial 25-man roster and will open the season as the backup to Miguel Montero and David Ross, MLB.com reports.

"I told him, I think he's a major-league catcher, we think he's a major-league catcher," manager Joe Maddon said. "Obviously, it's going to be more difficult to be slotted in than he'd like to be right now. There's a lot of opportunity in the latter part of the game, whether it's pinch-running for somebody else or pinch-hitting, and beyond that getting him some starts. ... Of course, somebody will get injured -- it always happens -- so be ready. He's still young. He's the kind of guy I don't think we want to lose. That's a premium position to find. You don't shake a tree and find a good catcher. We have three good catchers here and that's really nice."

Castillo has hit .257/.333/.514 with two home runs in 35 at-bats this spring.


Royals' Yost on Louis Coleman: 'He's held his own'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:24 pm ET) Royals pitcher Louis Coleman is on the roster bubble this spring as he competes for one or possibly two open spots in the team's bullpen.

"He has been OK," manager Ned Yost said. "He came in with a lot of competition. He's held his own."

Coleman has delivered a 3.55 ERA and 15:0 K:BB ratio in 12 2/3 innings. He's out of options and would need to pass through waivers in order to be sent to the minors.


 
 
 
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