Yankees' Mark Teixeira: A-Rod 'will be fine over there' at first base
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:31 pm ET) Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez shifted across the infield on Friday. The embattled slugger fielded grounders and took part in various drills including bunt defense, according to the Associated Press.

Rodriguez missed all of last season after being suspended for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. With Chase Headley slated to be the team's starting third baseman, Rodriguez will compete for at-bats as a designated hitter and could see some time behind Headley at third and Mark Teixeira at first.

Teixeira told reporters that Rodriguez will fit just fine at first.

"I think what will make Alex have a shorter learning curve is his baseball IQ," Teixeira said, per Newsday. "He'll be fine over there."

Rodriguez, who will turn 40 in July, hit .244/.348/.423 over 156 at-bats back in 2013. He will begin early workouts on Saturday.


Angels 1B Albert Pujols: Bring on the shift
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:27 pm ET) Angels first baseman Albert Pujols found himself batting against the shift more than any other player in 2014, but he said Friday he's happy to take on the altered defensive alignment, MLB.com reports.

"They think they're screwing with your mind, but actually it's worse because they're telling you how they're going to pitch to you," Pujols said. "So actually it's the opposite. It's helping a hitter to know how they're going to pitch to you."

Pujols also said his right knee, on which he underwent arthroscopic surgery in 2012, finally feels good again.

"Just crossing my fingers," Pujols said. "It's a long season."

Pujols hit .272/.324/.466 with 28 home runs and 105 RBI in 633 at-bats in 2014.


Athleitcs' Matt Olson back at 100 percent from shoulder tear
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:33 pm ET) Athletics first base prospect Matt Olson, who suffered a grade three tear of the AC joint in his right shoulder while playing in the Arizona Fall League, is back at 100 percent and is looking forward to his first big-league camp with the club, MLB.com reports.

"It's good, 100-percent strength," Olson said. "Occasional soreness, maybe once every two weeks, but it feels good. No setback at all."

Olson, considered the organization's top prospect, hit .262 with 37 home runs and 97 RBIs in 138 games with Class A Advanced Stockton last year. Although he played all but 10 of his 284 games in the minors at first base, Olson is showing some versatility and has seen some working in the outfield during camp.

"Whatever they want me to do," Olson said. "I feel pretty comfortable out there. Whatever gets me in the lineup."


Orioles' Chris Davis to see time in right field during spring training
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2:20 pm ET) Orioles coach Buck Showalter said first baseman Chris Davis will see some playing time in right field during the spring training season, according to The Baltimore Sun

This likely has more to do with cross-training Davis just in case he's needed to step in at right field during the regular season. Davis hasn't played in right field the previous two years but did play the position some in 2012.

Davis has made 39 starts in right field during his MLB career.  


Indians' Francona: Swisher 'swinging the bat really well'
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Indians manager Terry Francona has been satisfied with Nick Swisher's performance during batting practice, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

"He's swinging the bat really well," Francona said. "He's under control and he probably has to be (because of his knees). But he's using the whole field. He really looks good." 

Swisher has been working with the team's hitting coaches on trying to go up the middle more often. Francona said that strategy has already translated to his batting practice sessions. 

Running still remains an issue for Swisher, however. He was able to do some drills on Thursday, but reportedly looked uncomfortable during the session. The club expects he'll be ready for games in mid-March.

Swisher, 34, hit .208/.278/.331 over 360 at-bats last year. 


Mariners' Morrison spends offseason working on improving durability
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison has struggled to stay healthy through his first five years in the majors. In order to improve his durability, Morrison said he hired a new trainer in the offseason, per The News Tribune.

“I think I’m a little more educated about my body,” he said. “He’s given me a program to do -- whether it’s a warm-up every day or a three-day-a-week workout program. Hopefully, that will keep me healthy.”

Morrison is confident he will be a valuable part of the lineup, as long as he can stay healthy.

“Just put me in the lineup every day,” he vowed, “and I’ll produce. It’s up to me to stay in the lineup, but if I’m in the lineup every day, I know I’m going to hit, and I know I’m going to hit well and be a force in the lineup.”

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon is optimistic Morrison can reach his full potential.

“LoMo is relatively young as far as active years under his belt,” McClendon said. “He’s still maturing from that standpoint. He’s still learning. I think his ceiling is very high.

“I think, all in all, he’s got a chance to be  a guy who can hit 25 home runs for us and drive in 100. He’s a good hitter. He hits left-handers and right-handers. He takes his walks."


Ike Davis still bothered by 2012 report accusing him of drinking issue
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) When the Mets traded Ike Davis to the Pirates last April, it put an end to a disappointing tenure in New York. Davis struggled to meet the expectations of being a former first-round pick, which is something he could live with.

Apparently, however, Davis couldn't live with a 2012 report citing the Mets were concerned about his nightlife habits. Davis had to encounter the topic when he met with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle after he was traded last year.

“Clint asked me about it when I first got over there,” Davis said, per the New York Daily News. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, but a guy made up an article.’

“He was like, ‘I heard you’ve had issues.” And I was like, ‘Issues with what? I’ve never gotten in trouble. I’ve never gotten in a fight. I’ve never done anything to anyone. Yeah, I’ve gone out and had beers and stuff, but who hasn’t done that?’ I don’t know why I got singled out.”

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told Davis at the end of last season he would squash any rumors regarding the issue, calling the report "ridiculous" after Davis proved to be a model teammate in 2014.

Even Athletics manager Bob Melviin said Davis’ reputation in the game is now sound and is glad to have him on the roster after Oakland picked him up in November.

Still, Davis remains bothered the accusations are connected to his tenure with the Mets.

“That’s really the only thing that I still have a dirty taste in my mouth about," he said. "Because everything else, you could see it in numbers. What, am I going to argue? I didn’t play well. But as far as calling me out for drinking problems, and being a bad influence -- that was a joke. It’s ridiculous. But you can use it as a learning experience: You can’t trust people.”


Edwin Encarnacion told he will see most of his playing time at 1B
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion said Thursday as he arrived for spring training that he is ready for whatever role the team has in store for him in 2015. The original plan was for Encarnacion to be the team's primary DH, but it now appears most of his playing time will come at first base.

"They told me I'm going to be playing more first base," Encarnacion said, per MLB.com. "I've worked hard this offseason [because] I knew I'm going to get more time at first. But I'm ready for whatever they need me, if they need more at first base, or if they need me at DH, I'm ready."

Encarnacion was plagued by a quad injury in the second half of the 2014 season. He put a lot of work in this offseason to help improve his durability, and he hopes the added effort will pay off.

"I worked a lot on my back and my stomach because I know have to get it stronger to get my back right," Encarnacion said. "And working a lot with my leg. Right now I'm 230 [pounds], that's where I want to be, under 230, that's when I feel good and I can be away from the injuries."


Twins' Molitor: Joe Mauer won't hit lower than third in lineup
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Twins manager Paul Molitor is still settling on where first baseman Joe Mauer will bat in the lineup in 2015. However, he said Thursday that Mauer won't hit lower than third.

"I've toyed with how different things might shake, but it's hard to be presumptuous because we have a few positions where we don't know who that will be," Molitor said, per MLB.com. "It might influence what happens. I don't think he's going to have to worry about being anywhere on the backside of three.

"We have some people who can do things at the top of our lineup with Brian (Dozier) and Danny (Santana) up top. But I'm going to try to give some guys different opportunities to hit in different spots just to see how it goes. I think as we get to closer to the end, I'll have more of an idea of who I want to hit where."


Blue Jays' Gibbons: Valencia, Colabello will see time at LF
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons hinted that Danny Valencia and Chris Colabello will see some time at left field this spring, according to Sportsnet.ca. Toronto is hoping to fill a void at left field after the team announced Thursday that Michael Saunders will be sidelined until July with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

In his career, Valencia played left field in only five games in the minors. Colabello has logged 30 career games in the majors at left field.


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