Rendon still hopes to be ready for Opening Day.Analysis:
Freese is batting .282 (11 for 39) with one home run, three doubles and seven RBI in 14 spring games.
"Night and day," Freese said Friday when asked how he feels this spring compared to last, per MLB.com. "I'm more confident in where I'm at right now. I can't explain it. I don't really know how I was thinking last year, I just know how I feel right now, mentally, physically."Analysis:
"I look at it as why not me?" Bryant said Friday, per MLB.com. "I think I'm the type of guy who can go out there and do it. I've made it a point of mine to show them that I can."
Epstein said Friday that no decision has been made regarding Bryant.
"It's for baseball reasons, and it hasn't been about anything else besides baseball reasons," Epstein said. "We spend a lot of time thinking about which players to draft, how to get them off to a good start in their professional careers, how to help them advance in the Minor Leagues, and how to help them make that final leap to the big leagues and when and how to do it to put them in a position to succeed."
Bryant is in the midst of a scorching hot spring, with nine homers in 32 at-bats. On Thursday, the 23-year-old prospect also showed some versatility by starting in left field against the Jered Weaver and the Angels.
"Yesterday was good for me to go out there and face a pitcher like Jered Weaver who has incredible stuff,” Bryant said. "He's a different type of pitcher and it was really good for me to go out there and struggle a little bit, see what he’s going to throw me and learn from it. I took it as a learning experience."
Bryant has three multi-home run games this spring. He is hitting .406/.472/1.313 in 12 Cactus League games.
New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters that Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, should not be involved in Chicago's roster decisions, even when it comes to Bryant, per the Chicago Tribune.
"Look, I don't think the Cubs decision on what’s going to happen to Kris Bryant is really any of Mr. Boras' business," Manfred said. "I think the Cubs -- I know the Cubs -- will make decisions that are best for the long term competitiveness of the club. And focusing on whether a particular player has played, or is with a club on a day, or days, I don’t think is a fair evaluation of what the club is up to.
"The club is in the best position, and the Cubs are in the best position, to decide what's going to make them the most competitive over the longest period of time."Analysis:
Rodriguez has seen time at third base and as the team's designated hitter this spring. Earlier in the week, general manager Brian Cashman said that Rodriguez has shown enough to be trusted as the full-time DH. The 39-year-old is hitting .290 (9 for 31) with two homers and three RBI in his first 13 spring games back from suspension.Analysis:
“You can’t think about anything like that,” Plouffe said. “You can’t worry about what other people are saying about you. I’m more focused on getting this organization out of this rut that we’ve dug ourselves over the last four years.”
After moving around the infield for years, Plouffe seems to have found his place at third. The 28-year-old has a batting average of .245 with 62 home runs, 224 RBI and 398 strikeouts in five seasons.Analysis:
“It’s crazy,” Headley said. “I’m begging for ground balls.”
Headley came over from the Padres last spring having spent his entire career there. He seemed to suffer the same circumstances there with limited chances to field balls. He spoke to some of his current teammates and his infield coach.
“I’ve talked with Joe Espada,” Headley said of the Yankees’ new infield coach. “And Didi and Stephen — I just want a routine, easy ground ball.”
Headley, who won a National League Gold Glove in 2012, has been using his practice time to stay sharp.
“Sometimes you’ll do a drill where the coach will flip the ball so you’re reading the swing and it’s a little bit more gamelike,” Headley said. “But there’s really no substitute for getting ground balls, and unfortunately that’s out of your control in spring training, so you do the best you can with it. The good thing is I’ve done it for a long time, so I’ll be fine.”Analysis:
"It's fine," Gillaspie said. "First thing [in the morning] and last thing at night, it's kind of sore, but as far as affecting me playing, it doesn't. It did a little bit when I first got here, but it has gone away. Credit to [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] for working hard with me every day on that."
While Gillaspie will likely be dealing with discomfort in his foot for most of the season, he said it's nothing he can't manage.
"The workload lessens as you get into the season as far as practice hours go. Obviously, I'm hoping that calms it down a bit, having a little less to do," Gillaspie said. "It's not a big issue."Analysis:
"To be honest, I don't really pay attention to the lineup," said Harrison, who led off Thursday with a homer. "The lineup gets jumbled so much and we don't pay attention too much to what could be the Opening Day lineup and what could not. ... That's more [the media's] job, to look at the lineup and say maybe Opening Day, but none of us here have said, 'This may be our Opening Day lineup.' At the end of the day, we've got to worry about the task at hand and that's getting better every day."
Harrison hit .328/.359/.535 atop the lineup last season and started 83 games as the leadoff hitter.
"Your approach changes at-bat to at-bat," Harrison said. "My leadoff approach changes day to day as well. They attacked me differently throughout the course of last year. The last month and a half, guys started mixing it up on me early. My approach is to go out there and get a good pitch to hit -- so in the grand scheme of things, my approach really doesn't change."Analysis:
Asche is batting .238 (10 for 42) with two doubles, three home runs, five runs and seven RBI in 16 spring games.Analysis:
Lawrie hadn't played since Saturday due to general soreness but was able to return Wednesday and pick up his fourth extra-base hit of the spring. He's 6 for 30 with three doubles and one home run in 12 Cactus League games.Analysis: