Chris Johnson
Braves' Chris Johnson, Kelly Johnson OK after struck by pitches
Chris Johnson, 3B, ATL
3/31/2015
News: Braves infielders Chris Johnson and Kelly Johnson both said they were OK after being hit by pitches Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Chris Johnson was struck on the hand and had it wrapped as he left the ballpark Wednesday. Kelly Johnson was sore after being hit on the back of his right arm.

Analysis: 

Ty Kelly
Cardinals utility man Ty Kelly to open season in Triple-A
Ty Kelly, 3B, STL
3/31/2015
News: Cardinals utility infielder Ty Kelly will begin the season in Triple-A to develop his defense more at second base, shortstop and even the outfielder, reports MLB.com.

Kelly will also see some time as the emergency catcher.

"Just be a guy who uses all those gloves he's toting around all the time," manager Mike Matheny said.

Kelly is hitting .194 this spring with a double and a triple in 36 plate appearances.

Analysis: 

Mike Olt
Cubs 3B Mike Olt feeling rejuvenated heading into 2015 season
Mike Olt, 3B, CHC
3/31/2015
News: Mike Olt is expected to be the Cubs' starting third baseman on Opening Day for a second straight year with the demotion of Kris Bryant to the minors. Even with the potential for Chicago to bring Bryant to the majors quickly, Olt is feeling confident heading into the 2015 season.

"It feels a lot different," Olt said of this season versus last year, per MLB.com. "I was able to go up there last year and learned a lot of things. I feel I'm back to the player who can really compete instead of the player who you hope is ready and you hope the swing is there. It's a lot different feeling, a lot less stressful."

Olt is having a decent spring at the plate, batting .279 with a .392 on-base percentage, .558 slugging percentage and .950 OPS in 19 games. It's a nice turnaround after batting .160 in 89 games in the majors last season.

"I had two crazy years and a lot of things happened to me," said Olt of some injury issues. "Now I feel it's in the past, and I have a new outlook on baseball and a new outlook on my career. I used to be one of those [top prospects like Bryant] -- and you forget about that. I feel myself becoming that guy again, and it makes baseball fun again."

Analysis: 

Charlie Culberson
Rockies option Charlie Culberson to minor leagues
Charlie Culberson, 3B, COL
3/31/2015
News: The Rockies have decided to part ways with third baseman Charlie Culberson and optioned him to Triple-A Tuesday, reports the Denver Post.

Culberson missed significant time at the beginning of spring training while dealing with a bulging disc.

"The thing with Charlie is, he's very talented. He’s got some tools that you don't always see in that role — there's power and speed and defense," manager Walt Weiss said. "It's a matter of tightening things up offensively. But there’s a lot to like there."

Analysis: 

Kris Bryant
Cubs will wait until the time is right to call up Kris Bryant
Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC
3/31/2015
News: Cubs manager Joe Maddon and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein both know Kris Bryant has the talent to make it in the major leagues. But both expressed concern about having him for the long haul over his entire career Tuesday, reports MLB.com.

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you wouldn't want him in your lineup -- there's no question you want him in your lineup," Maddon said. "He's also 23. I'm looking forward to working with this guy for the next 15 years. That'll make me 76. If I'm the next Jack McKeon, I'll be working with this guy when I'm 76 years of age."

Bryant hit a spring training high nine home runs in 40 at-bats while posting a .425 average.

"I'm not saying we're right all the time or right on this issue," Epstein said, "but we have a pretty good track record of bringing along young talent and helping them get off to a good start in their Major League careers, and the way we've done it is to wait for just the right moment."

Maddon thinks he's handled the difficult situation extremely well.

"I put myself in the guy's shoes," Maddon said. "What was my brain like at that age? What was I capable of handling at that age? He's got me beat like so much right now as to what I would've done or been able to handle this at that moment. It's not easy. There's so many things coming at you from so many different directions, and he's done a wonderful job."

Analysis: 

Aramis Ramirez
Brewers' Roenicke chooses Carlos Gomez to bat leadoff
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL
3/31/2015
News: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Tuesday's spring lineup against the Reds will be the team's Opening Day batting order, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Tuesday's lineup had center fielder Carlos Gomez batting first, and he was followed by catcher Jonathan Lucroy, right fielder Ryan Braun, third base Aramis Ramirez, first baseman Adam Lind, left fielder Khris Davis, second baseman Scooter Gennett and shortstop Jean Segura. The pitcher will bat ninth.

Roenicke said he chose Gomez to bat leadoff over Gennett because moving Gomez to the middle of the lineup disrupts other hitters.

Analysis: 

Reid Brignac
Reid Brignac opts out of contract, becomes free agent
Reid Brignac, 3B, MIA
3/31/2015
News: Reid Brignac opted out of his contract with the Marlins after he was sent down to minor-league camp. He is now free to sign with any team, per CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Brignac batted .289 with seven RBI over 38 Grapefruit League at-bats.
Analysis: 

Anthony Rendon
Nationals' Anthony Rendon to seek third opinion on left knee
Anthony Rendon, 3B, WAS
3/31/2015
News: Nationals manager Matt Williams told reporters that a second option on Anthony Rendon's left knee sprain confirmed the same diagnosis, per the team's official website. Rendon is expected to seek a third opinion from Dr. Steve Singleton in Colorado, per the Washington Post.

"We're just trying to make sure we cover all bases, and everybody gets a chance to take a look at it and develop a course of action from today on," Williams said. “So far, the two doctors that have seen him and reviewed it have said the same thing. We'll see what Dr. Singleton says today."

Rendon suffered the injury while making a diving play on March. He has been prescribed rest and appears destined to start the season on the disabled list. If he is unable to play, Yunel Escobar will fill in at third base.

“The fact that we just don't know what kind of time frame Anthony's on, we have to look at all of the options that we have. And the fact that [Escobar] is willing to (do it), he came to us and said: 'Listen, if there's a need for me to play third, I'd be happy to do it.' That's great. That's a great attitude to have. So we have options in that regard.” Williams said, per Comcast SportsNet Washington.

Analysis: 

Will Middlebrooks
Padres' Will Middlebrooks 'in a good position' to start at third base
Will Middlebrooks, 3B, SD
3/30/2015
News: Padres infielder Will Middlebrooks isn't officially the starting third baseman, but has "put himself in a good position" to be, according to manager Bud Black per U-T San Diego.

Middlebrooks, who is competing with Yangervis Solarte for the starting job, is hitting .333 in 45 plate appearances this spring with two home runs and eight RBI. 

Analysis: 

Pedro Alvarez
Pirates 1B Pedro Alvarez homers twice vs. Phillies
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT
3/30/2015
News: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez went 2 for 4 with a walk, two home runs and six RBI in Monday's 18-4 win over the Phillies.

Alvarez smacked a two-run home run in the fifth inning before coming back with a grand slam in the eighth. He has hit .325 with four home runs in 40 at-bats this spring and said after the outing that spring stats "don't count, but they do matter," per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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