Jhonny Peralta
Cardinals' Jhonny Peralta: Healthy, prepared for 2017
Jhonny Peralta, 3B, STL
3:10 PM
News: Peralta, who was significantly affected by a spring training thumb injury last season, is healthy and ready to compete for the third base job this spring, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. "I never felt 100 percent," Peralta said Sunday. "To tell the truth, last year was kind of tough with everything that happened. Going to third base so quickly, that was tough. The swing, sometimes it would not feel right. But I learned from last year. I feel different now."

The veteran, who is entering the final year of his contract in 2017, feels as if he's in a much better position than he was at any time last season. Peralta's thumb, which required surgery that sidelined him until June, never fully healed until the offseason, when a prolonged stretch of rest finally did the trick. Upon his return last season, he faced a considerable challenge in the field, where he was being asked to play third base for the first time since the 2010 campaign with the Indians. With Aledmys Diaz now the full-time shortstop, Peralta had the luxury of going into this past offseason knowing that he could take all of his practice reps at third base, a position which he's expected to compete with Jedd Gyorko for this spring. The Cardinals feel that the hot corner is a better fit at this stage for the soon-to-be 35-year-old, considering it requires less overall range, and also feel that Peralta's bat still has plenty to offer. After a ragged start that included a .233 average over his first 103 at-bats, Peralta bounced back after the All-Star break to slash .274/.325/.403 over his final 186 trips to the plate.

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Javier Baez
Cubs' Javier Baez: Looking for consistency
Javier Baez, 3B, CHC
9:10 AM
News: The Cubs want Baez to be more consistent in the field before he assumes an everyday role at second base, CSNChicago reports.

As manager Joe Maddon put it, he wants Baez to cut down on the "chrome" and focus on making all the routine plays. Maddon added that Baez "has a flair about his game, so I don't necessarily want to subtract that. But just have him understand the routine stuff has to be made routinely well." The 24-year-old often makes amazing plays in the field, but he's still fairly error-prone at this point (see the two errors he made in Game 7 of the World Series). For Baez to grab an everyday role at second base, he'll have to show more day-to-day consistency.

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David Wright
Mets' David Wright: Begins throwing again
David Wright, 3B, NYM
2/19/2017
News: Wright (neck) participated in a throwing session on Sunday for the first time since his June neck surgery, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports.

The throwing session marks another significant milestone in Wright's recovery from his June 2016 neck surgery. The veteran third baseman began taking batting practice last week, as well. Though his rehab is progressing, his overall health entering the 2017 season still remains in question.

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Jose Reyes
Mets' Jose Reyes: Set to see reps in center field
Jose Reyes, 3B, NYM
2/18/2017
News: Reyes will see some work in center field this spring as the Mets look to transition him into a super-utility role, The New York Post reports. "I talked to Juan [Lagares] a little bit," Reyes said Friday at Tradition Field. "He said, 'You know, you have to be ready to run there, center field, because there are a lot of gaps there.' I said, 'Well, I'm healthy, so I am looking for the challenge.' "

With Curtis Granderson and Lagares still on the roster, Reyes isn't likely to see much regular season action in center field, but the Mets are exploring every possible avenue to get his bat into the lineup and into the leadoff spot. Given David Wright's ongoing back and neck issues, though, expect most of Reyes' playing time to come at third base in 2017, with occasional starts at shortstop and second base as well.

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Conor Gillaspie
Giants' Conor Gillaspie: Favorite to win backup third base job
Conor Gillaspie, 3B, SF
2/17/2017
News: Giants' general manager Bobby Evans said that Gillaspie has the early edge to win the backup third base job heading into spring training, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports.

The Giants signed their 2016 postseason cult hero to a one-year deal this offseason with the plan to have him backup Eduardo Nunez in mind. The fact that he is left-handed gives him an edge over his competition so that manager Bruce Bochy can give him spot starts when a righty is on the mound. Evans noted that Gillaspie will still have to earn the job this spring over other third base options such as the recently-signed Aaron Hill or Korean Baseball Organization All-Star Jae-Gyun Hwang.

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Eduardo Nunez
Giants' Eduardo Nunez: Might get some innings at SS
Eduardo Nunez, 3B, SF
2/15/2017
News: Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that he expects Nunez to play shortstop in some games this season, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The 29-year-old spent the latter part of 2016 as the Giants everyday third baseman, although it's interesting to hear this nugget from Bochy given the fact that former-All Star Brandon Crawford is expected to eat up the bulk of the innings at that position. Nonetheless, this could help to boost Nunez's value if he can amass enough games there, especially given the expansive talent pool across the league at the hot corner.

Analysis: 

Ty Kelly
Mets' Ty Kelly: Outrighted to Triple-A
Ty Kelly, 3B, NYM
2/14/2017
News: Kelly cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A and invited to Mets camp.

The Mets DFA's Kelly to make room for recently signed reliever Jerry Blevins, and after he cleared waivers they outrighted him to Triple-A and invited him to camp. However, it's unlikely he'll crack the 25-man roster, with Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes occupying the utility spots ahead of him. He'll likely start the season as organizational depth at Triple-A.

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Jung Ho Kang
Pirates' Jung Ho Kang: Won't start spring training on time
Jung Ho Kang, 3B, PIT
2/14/2017
News: Kang will miss the beginning of training camp due to his DUI trial in South Korea, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "It is not known how long the trial will last or when any sentencing phase that might be necessary would be scheduled," team president Frank Coonelly said. "We will continue to do whatever we can to assist he and his representatives in their efforts to resolve all necessary matters so that Jung Ho will be able to travel to the United States to prepare for and to play in the 2017 season, but his reporting date remains undetermined."

His trial is set for Feb. 22. Once the Korean courts have reached a verdict then Kang might still have to face possible discipline from Major League Baseball and the Pirates. His case involving pending sexual assault allegations from last summer in Chicago has not yet been resolved, either. As a result, it's easy to envision Kang playing less than a full season for Pittsburgh in 2017.

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Drew Ward
Nationals' Drew Ward: Receives invite to spring training
Drew Ward, 3B, WAS
2/12/2017
News: Ward will take part in major league spring training with the Nationals, The Washington Post reports.

The 22-year-old made it to Double-A Harrisburg last season after popping 11 home runs in 64 games at High-A, but his numbers took a major step backwards against tougher competition. Ward's lack of contact remains his biggest flaw as a prospect -- he hasn't posted a strikeout rate under 25 percent at any level since Rookie ball -- and until he finds a way to get that under control, he'll be a long shot to ever see meaningful playing time in the majors.

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Adonis Garcia
Braves' Adonis Garcia: Penciled in as starting third baseman
Adonis Garcia, 3B, ATL
2/11/2017
News: Garcia will head into spring training as the Braves' starting third baseman.

Rio Ruiz might be the future for Atlanta at the position, but as yet he hasn't shown that he's an upgrade on Garcia, who's hit .274/.307/.430 with 24 home runs in 192 big league games over the last two seasons. The 31-year-old could also see an uptick in RBI opportunities in a likely batting order that would have him hitting sixth behind Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis, but in most fantasy formats Garcia's a low-ceiling, late-round corner infield option at best.

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