Justin Smoak
Blue Jays' Justin Smoak not guaranteed a roster spot
Justin Smoak, 1B, TOR
1/28/2015
News: Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak is not guaranteed a spot on the team's 25-man roster, according to Sportsnet590.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos told the station that Smoak could begin the season in the minors if he struggles during spring training. The 28-year-old joined the club in the offseason, and is expected to compete for a backup role.

Analysis: 

Adrian Gonzalez
Adrian Gonzalez confident in 'deeper lineup' for Dodgers
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, LAD
1/27/2015
News: Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had an MLB-best 116 RBI in 2014, mostly batting in front of the likes of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez. While both players are no longer part of the Dodgers' batting order, Gonzalez is not worried about lineup protection, per the Los Angeles Times.

"I think we're deeper, so I don't think we're going to be so dependent on the middle of the order," Gonzalez said Monday. "People say that we lost power, but I think we just put the power in different areas of the lineup."

Some of the key acquisitions this offseason for the Dodgers have been shortstop Jimmy Rollins, catcher Yasmani Grandal and second baseman Howie Kendrick. Gonzalez is confident in the new additions to the lineup.

"They're going to battle every at-bat," Gonzalez said. "They're going to be prepared. I'm not saying that we didn't before, but I think the guys that we got are guys that are going to be tougher to game plan for. From that end, it will be a deeper lineup."

Analysis: 

Mike Napoli
Sleep apnea almost caused Red Sox's Mike Napoli to retire
Mike Napoli, 1B, BOS
1/26/2015
News: Dealing with sleep apnea almost caused Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli to retire prematurely from baseball, reports the Boston Globe.

"I couldn't do it anymore, feeling the way I was feeling," Napoli said. "I was like, 'I need to have the surgery or I'm not going play anymore.' That's how bad it was."

During the offseason, Napoli underwent facial reconstruction surgery to correct the condition, which was preventing him from getting a proper night of rest.

"It was a brutal process," Napoli said. "It was probably one of the worse things I've ever done."

With the surgery a success and Napoli recovered from losing weight due to a six-week liquid diet, Napoli is now sleeping better than he ever has.

Before the surgery, Napoli turned to medication, mouthpieces and a CPAP mask, but said those problems are now behind him.

"I wake up now and I'm ready to start my day," he said. "It's great."

Analysis: 

Miguel Cabrera
Tigers' Miguel Cabrera not expected to miss much time with injury
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET
1/25/2015
News: Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is not expected to miss much time with his ankle injury, according to the Detroit Free Press

Cabrera had ankle surgery to remove bone spurs shortly after the season, and has been recovering during the offseason. He was recently cleared to ditch his walking boot, and will be re-evaluated by team doctors on Feb. 15. General manager Dave Dombrowski told reporters Cabrera shouldn't miss much time due to the injury. "We're hopeful at that point he gets turned loose," Dombrowski said. "If he's not ready for Opening Day, it's going to be very, very close."

The 31-year-old Cabrera hit .313/.371/.524 over 611 at-bats last year. 

Analysis: 

Joe Mauer
Twins' Joe Mauer says his legs feel strong heading into 2015
Joe Mauer, 1B, MIN
1/25/2015
News: Twins first baseman Joe Mauer said his legs feel strong heading into 2015, according to the Star Tribune.

Mauer was able to fully participate in an offseason training program after injuries prevented him from doing so last year. Mauer said his left knee, which has given him trouble in the past, feels strong now. :It’s tough to hit when the knee I’ve had problems with isn’t right," Mauer said. "That’s where you get your power from and the ball jumps. I feel good. I’m excited to get out there."

The 31-year-old Mauer is coming off a season in which he hit .277/.361/.371 over 455 at-bats.

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Jose Abreu
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu could see more days off in 2015
Jose Abreu, 1B, CHW
1/24/2015
News: White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu might see a dip in playing time at first with the addition of Adam LaRoche, but he is preparing to be ready all season long.

"I'm excited about the depth we have right now," Abreu said. "That is something good and will put us in the position to compete and I'm very excited about that. 

"I've been working the same way on my defense. It doesn't matter if I'm playing more or less games because that is part of my game. I have to be a complete player and I can't work less and still be that. I have the same mentality, it doesn't matter who will be on the team. I just prepare myself to be successful and 100 percent on the field."

Abreu hit .317 in 2014 with 36 home runs and 107 RBI. He was also unanimously voted the AL Rookie of the Year.

Analysis: 

Brandon Moss
Indians' Brandon Moss hoping to be in starting lineup Opening Day
Brandon Moss, 1B, CLE
1/23/2015
News: Newly acquired outfielder Brandon Moss is hoping to be in the starting lineup for the Indians Opening Day, but knows he needs to be healthy for the duration of the season.

"It's important to be healthy throughout the season," Moss said. "At the same time, my goal is to be ready for Opening Day. That should be everyone's goal, and be there for 162 games. I'm not afraid to say that. At the same time, what is best for the team and myself is to be 100 percent."

Moss is coming off of hip surgery in October after playing through pain for much of the 2014 season. He hit .234 with 25 home runs with 81 RBI with the Athletics last season.

I want to be healthy and do the things I do," Moss said. "And hopefully do what I can do with a full year of at-bats and health. Last year, before everything started to go south, I was figuring out my approach to all pitchers. Now, it's just a game of adjustments. I'm not going to put numbers on it, but I can have a special year, especially coming to this park."

Analysis: 

Nick Swisher
Nick Swisher finds himself, ready for new season in Cleveland
Nick Swisher, 1B, CLE
1/23/2015
News: Indians outfielder Nick Swisher knew Cleveland was shopping him during the offseason. While recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss 65 games, Swisher was beached on the couch, reading the Internet, filled with rumors about him.

"When you're going through those tough times," Swisher said Thursday to cleveland.com, "the love and passion for the game start to go away a little bit and you have to find something inside yourself to bring all that back. Whatever it was, I found it and I have it again and I could not be more happy for that."

Swisher found the motivation he needed to get back in shape and lost 15 pounds. After trying to play through the knee injury, Swisher admitted he should have had the surgery much sooner.

"I tried to battle through and be a tough guy," Swisher said. "To go out and not perform the way that you want to is obviously very stressful."

He hit a career low in 2014, going for a .208 average with eight home runs and 42 RBI.

"This organization paid me a lot of money for me to come over here and be on the field," Swisher said. "Whether I was healthy, I wanted to be out there every single day. Maybe that was the right call. Maybe it wasn't."

Analysis: 

Prince Fielder
Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder says he's at 100 percent
Prince Fielder, 1B, TEX
1/23/2015
News: Rangers first baseman and designated hitter Prince Fielder told reporters Friday he's back to 100 percent and he could play in a pick up game and "I'm in there," according to ESPNDallas.com

"I'm just going to try to be healthy, that's my main goal," Fielder said. "I know I always said that before. But this was the first time I wasn't healthy, so it really means a lot to me now to try to stay healthy. That's just my goal -- to stay healthy and make sure I'm doing everything I can to be ready to play."

Fielder played in just 42 games in 2014 after having to have neck surgery. He hit .247 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 150 plate appearances.

"It was real difficult because I wasn't used to missing games," Fielder said. "So to miss a lot of the season, it was difficult at first, but I had to be an adult about it, kind of try to just get back healthy to be ready this year. I'm good, I'm 100 percent -- whatever it was before is back."

Analysis: 

Joey Votto
Reds' Price: Last report on Joey Votto was 'very, very good'
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN
1/22/2015
News: Reds manager Bryan Price delivered another positive update Thursday on the status of first baseman Joey Votto, who missed 100 games last season with a distal strain of his left quadriceps.

Votto has been monitored by Reds strength and conditioning coach Sean Marohn during the offseason.

“The last report when Sean was up in Toronto earlier this month was very, very good,” Price said. “The strength was outstanding, the stamina was good and the agility. Right now, we’re looking to hit the ground running when Joey gets to Goodyear and being able to see with our own eyes where he’s at. I’m confident that he’s going to be ready to go.”

Votto, who is a career .310 hitter, batted just .255 with six home runs, 16 doubles and 23 RBI in 62 games in 2014.

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