Edwin Encarnacion
Blue Jays' Encarnacion returns to spring lineup Thursday
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, TOR
4:30 PM
News: Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion was back in the spring lineup Thursday against the Phillies for the first time since March 8. He had been sidelined due to a back injury.

He went 0 for 1 with two walks. Encarnacion has gone hitless in seven at-bats this spring. He has four walks in four games.

Analysis: 

Dan Johnson
Astros trade IF Dan Johnson to Reds
Dan Johnson, 1B, CIN
2:14 PM
News: The Reds acquired infielder Dan Johnson from the Astros on Thursday, the teams announced.

In exchange for Johnson, the Astros will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Johnson said he would welcomed the trade if it meant more playing time, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"I mean if the opportunity wasn't going to be here, then I'm probably thankful for it," Johnson said.

Analysis: 

Justin Morneau
Rockies' Weiss expecting great year from Justin Morneau
Justin Morneau, 1B, COL
12:20 PM
News: Justin Morneau won the NL batting title (.319) in his first year with the Rockies in 2014 and as the start of the 2015 season nears, the 33-year-old first baseman believes he has even more left in the tank now that his health issues are behind him.

"I feel good. I feel strong," he said, per The Denver Post. "My swing feels consistent, and I feel like I can wait for the pitch I want. I feel like I am going up there with the best version of myself, as opposed to somebody who's just patched together."

Morneau is not the only person expecting lofty expectations in 2015. Manager Walt Weiss predicts a banner year from Morneau, who has averaged 118 games over the last six seasons.

"Justin's showing no signs of age," Weiss said Wednesday. "He's not as old as maybe some people think he is. He missed some time there for a while, and missed some time coming back, so I think some people think he's 40 years old. He's not. Plus, he's in great shape."

Analysis: 

Marc Krauss
Angels' Marc Krauss (back) to take batting practice Thursday
Marc Krauss, 1B, LAA
3/25/2015
News: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that first baseman Marc Krauss (back) felt better Wednesday and will take batting practice Thursday morning, MLB.com reports.

Krauss has been out since Sunday due to back spasms. He's 9 for 18 with five walks this spring as he competes for a spot on the major-league bench.

Analysis: 

Mike McDade
Report: Orioles acquire 1B Mike McDade from Rangers
Mike McDade, 1B, TEX
3/25/2015
News: The Orioles have acquired first baseman Mike McDade from the Rangers in exchange for future considerations, the Dallas Morning News reports.

McDade spent most of last season with Double-A New Hampshire, hitting .250/.307/.366 with seven home runs and 36 RBI in 276 at-bats. He was 0 for 1 in major-league camp with the Rangers.

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Miguel Cabrera
Tigers' Miguel Cabrera feels 'very good' after debut at first base
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET
3/25/2015
News: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera went 0 for 2 and played four innings in the field Wednesday.

"I feel very good," Cabrera said after his debut in the field, per MLB.com. "I'm glad to be back at first and try to get in the rhythm, try to get in baseball shape. I was so happy to be out there at first base and try to play defense."

Cabrera made multiple tough plays in the field, giving his surgically-repaired ankle and foot a test.

"It feels very good," Cabrera said. "I try to make plays, and to make that play in that situation, I don't think about my ankle, my feet. Right now I'm focused on [trying to] go out there and play."

Cabrera is expected to be back at first base Thursday before receiving a day off Friday.

Analysis: 

Jon Singleton
Astros' Hinch on Singleton: 'He's a very, very dangerous hitter'
Jon Singleton, 1B, HOU
3/25/2015
News: Astros manager A.J. Hinch indicated Wednesday that first baseman Jon Singleton is making a good case to break camp on the team's 25-man roster, MLB.com reports.

"He's a very, very dangerous hitter, and he knows it, the other teams know it," he said. "He got off to a really hot start in the spring and continues to grind towards the roster spot that's becoming more and more debatable."

The team has the option of going with Chris Carter or Evan Gattis at first base if Singleton doesn't make the team, but he remains unworried about the potential roster crunch.

"I'm still out here playing ball and leaving it all on the field," he said. "I'm just trying to compete."

Singleton has hit .244/.295/.390 while striking out 14 times in 41 at-bats this spring.

Analysis: 

John Mayberry
Tanaka's two-seamer not fast enough as Yankees fall to Mets
John Mayberry, 1B, NYM
3/25/2015
News: After not allowing a run in his first two spring starts, Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was touched for three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings against the Mets on Wednesday.

Tanaka gave up a home run to Mets left fielder John Mayberry in the fourth inning.

Tanaka has been working on a two-seam fastball this spring which has resulted in a lower velocity.

“The reason I’m not throwing much is that a lot of the four-seamers have been hit last year during the regular season,” Tanaka said. “So I’m doing this on purpose, I’m working on the two-seamers purposely.”

While Tanaka said he’s basically throwing all two-seam fastballs this spring, he still intends to use his four-seamer during the regular season.

“I think there’s room for both [fastballs],” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
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James Loney
Logan Forsythe still expected to receive playing time at 1B this spring
James Loney, 1B, TB
3/25/2015
News: Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters that Logan Forsythe will still receive some playing time at first base this spring. However, the Rays may revisit John Jaso as a possible backup to James Loney, and will consider outfielder Steven Souza only "in a pinch," according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Analysis: 

Steve Pearce
Orioles' Steve Pearce out to prove 2014 season wasn't a fluke
Steve Pearce, 1B, BAL
3/25/2015
News: Coming off a breakout season in 2014, it would be easy to assume Orioles first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce will be facing a tougher challenge in 2015 as pitchers around the league study film and make adjustments.

Yet, Pearce doesn't seem worried about a potential drop-off in production.

"They adjusted to me last year," he said, per MASNsports.com. "There are constant adjustments. I never look back at it and say, 'That was an awesome year.' I felt like that is how I play. I never thought pitchers just grooved me fastballs because they knew who I was. I was still pitched pretty hard. If I play every day, I feel that is the way I can play."

Pearce, thus far, is showing his 2014 season might not be a fluke. He is batting .382 (13 for 34) with five home runs in 11 spring games.

"I am constantly working on things," Pearce said. "It is nice to be able to take it into games here and work on it knowing I have a spot on the team. In the past, it was like I gotta get a hit and you could press in spring. This year is a little less stressful, just can work on getting ready for the season."

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