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Player News
Astros' Luhnow: Evan Gattis will mostly DH, play left field
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:31 pm ET) Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Thursday that Evan Gattis will mostly play left field and serve as the team's designated hitter but could see some work at catcher as well, MLB.com reports.

"He will catch some, probably later in season," Luhnow said.

Gattis will slot in as the team's third catcher in addition to his regular role after coming to the team from the Braves this past offseason. He's 8 for 20 with one home run and two walks this spring.


Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez knows pitchers will make adjustments
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:29 pm ET) After a breakout season in 2014, Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez knows pitchers will change how they pitch to him, which he said he's ready for, reports MLB.com.

"They weren't last year, how can I put it, just serving them up, just not making adjustments," Martinez said. "This is the new age of baseball, where everything is computers and calculations and sabermetrics. If you have a hole, they're going to find it and they're going to make the adjustments game to game because of that. Every game you play in, there's advance scouts watching you and there's computers that are charting you. So when they go sit down, they're looking at a screen with all your percentages of what you hit good, what you hit bad."

Manager Brad Ausmus agreed that it will not be easy for Martinez to duplicate his 2014 season, where he hit 23 home runs with 76 RBI while batting .315.

"They definitely have a more in-depth scouting reports compared to a year ago," Ausmus said. "They're much more aware of him as a power threat, so they'll be more careful with him. That's the nature of baseball."


Pirates' Hurdle on Richard: 'There's some confidence building'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:15 pm ET) Pirates pitcher Clayton Richard took the loss Thursday, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 2 2/3 innings while striking out two in his team's 7-5 defeat against the Braves.

"He has been making progress with each outing. It's been incremental progress," manager Clint Hurdle said after the outing, per MLB.com. "He's still fighting his way back and finding his way back. I think with each outing, there's some confidence building."

Richard owns an April 1 opt-out in his contract if he's not placed on the 40-man roster. He's delivered a 3.12 ERA and 7:2 K:BB ratio in 8 2/3 spring innings.


Francona on Jason Kipnis' return: 'That'll really be a big boost for us'
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:10 pm ET) Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters he was impressed with second baseman Jason Kipnis' performance in his first Cactus League game since March 17, per MLB.com. Kipnis, who returned from back spasms, played five innings and finished 1 for 3 in a 13-2 defeat to Cincinnati.

"Well, he played yesterday (in the minors). He looks good," Francona said. "He's looked good swinging a bat. His ability, when he's healthy, he can impact a game so many ways. You saw he's athletic at second, he can steal a base, swing the bat. We're excited to watch him play healthy. That'll really be a big boost for us."


Pirates' Josh Harrison likely to lead off, unconcerned with lineup
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:08 pm ET) Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is likely to serve as the team's leadoff hitter this season but said Thursday he's unconcerned with how the lineup is put together, MLB.com reports.

"To be honest, I don't really pay attention to the lineup," said Harrison, who led off Thursday with a homer. "The lineup gets jumbled so much and we don't pay attention too much to what could be the Opening Day lineup and what could not. ... That's more [the media's] job, to look at the lineup and say maybe Opening Day, but none of us here have said, 'This may be our Opening Day lineup.' At the end of the day, we've got to worry about the task at hand and that's getting better every day."

Harrison hit .328/.359/.535 atop the lineup last season and started 83 games as the leadoff hitter.

"Your approach changes at-bat to at-bat," Harrison said. "My leadoff approach changes day to day as well. They attacked me differently throughout the course of last year. The last month and a half, guys started mixing it up on me early. My approach is to go out there and get a good pitch to hit -- so in the grand scheme of things, my approach really doesn't change."


Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Stites undergoes MRI on elbow Thursday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:03 pm ET) Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Stites underwent an MRI on his elbow Thursday, reports The Arizona Republic.

Stites' elbow locked up on him when he was throwing batting practice Saturday. The results from the MRI are expected to be known Friday.


Out of options, Evan Scribner could have multi-inning role with A's
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:54 pm ET) Athletics pitcher Evan Scribner is out of options this spring and would likely be claimed if placed on waivers, but he's not worried about a potential move, the Bay Area News Group reports.

"I’ve got a basic plan," Scribner said. "Do good this spring and I’ll be around. So I’m just focused on how I’m pitching and not on where I might wind up. It’s made it easier for me this spring. Whatever will happen will happen."

Scribner tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings and has pitched multiple innings in three of his last four appearances.

"The way they’re using me, I’d guess they are thinking of me as an extended reliever, throwing multiple innings," he said. "And that’s fine with me."

Scribner has allowed four earned runs in 11 2/3 innings this spring while racking up 16 strikeouts and three walks.


Rangers OF Ryan Ludwick will not make the team
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(7:53 pm ET) The Rangers have informed outfielder Ryan Ludwick that he will not make the team, according to mlblogs.com.

“All-world guy,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “I hope he catches a big league job with another team. I think he can help somebody. As we look at it today, we thought other options in camp fit the roster better.”

Ludwick, 36, has a batting average of .207, six hits with one home run and eight strikeouts this spring.


Dodgers' Chad Gaudin shut down, will be examined
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:45 pm ET) Dodgers pitcher Chad Gaudin (biceps) felt a tingling in his fingers Thursday and was shut down, MLB.com reports.

The pitcher will be examined, and it's possible he's sent for an MRI Friday. Gaudin was pulled from last Friday's outing due to a "tweak" in his biceps. He's surrendered two earned runs in six spring innings.


Twins' Molitor likes what he has in OF Shane Robinson
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(7:43 pm ET) Twins manager Paul Molitor is impressed with what the team has in outfielder Shane Robinson , according to twincities.com.

"Robinson's been great for me," the Twins' manager said Thursday. "He's very much into the game, whether he's playing or not. He's always watching, making observations. He does the fundamental things very well: base running, defense, takes a good at-bat."

Robinson is currently tied for the team-lead in doubles this spring with four. He has been batting second and playing center. 

Molitor also points out that Robinson has been better against left-handed pitchers as opposed to right-handers.

"I think he takes good at-bats against right-handers," Molitor said, "but obviously the left-hand thing is probably a little better thing for him."

After spending nine years with the Cardinals, the 30-year-old is batting .276 with four doubles on nine hits this spring.


 
 
 
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