Brewers' Scooter Gennett prepping for full-time role
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett is prepping for a full-time role in 2015, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Gennett had a bit of a breakout season in 2014, but platooned with Rickie Weeks. With Weeks now a free-agent, Gennett is looking at a full-time role. "When it comes to playing every day and facing lefties, I’m looking forward to that," he said. "It has been a while. I can finally get back to my game."

Gennett admitted that he doesn't think it will be that hard to adjust to seeing left-handers while at the plate. "For me, it doesn’t matter what side it is coming from if I’m getting consistent at-bats," he said. 

The 24-year-old Gennett hit .289/.320/.434 over 440 at-bats last year.


Astros ask third baseman Matt Dominguez to learn first base
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) With the Astros recently acquiring infielder Luis Valbuena, third baseman Matt Dominguez has been asked to start learning how to play first base, reports the Houston Chronicle.

"You get a bigger glove, so it can't be that hard," Dominguez said.

Dominguez has spent the last two seasons as the full-time third baseman for the Astors, but he will compete with Valbuena for the starting role this season. If Valbuena wins the third base job, the Astros want Dominguez to be able to switch to first base.

"[Astros manager A.J. Hinch] thinks I'm going to be a third baseman, but he wants to also help me try to make the team by adding a little more versatility and move around a little bit more," Dominguez said. "Do whatever I need to do."


Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia: 'I plan on playing 162' games
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who is coming off September wrist surgery, told reporters he plans to play all 162 games this season, per Comcast SportsNet Northeast.

"I plan on playing 162," said Pedroia. "[Farrell] said that because my numbers were impacted [by the injury]. But I don't look at it any different. I mean, I played 178 games (in 2013) with a torn thumb. Obviously, I'm human -- the next year, you're going to have a tough time."

Pedroia has been limited the past three seasons due to a number of injuries. He injured his wrist in the home opener and wasn't the same the rest of the way. The 31-year-old Pedroia hit just .278 with seven home runs, 33 doubles and 53 RBI in 135 games last season. He has hit fewer than 10 home runs in two straight seasons.

Pedroia reiterated that he's at 100 percent to start spring training.

"I'm back...you'll see," Pedroia said. "I'm good, ready to go. If [the season] started tomorrow, I'd be good. I'm very excited. Obviously, after last year, it didn't go very well, so we've got a lot of stuff to prove.'"


Athletics, Eric Sogard avoid arbitration
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/23/2015) The Athletics and infielder Eric Sogard have agreed to a one-year, $1.075 million deal, avoiding arbitration, reports CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman on Friday. Sogard hit .223/.298/.268 with one home run, 22 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 291 at-bats last season.

Report: Angels no longer in play for Gordon Beckham
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/23/2015) The Angels are no longer in play for second baseman Gordon Beckham, reports MLB.com on Friday. The team is now set on having Josh Rutledge, Johnny Giavotella, Grant Green and Taylor Featherston compete for second base/utility at-bats moving forward.

Beckham was non-tendered by the Angels on Dec. 2. He managed a slash line of .227/.271/.348 in 2014.


Astros' Jose Altuve: It seems like we're ready to go to the playoffs
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/23/2015) The Astros have been active this offseason trying to reshape the roster for the 2015 campaign. Some of the roster moves made have included the acquistions of Evan Gattis, Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily, as well as the signings of Jed Lowrie, Pat Neshek and Colby Rasmus. 

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is pumped up about the roster additions and indicated Friday he feels the Astros have a chance to compete for a playoff spot in 2015, per The Houston Chronicle.

“I think the front office, they know what they’re doing,” Altuve said. “I always expect a winning season. No matter what team we have, I always want to win.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of movement lately on the team. It seems like the thing is we’re ready to go to the playoffs, so we’re going to work hard for that.”

The Astros finished fourth in the AL West in 2014 (70-92). Altuve made his second All-Star team in 2014, while leading the majors in hits (225) and batting average (.341).


Cubs' Javier Baez still having issues with strikeouts
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) Cubs infielder Javier Baez is still having issues with strikeouts, according to FoxSports.com.

Baez is currently playing in winter ball, where he's struck out in 21 of his 43 at-bats. Strikeouts were a major issue for Baez once he was promoted last season. The 22-year-old posted a 41.5 percent strikeout rate through 213 at-bats with the Cubs. 

Baez is currently involved in the playoffs, where he's been dropped from second to seventh in the lineup. 


Tigers' Andrew Romine, Hernan Perez to see time in OF this spring
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday that infielder Andrew Romine will get some work in the outfield during the spring, MLive.com reports.

Romine appeared in 94 games during the 2014 season, spending most of his time at shortstop, and he's also seen time at second base and third base in his major-league career (as well as one pitching appearance). His only playing time in seven minor-league seasons also came at those same three infield positions.

If Romine is able to handle the outfield defensively, he could serve in the a similar role as utility player Don Kelly, who saw action at every position at all three outfield positions as well as work at first base, second base and third base in each of the Tigers' last two seasons.

Romine, who is out of options, is expected to compete for a roster spot with infielder Hernan Perez, who will also get some playing time in the outfield. Romine hit .227/.279/.275 with two home runs, 12 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 251 at-bats in his first season with the Tigers in 2014. Perez, who has split time primarily between shortstop and second base in the minors, hit .287/.331/.404 with six home runs, 53 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 547 at-bats with Triple-A Toledo.


Cubs infielder Javier Baez working on improving timing
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) The Cubs have been impressed with how infielder Javier Baez trained this offseason after he hit .169 in 52 games in 2014. Baez, who has been playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, has also lost 15 pounds since the end of the 2014 season.

"His approach to the game and to practice has been really good all winter," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said of Baez, per MLB.com. "He's been showing up to the park [in Puerto Rico] early and working to get better. He's been playing the game hard, he's been playing good defense, he's been staying focused and helping his team win."

Cubs hitting coach John Mallee spent five days working with Baez in Puerto Rico.

"My timing was really late, so that's why I wasn't getting to the fastball and other pitches," Baez said of what he learned from film sessions. "I'm working on getting the timing back and we'll see what happens from there."


Rangers' Profar (shoulder) reports no issues after playing catch twice
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar said he has played catch twice this offseason and has had no issues with his injured shoulder, per FOX Sports Southwest. Profar said he will play catch from 45 feet again Friday before progressing to 60 feet Monday.

Profar added he will get another MRI on his shoulder soon.


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