Scooter Gennett
Brewers' Scooter Gennett prepping for full-time role
Scooter Gennett, 2B, MIL
1/25/2015
News: Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett is prepping for a full-time role in 2015, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Gennett had a bit of a breakout season in 2014, but platooned with Rickie Weeks. With Weeks now a free-agent, Gennett is looking at a full-time role. "When it comes to playing every day and facing lefties, I’m looking forward to that," he said. "It has been a while. I can finally get back to my game."

Gennett admitted that he doesn't think it will be that hard to adjust to seeing left-handers while at the plate. "For me, it doesn’t matter what side it is coming from if I’m getting consistent at-bats," he said. 

The 24-year-old Gennett hit .289/.320/.434 over 440 at-bats last year.

Analysis: 

Javier Baez
Cubs' Javier Baez still having issues with strikeouts
Javier Baez, 2B, CHC
1/22/2015
News: Cubs infielder Javier Baez is still having issues with strikeouts, according to FoxSports.com.

Baez is currently playing in winter ball, where he's struck out in 21 of his 43 at-bats. Strikeouts were a major issue for Baez once he was promoted last season. The 22-year-old posted a 41.5 percent strikeout rate through 213 at-bats with the Cubs. 

Baez is currently involved in the playoffs, where he's been dropped from second to seventh in the lineup. 

Analysis: 

Brandon Phillips
Reds 2B Brandon Phillips hoping to stay healthy in 2015
Brandon Phillips, 2B, CIN
1/21/2015
News: Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is ready to put a tough 2014 season behind him. Phillips hit just .266 with eight home runs, which was the first time in nine seasons he had less than 10 homers. 

He appeared in only 121 games last season after missing time due to thumb surgery.

"I'm just thinking about health and going out there and trying to have a better 2015," he told MLB.com. "That's the only thing I'm really worried about, just trying to stay healthy, get healthy and trying to be a great teammate and continuing to be myself and getting things done."

Staying healthy is a big concern for Phillips, who said he hasn't been at full strength since the 2011 season.

"When I'm healthy, my play will speak for itself, and I haven't been healthy in three years," he said. "I've played through many injuries. I had wrist surgery the other year, I had thumb surgery this year, I've been playing with a bad calf. There are so many things, but I don't complain about many things, that's just not the type of person I am, but I try to go out there and produce and stay on the field as much as possible, because I feel like I have one career and I'm supposed to go out there and do my job. That's why my numbers haven't been the same, but I still get criticized for being out there."

Analysis: 

Marco Scutaro
Report: Giants take Marco Scutaro off 40-man roster
Marco Scutaro, 2B, SF
1/21/2015
News: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro was designated for assignment Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The 39-year-old Scutaro, who was limited to five games in 2014 due to a back injury, underwent fusion surgery in late December and was expected to be sidelined 4-6 months. The Giants weren't sure if Scutaro was able to play again following the surgery.

"This is the type of thing, it's 4-6 months before we can know if baseball is possible," general manager Brian Sabean said in December. "I don't want to speak for the doctor or the procedure but you'd have to how he responds to the surgery and that's months away."

Scutaro continues to rehab at his home in Miami. The Giants are checking on him on a regular basis. Based on his progress, the team will decide whether or not to invite him to spring training.

Scutaro, who made the NL All-Star team in 2013, has appeared in 1,391 MLB games over 13 seasons. He has a career .277/.341./.388/.729 slash line.

Analysis: 

Kolten Wong
Kolten Wong's confidence improved after postseason surge
Kolten Wong, 2B, STL
1/19/2015
News: Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong had quite the power display in the 2014 postseason. All seven of his postseason hits went for extra bases. He had three doubles, three home runs and one triple.

Wong's postseason power surge has his confidence up heading into 2015, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"I think it's going to change my game and allow me to play at a different level that what I've been playing my previous years in the big leagues," Wong said. "I'm going to come in confident, confident in my abilities. and not worry about the 'what ifs?' anymore. I'm confident I can play at this level. It's time for me to fully buy into the fact that I'm a big league player."

Wong added he would like to steal 20-plus bases again and improve his batting average this season.

"At least somewhere above .249," he said, laughing. "That's definitely nothing that I'm proud of." 

Analysis: 

Tommy La Stella
Trade of Valbuena doesn't mean Cubs are rushing Bryant to the majors
Tommy La Stella, 2B, CHC
1/19/2015
News: Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday the trade of third baseman Luis Valbuena to Houston and third-base prospect Kris Bryant's roster situation are "totally independent" of each other.

Hoyer added Mike Olt, Tommy La Stella and Arismendy Alcantara could play at third base until Chicago feels Bryant is ready for the majors.

"We are not going to speed up that clock," Hoyer said, per ESPN.

Bryant, who was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2013 MLB draft, has developed into one of the top prospects in baseball. He hit .325 with 43 home runs and 110 RBI in 138 games in the minors in 2014.

Analysis: 

Neil Walker
Report: Pirates swap arbitration figures with Walker, Alvarez
Neil Walker, 2B, PIT
1/16/2015
News: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker has filed for $9 million in arbitration, while first baseman Pedro Alvarez has filed for $5.75 million, MLB.com reports.

Nine Pirates were able to avoid arbitration, but the team has yet to settle on deals with Walker, Alvarez and Vance Worley. Walker was offered $8 million, while Alvarez was offered $5.25 million.

Analysis: 

Daniel Murphy
Report: Mets, Daniel Murphy settle at $8 million
Daniel Murphy, 2B, NYM
1/16/2015
News: The Mets have avoided arbitration with infielder Daniel Murphy by agreeing to a one-year deal with $8 million, the New York Post reports.

The two sides were able to meet in the middle after being separated by $1.2 million once arbitration figures were exchanged. Murphy hit .289/.332/.403 with nine home runs, 57 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 596 at-bats in 2014.

Analysis: 

Tyler Pastornicky
Braves' Tyler Pastornicky outrighted to Triple-A Gwinnett
Tyler Pastornicky, 2B, ATL
1/16/2015
News: The Braves sent infielder Tyler Pastornicky outright to Triple-A Gwinnett after he cleared waivers. Pastornicky was designated for assignment earlier in the week. The 25-year-old has hit .243/.295/.314 over 239 career at-bats in the majors. 
Analysis: 

Sean Rodriguez
Pirates avoid arbitration with Snider, Watson, Rodriguez
Sean Rodriguez, 2B, PIT
1/16/2015
News: The Pirates have locked up outfielder Travis Snider, reliever Tony Watson and second baseman Sean Rodriguez all to one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com. Rodriguez has settled for $1.9 million, Watson will make 1.75 million and Snider is now due to receive $2.1 million next season.

The Pirates acquired Rodriguez from Tampa Bay via trade in the offseason. Rodriguez hit .211 with a career-high 12 home runs, 13 doubles and 41 RBI in 96 games in 2014. Snider slashed .264/.338/.438 with 13 homers and 38 RBI last season. Watson posted a sterling 1.63 ERA over 77 1/3 innings of relief.

Analysis: 

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