Ronny Cedeno
Giants sign Ronny Cedeno to minor-league deal
Ronny Cedeno, SS, PHI
2/26/2015
News: The Giants have signed infielder Ronny Cedeno to a minor-league deal, according to the PCL transactions page.

Cedeno, 32, spent most of the year in the minors. He hit .313/.368/.431 over 281 at-bats in Triple-A. Cedeno received nine at-bats with the Phillies, but failed to record a hit. 

Analysis: 

Yunel Escobar
Nationals' Yunel Escobar gets strong reviews at second
Yunel Escobar, SS, WAS
2/26/2015
News: Nationals second baseman Yunel Escobar received strong reviews after taking fielding practice at the position on Thursday, according to MLB.com.

Escobar met with team officials recently to discuss the transition. While he was initially hesitant to move off shortstop, Escobar said he's now committed to being the best second baseman in the league. Escobar spent the past month preparing at second base, but asked that the Nationals be patient as he gets used to his new spot.

Nationals defensive coordinator Mark Weidemaier doesn't think it will take long for Escobar to master the new position. "His athleticism, his agility...his footwork is excellent," Weidemaier said. "I don't think it's going to be a big transition for him."

Escobar, 32, hit .258/.324/.340 over 476 at-bats last year.

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Zack Cozart
Reds SS Zack Cozart corrected glitch in swing during offseason
Zack Cozart, SS, CIN
2/26/2015
News: Reds shortstop Zack Cozart told reporters he compared videos of his swing from last season to the days where his power numbers were up and noticed a glitch, per MLB.com. Cozart noted that his front shoulder was not turning correctly, and it was "easy to fix" for this season.

"I looked to find that one little thing I was doing different. It was something really small and it was an easy fix," Cozart said. "That's a huge positive when you find something like that."

Cozart will likely bat eighth in the order this season. Last season, he hit just .221 with four home runs and 38 RBI in 2014. He is a lifetime .243 hitter over his first four seasons in the majors.

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Andrelton Simmons
Oblique injury will keep Braves' Andrelton Simmons from throwing
Andrelton Simmons, SS, ATL
2/26/2015
News: Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons will not throw for a few days because of a sore oblique, according to MLB.com. The Braves are hopeful he will be OK within a week.

Simmons sustained the injury while working out last week. It is not bad enough to keep him from taking infield practice, but it is keeping him from throwing, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Jimmy Rollins
Dodgers' Mattingly noncommittal to Jimmy Rollins in leadoff spot
Jimmy Rollins, SS, LAD
2/25/2015
News: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters Wednesday that he's not fully committed to batting shortstop Jimmy Rollins in the leadoff spot this season, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Dee Gordon was Los Angeles full-time leadoff hitter in 201, but was shipped to Miami in an offseason trade. Rollins batted first in just 19 of 131 starts last season for the Phillies. Rollins, 36, hit .243/.323/.394 over 538 at-bats last season. He has a career .277 on-base percentage over 200 at-bats at Dodger Stadium.

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Starlin Castro
Cubs' Starlin Castro carries teammate to build leg strength
Starlin Castro, SS, CHC
2/24/2015
News: One of the strength drills Cubs strength coach Tim Buss had shortstop Starlin Castro do to strengthen his legs was carry teammate Mike Olt on his back and run forward and backward, MLB.com reports.

"I did some things I've never done in my life," Castro said. "It really makes you tired at the moment, but after that, a few days later, you feel good."

Castro has had hamstring problems the last two springs, so the team has decided to emphasize leg work heading into the start of camp Wednesday.

Manager Joe Maddon has yet to determine where to hit the shortstop in the lineup, but Castro has voiced his preference to be placed in a spot and left there.

"Wherever they put me, I'll try to do my job," Castro said. "The only thing I like is if he puts me six, seven, leave me there. I like one spot and that's it."

Castro spent most of the 2014 season batting cleanup but did bat second, third, fifth and sixth in at least four games each. He hit .292/.339/.438 with 14 home runs, 65 RBI and four stolen bases in 528 at-bats last season.

Analysis: 

Jean Segura
Brewers shortstop Jean Segura makes changes to batting stance
Jean Segura, SS, MIL
2/24/2015
News: Brewers shortstop Jean Segura arrived to spring training Tuesday ready to put his 2014 season behind him. A year after being an All-Star in 2013, Segura hit just .246 with five home runs and 31 RBI in 146 games last season.

"I'm trying to forget about what happened last year. I never been that unproductive in my career," he said, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "That was my first time. Sometimes you need to have one of those years to learn what it takes to go to the next level.

"Pitchers are going to adjust to you and you need to adjust back. As a young guy, you don't realize what's going on. It was a tough year."

Segura said he made some changes to his batting stance, which he hopes will get him back on track offensively in 2015.

"I've been working on it because I had some troubles getting out front with my left leg," said Segura, who is holding his hands back more and putting more weight on his back leg. "It works. I used it in winter ball and it worked for me. I'm going to continue to do it. It helps me stay back more."

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Ruben Tejada
Mets' Tejada not ready to concede starting shortstop job to Flores
Ruben Tejada, SS, NYM
2/24/2015
News: Although Wilmer Flores is viewed as the favorite to win the starting job at shortstop for the Mets, Ruben Tejada still feels he can win the job, per NJ.com.

"Yeah, why not," Tejada said. "I have to demonstrate here why we're here and why I want to. Come here the same way every year, stay healthy, the first thing, and work."

Tejada started a team-high 105 games at shortstop in 2014 for the Mets. 

"I'm ready to work and do my job inside and outside and stay focused and positive, do everything in the right way and keep going," Tejada said.

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Jung Ho Kang
Pirates envision Jung Ho Kang as an everyday player...eventually
Jung Ho Kang, SS, PIT
2/23/2015
News: The Pirates see Korean infielder Jung Ho Kang as an everyday player, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

While the team has faith in him moving forward, it appears Kang will open the season as a utility option. "We believe we've brought in a player who's going to be an everyday player," manager Clint Hurdle said. "When that happens, we don't know." Hurdle went on to say that the team will prepare Kang for a starting role, as that's what they expect of him moving forward. 

Kang will be used at multiple infield positions during the spring, and he seems comfortable with that idea. "Whatever the team asks for, I'm going to prepare for it and be ready for it."

The 27-year-old signed a four-year, $11 million deal with the club during the offseason. 

Analysis: 

Gavin Cecchini
Mets' Gavin Cecchini gaining ground on getting to major leagues
Gavin Cecchini, SS, NYM
2/23/2015
News: Former first-round pick Gavin Cecchini is starting to grow as a player. In 2014, the Mets 2012 first rounder hit .247 with eight home runs and 56 RBI in stints with three different minor league clubs.

"My walk-to-strikeout ratio was way better last year," Cecchini said to ESPN.com. "That's just repetition and getting out there and getting a bunch of at-bats. The more times you do something, you're going to get better at it."

Cecchini is also seeing more growth in his power numbers from when he first started in the minor leagues.

"Definitely," Cecchini said. "And, not to make any excuses, but we played at really big fields -- Savannah, which is a big ballpark. And here in the Florida State League there are a bunch of big ballparks, too. My power numbers were good. As long as I just keep getting stronger and stay with my approach, everything is going to work out."

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