Jesus Montero
Mariners' Jesus Montero: I'm 100 percent about first base
Jesus Montero, DH, SEA
3/5/2015
News: Mariners first baseman Jesus Montero, who lost 45 pounds in the offseason, went 2 for 2 during Seattle's spring opener Wednesday against the Padres. 

"I felt really good yesterday," Montero said Thursday morning, per MLB.com. "I've been working so hard for this. I've been thinking positive every single day. The work I'm putting in with [strength coach James Clifford] and all the guys in the gym has been awesome because you see the good results right away. Just being in shape, just being at this weight and feeling good, it's a change and it's fabulous.

"I feel so much better. Just running around the bases, feeling good, being in shape and moving and all that, it was fun."

Montero added he is fully dedicated to playing first base, and his improved agility was on notice Wednesday when he made a nice stretch at first to complete a nice defensive play by third baseman Carlos Rivero.

"Last year I was still thinking as a catcher," he said. "Now I'm 100 percent about first base. That's what they want me to do and I'm putting all my heart, all my honesty, all my love into first base and it's been coming good. When you're playing first, you want to do your best for your teammates in the infield and help make things easier for them and that's what I'm trying to do."

Analysis: 

Carlos Beltran
Yankees' Carlos Beltran hopes to be factor again in right field
Carlos Beltran, DH, NYY
3/5/2015
News: After an injury-filled 2014 season, Carlos Beltran is looking to be back in right field for the Yankees. 

A right elbow injury forced Beltran to spend most of his games as a designated hitter. In September, he had surgery to remove a bone spur and three chips. Now that his elbow has healed, Beltran is ready to play both offense and defense in 2015. 

"I just want to be productive," Beltran said, per MLB.com. "When I play baseball, I just want to put myself in a position where I can impact the team in a positive way, defensively or offensively. I understand that as a hitter, I'm going to have my month where I'm hitting .230. That's not going to go away. It's always been like that."

In 2014, Beltran posted a .233 batting average with 15 home runs and 49 RBI, with the elbow injury playing a large reason why. 

Analysis: 

Billy Butler
A's DH Billy Butler back in lineup after sitting out with stomach illness
Billy Butler, DH, OAK
3/5/2015
News: Athletics DH Billy Butler was back in the spring lineup Thursday against the Cubs after sitting out Wednesday due to a stomach illness.

“It was a bad 24-hour bug,’’ Butler said, per the Bay Area News Group. “It was nasty. But I’m OK now, good to go.’’

Analysis: 

Mitch Moreland
Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland won't play spring games until next week
Mitch Moreland, DH, TEX
3/3/2015
News: Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland took ground balls and ran the bases on Tuesday, and won't seen any spring games until next week, according to the Star-Telegram. Texas is taking a cautious approach with Moreland in camp after he underwent ankle surgery last June.

"I feel good. I think it's just a cautious approach more than anything," Moreland said. "I'm still getting my work in. Trying to go out and get ready. The main goal here is the first of April, not the first of March."

The 29-year-old Moreland hit .246/.297/.347 over 167 at-bats last year.

Analysis: 

Ryan Raburn
Francona: Indians' Raburn (knee) to make spring debut Wednesday
Ryan Raburn, DH, CLE
3/3/2015
News: Indians manager Terry Francona said outfielder Ryan Raburn will make his spring debut Wednesday against the Reds, per MLB.com. Raburn underwent surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his knee in mid-September.
Analysis: 

Victor Martinez
Tigers' Victor Martinez: I'm still on track for opening day
Victor Martinez, DH, DET
3/3/2015
News: Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez told reporters he remains on track to play on opening day, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Martinez, who is working his way back from a medial menisectomy in his left knee, revealed that he suffered the injury while playing catch in the street with his brother in February. He took 25 swings off a tee from each of the plate on Monday, and told reporters he would have taken 50 if the team trainer wasn't around.

The 36-year-old hit .335/.409/.565 over 561 at-bats last year.

Analysis: 

David Ortiz
Big Papi working at 1B in prep for season-opening series in NL park
David Ortiz, DH, BOS
3/2/2015
News: Red Sox DH David Ortiz is working at first base early in spring training in an effort to be prepared for the season-opening series at Philadelphia.

“We don’t want to not cover that and limit his availability to us,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said, per the Boston Herald. “So three games in Philly in the National League, there’s going to be some time at first base.”

Ortiz, who usually plays less than 10 games per season at first base, hasn't made an error since 2009.

“It's something I'm not really thinking about right now,” Ortiz said. “All I'm worrying about now is timing and hitting. First base is something I do occasionally. Mike Napoli's our first baseman. We all know he's getting ready to play first base. Me in my case, it's just a few times. The basic thing that I do when I play first base, everyone knows, that's why you see me out there a few days doing drills but it's nothing we have to worry about.”

Analysis: 

Nelson Cruz
Mariners DH Nelson Cruz to see time in right field 'on occasion'
Nelson Cruz, DH, SEA
3/2/2015
News: Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz will see time in right field "on occasion" in order to let the team stream players through the designated-hiter slot, MLB.com reports.

"He’ll play out there in the season on occasion, because it’s nice to be able to rotate him out of that DH spot and give somebody else a day off and get him back on his feet," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "How much he’ll play in the spring, I’m not sure. But it would be safe to say he’ll play his share of games during the season in right field."

Cruz will primarly serve as a designated hitter by the Mariners but has played 744 games in right field in his career and 833 games in the outfield overall. While he's not on defense, the team is expected to use Seth Smith against most righties and Justin Ruggiano against most southpaws.

Analysis: 

Kendrys Morales
Royals DH Kendrys Morales eager to get timing down offensively
Kendrys Morales, DH, KC
2/24/2015
News: Royals DH Kendrys Morales arrived to spring training Tuesday and is eager to begin work on his timing at the plate, per MLB.com.

Morales missed spring training last year and didn't sign with Minnesota until June. Missing camp played a big part in Morales batting just .218 with eight home runs last season.

"I think it's logical that when I get my at-bats this spring it will help," Morales said through an interpreter. "I think more than anything, I tried [last year]. But missing spring training and part of the season hurt. I gave it my best.

"I just think I can get back to the player I used to be. Hopefully, I get those results on the field."

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