Francona on Jason Kipnis' return: 'That'll really be a big boost for us'
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:10 pm ET) Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters he was impressed with second baseman Jason Kipnis' performance in his first Cactus League game since March 17, per MLB.com. Kipnis, who returned from back spasms, played five innings and finished 1 for 3 in a 13-2 defeat to Cincinnati.

"Well, he played yesterday (in the minors). He looks good," Francona said. "He's looked good swinging a bat. His ability, when he's healthy, he can impact a game so many ways. You saw he's athletic at second, he can steal a base, swing the bat. We're excited to watch him play healthy. That'll really be a big boost for us."


Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop should be able to play Friday vs. Rays
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:05 pm ET) Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who had one wisdom tooth removed and another tooth in front of it on Thursday, told reporters he should be able to play Friday against Tampa Bay, per MASN Sports.

"I have to get a workout in today and I'm ready to go," Schoop said. "I feel good. No pain, but the doctor didn't want me to run around yesterday. I think today if I run I could bleed, but I feel good. I'm thankful. I feel ready to go."

Schoop is batting .243 (9 for 37) with two home runs, six RBI in 14 spring games.


Gibbons: Saunders, Izturis to open season on disabled list
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:47 am ET) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Thursday outfielder Michael Saunders (knee) and infielder Maicer Izturis (groin) will open the 2015 season on the disabled list, per Sportsnet.ca.

Saunders is expected to start in left field when healthy, while Izturis will likely be a backup infielder.


Mariners experimenting with Rickie Weeks in leadoff spot
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Mariners outfielder Rickie Weeks is leading off for the team Wednesday, with regular leadoff man Austin Jackson sliding to the No. 2 spot, and manager Lloyd McClendon could use Weeks atop the lineup at times this season, MLB.com reports.

"I like Rickie as a leadoff hitter, too," McClendon said Wednesday. "Austin led off yesterday, Rickie is leading off today. I’m just playing with things. That’s all."

McClendon indicated that both players have different strengths that could be a fit atop the lineup.

"Every player is different. They all have their strengths and weaknesses," McClendon said. "Rickie has close to 3,000 at-bats in the leadoff spot and 100 home runs. There’s a lot to like about him there. Austin is a speed guy that hits a lot of triples and doubles. They both bring a lot to the table."

Weeks is expected to split time in left field with Dustin Ackley this season.


Indians 2B Jason Kipnis works on minor-league side Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said Wednesday that his injured back is feeling better, and he saw five innings of work in a minor-league game, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.

"The plan is if he feels good tomorrow we'll play him, but we also reserve the right to give him another day," manager Terry Francona said. "But all signs are pointing to him moving around pretty good."

Back spasms have keep the second baseman sidelined for about a week. He's looking to bounce back after a down 2014 season.


Devon Travis expected to win starting second base job for Blue Jays
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) While the Blue Jays have yet to make an announcement, Devon Travis will win the starting job at second base over Ryan Goins and Steve Tolleson, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Travis, who was acquired in a November trade with Detroit, is doing well offensively this spring. He is batting .400 (16 for 40) with six doubles, six RBI, three walks, four runs and five strikeouts in 16 spring games.

He is considered Toronto's fifth-best prospect by Baseball America. Travis has a career .323/.388/.487/.876 slash line over three seasons in the minors.


Logan Forsythe still expected to receive playing time at 1B this spring
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters that Logan Forsythe will still receive some playing time at first base this spring. However, the Rays may revisit John Jaso as a possible backup to James Loney, and will consider outfielder Steven Souza only "in a pinch," according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Indians 2B Jason Kipnis (back) targeting a Thursday return
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (back) is targeting a return to the spring lineup Thursday, per MLB.com. Kipnis has not appeared in a spring game since March 17.

Kipnis will play five innings during a minor-league game Wednesday.


Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop sidelined due to dental work
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop will not be available for Wednesday's spring game as he is having his wisdom teeth removed, per MASNsports.com. Schoop could miss a couple of games before returning to the lineup.

Schoop is batting .243 (9 for 37) with two doubles, two home runs, six RBI, seven runs, one walk and 10 strikeouts in 14 spring games.


Rays' Forsythe to get majority of starts at 2B with Franklin sidelined
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash said Wednesday infielder Logan Forsythe will get the majority of playing time at second base to open the season with Nick Franklin sidelined due to an oblique injury, per the Tampa Bay Times.

The two infielders are expected to platoon at second base when Franklin is healthy.

The 28-year-old Forysthe has a career .235/.303/.343/.646 slash line. He played in a career-high 110 games in 2014.

"I think Logan's had a good spring," Cash said, per MLB.com. "Logan's a good defender. Plays second base really well.

"I think we're all very happy about the way his spring has gone. Him and [Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton] have had a lot of discussions on some adjustments and they seem to have paid off. He's barreled a lot of balls this spring."


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