Justin Turner
Dodgers' Mattingly: Turner has 'put a lot of time in and it shows'
Justin Turner, 3B, LAD
2/27/2015
News: Dodgers infielder Justin Turner earned a nonroster invitation to the team's camp last year and ended up leading the team in batting average, and he's been working on his body like a fiend over the winter, MLB.com reports.

"Going into last year, we felt if he played every day, he'd get in trouble, and we found that out, but this year maybe he can handle more," manager Don Mattingly said Friday. "He's really been diligent about his work, been at Dodger Stadium almost daily. He's put a lot of time in and it shows."

Turner credited strength-and-conditioning coach Brandon McDaniel for his workout success.

"Brandon did everything. He's been a one-man wrecking crew," said Turner. "He and his family deserve the credit. I've been able to establish a routine and train consistently. Before I signed a year ago, I was on my own, going to 24 Hour Fitness, had to coordinate everything myself."

Turner added that he lost 18 pounds this winter through a healthier diet. Mattingly said that he intends to use the infielder at the corner-infield positions and also potentially up the middle.

Analysis: 

Matt Skole
Nationals' Matt Skole: 'I'm eating healthy and working hard'
Matt Skole, 3B, WAS
2/27/2015
News: Nationals first baseman Matt Skole missed most of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and struggled at the plate in 2014 but showed up to camp in better shape and will look to rebound in 2015, MLB.com reports.

"This offseason, I had a little more time to work on my body," Skole said. "I really got after it in the weight room. I ate right. I ate healthy. I think that was probably the biggest difference for me. I'm about the same weight as I was. I just leaned out a little bit. I'm eating healthy and working hard."

Skole worked with hitting coordinator Troy Gingrich for a month after the season and learned to keep his hands up in order to hit the ball consistently after having his hands too low during his down 2014 season.

"After taking a year off, it was more difficult than I thought it would be," the left-handed-swinging Skole said. "But coming back, I turned some corners, made some strides as far as getting to know myself as a player and know the things I need to fix. I think everything I did last year was a stepping stone for this year."

Skole hit .241/.352/.399 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI in 461 at-bats with Double-A Harrisburg last season.

Analysis: 

Brandon Drury
Diamondbacks' Brandon Drury to split time at 2B, 3B this spring
Brandon Drury, 3B, ARI
2/27/2015
News: Diamondbacks infielder Brandon Drury will split time at second base and third base this spring, the Arizona Republic reports.

Drury will pick up work at second base after the team signed Yasmany Tomas this offseason. He saw time at the position during the Arizona Fall League and also spent two games there with Double-A Mobile last season.

"I don't feel like I need extra reps at second to be game-ready there," Drury said. "I felt good there."

Drury approached starting second baseman Aaron Hill for advice during fielding drills Friday, impressing Hill with his ability to ask for help as well as the quickness of his adjustment to the advice.

"He made the adjustments easy. Easy," Hill said. "What's great, too, is when a guy is willing to ask question. He's a sponge and he wants to learn. I think it's awesome."

Drury hit .299/.362/.510 with 23 home runs and 95 RBI in 535 at-bats between high Class A Visalia and Mobile in 2014.

Analysis: 

Rio Ruiz
Braves' Rio Ruiz 'happy' with trade, impressing Pendleton in camp
Rio Ruiz, 3B, ATL
2/27/2015
News: Braves third base prospect Rio Ruiz expressed happiness about being dealt to Atlanta as part of the package the Braves received for Evan Gattis, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

"Initially (the trade) was overwhelming," Ruiz said. "Then I looked at the big picture and I was happy with it. I watched the Braves growing up, and my dad just talked about the guys that came through this system and played in the big leagues."

Braves first-base coach Terry Pendleton, who was named National League MVP in 1991 as a member of the Braves, likes what he's seen from Ruiz in the early stages of spring training.

"I watched him play a little defense — he’s got a little work to do," Pendleton said. "But offensively, he’s sound. Really sound offensively. Just watching him in the cage, he’s inside the ball (with his swing). He’s what you want a young kid to be coming up so all you’ve got to do is tweak here and there. That’s what he looks like anyway."

Ruiz, 20, is expected to begin the season with Double-A Mississippi. He hit .293/.387/.436 with 11 home runs, 77 RBI and four stolen bases in 516 at-bats with high Class A Lancaster in 2014.

Analysis: 

Jake Lamb
D-Backs might find a way to keep Jake Lamb on roster
Jake Lamb, 3B, ARI
2/27/2015
News: While the Diamondbacks are trying to see if Yasmany Tomas can develop into a starting third baseman at the major-league level, Jake Lamb is doing his best this spring to make sure the Diamondbacks don't forget about him, per MLB.com.

"He just looks great," Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said. "I didn't see him last spring so I don't have anything to compare it to. I saw him at the end of the season, he could have been worn down. His talent is oozing. Believe me, at the point we're a contending club there is room for both of those guys [Tomas and Lamb] on the team. It's not that tough to figure out. They can't both play third base, but you could be creative. Get the best players on the field."

Analysis: 

Aramis Ramirez
Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez likely to retire after 2015 season
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL
2/27/2015
News: Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez said Friday the 2015 season will likely be his last in the majors. The 36-year-old Ramirez is entering his 18th season in the majors and fourth with the Brewers.

"I don't want a multi-year deal. I wasn't looking forward to that. I'm comfortable here," he said, per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"I'm going to play this year and probably be done after this year. I don't know if I want to play after this year. I think this is it. We'll see what happens, but I don't think I'll play after this year.

"It's more of a family thing. I've got three kids, I've been playing for a long time, been away for a long time. Sometimes it's just time to do something else."

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he is not surprised by Ramirez's announcement.

"We anticipated that anyways," he said. "It's not stunning. I think when he accepted our deal to come back that was probably a message. He didn't go out on the market. He's always said it's never been about the money."

Ramirez made the All-Star team in 2014 for the third time in his career. He has a career .285 average, .344 on-base percentage, .496 slugging percentage and .840 OPS.

Analysis: 

Anthony Rendon
Nationals' Anthony Rendon taking a status-quo approach into 2015
Anthony Rendon, 3B, WAS
2/25/2015
News: Coming off a breakout season in 2014, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon said he doesn't plan to change anything in his game.

It should come as no surprise since he finished fifth in the NL MVP race last season after batting .287 with a .473 slugging percentage, .824 OPS, 21 home runs, 39 doubles, 83 RBI and 111 runs.

“My game is simple,” Rendon said Wednesday, per The Washington Times. “I just try to put the barrel on the ball. When I put the barrel on the ball, good things come out most of the time.

“That’s what’s awesome about this game. A guy with two years [of experience] and a guy with 20 years, he’s still trying to improve himself in every part of the game. This game, you learn something new each and every day, so take it one day at a time and try to better yourself.”

Analysis: 

Kris Bryant
Cubs' Kris Bryant to see time in the outfield this spring
Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC
2/23/2015
News: Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant will learn to play the outfield this spring, according to CBSChicago.com.

Bryant met with manager Joe Maddon, and it was determined that the 23-year-old would see some time in the outfield during camp. "I think if you ask him, he would say he prefers to play third base. As a team member he is prepared to go to the outfield," Maddon said.

Bryant will continue to play third, but Maddon said playing multiple positions could open up more opportunities down the road. 

Bryant hit a ridiculous .325/.438/.661 over two minor-league levels last year. 

Analysis: 

Freddy Galvis
Phillies not worried about Freddy Galvis' bat
Freddy Galvis, 3B, PHI
2/23/2015
News: Freddy Galvis is replacing Jimmy Rollins as the Phillies shortstop this year. The team has no worries that Galvis is up to the challenge defensively. 

Galvis hit just .176 last year, however, with four home runs and 12 RBI, a far cry from the production the team has come to expect from the position. 

The Phillies don't seem to be worried. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is confident that Galvis will hit. "Because he's an intelligent player," Amaro told Philly.com's Ryan Lawrence. "He's going to learn, he's going to make adjustments and I think he has the potential to do that."

Coach Larry Bowa and manager Ryne Sandberg said that it's important for Galvis to realize what role he needs to fill. 

"He's got to recognize what kind of hitter he is - he's a singles hitter," Bowa said. Keep the ball in the middle of the field . . . Put the ball in play. ... He cannot strike out, not move runners."

"he needs to be ready to do some little things: hit-and-run, bunt and safety squeeze, put the ball in play and shorten up," Sandberg said. "That's the biggest thing is for him to stay within that approach in staying short and looking for consistent contact and using the whole field."

Analysis: 

David Wright
Mets' David Wright will avoid head-first slides
David Wright, 3B, NYM
2/22/2015
News: Mets third baseman David Wright knows he is unlikely to play in all 162 games this season. To help him play in as many games as possible, Wright said he will no longer slide head-first, reports MLB.com.

In 2014, Wright dealt with a shoulder issue, but he would't offer that as an excuse for his lack of home runs, reports the New York Post.

"It's kind of easy to use the shoulder as an excuse, but if I'm in the game I expect to perform," he said.

Wright added he won't argue if manager Terry Collins wants him to take a day or two off to rest.

Analysis: 

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