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.
"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."
"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.'"
Beckham was non-tendered by the Angels on Dec. 2. He managed a slash line of .227/.271/.348 in 2014.
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).
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.
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.
"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."
Profar added he will get another MRI on his shoulder soon.