Pirates' Josh Harrison likely to lead off, unconcerned with lineup
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is likely to serve as the team's leadoff hitter this season but said Thursday he's unconcerned with how the lineup is put together, MLB.com reports.

"To be honest, I don't really pay attention to the lineup," said Harrison, who led off Thursday with a homer. "The lineup gets jumbled so much and we don't pay attention too much to what could be the Opening Day lineup and what could not. ... That's more [the media's] job, to look at the lineup and say maybe Opening Day, but none of us here have said, 'This may be our Opening Day lineup.' At the end of the day, we've got to worry about the task at hand and that's getting better every day."

Harrison hit .328/.359/.535 atop the lineup last season and started 83 games as the leadoff hitter.

"Your approach changes at-bat to at-bat," Harrison said. "My leadoff approach changes day to day as well. They attacked me differently throughout the course of last year. The last month and a half, guys started mixing it up on me early. My approach is to go out there and get a good pitch to hit -- so in the grand scheme of things, my approach really doesn't change."

Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber among cuts Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) The Cubs announced Thursday they cut 12 players from major-league camp, including top catcher prospect Kyle Schwarber,who was reassigned to minor-league camp.

The other players reassigned to minor-league camp were pitchers Daniel Bard, Anthony Carter, Jorge De Leon, Gonzalez Germen and Francisley Bueno, infielder Chris Valaika, outfielders Albert Almora, Mike Baxter and Adron Chambers.

Pitcher Blake Parker and pitcher Joseph Ortiz were optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

Phillies 3B Cody Asche scratched Thursday due to back tightness
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Phillies third baseman Cody Asche was scratched from Thursday's spring lineup against the Blue Jays due to back tightness. Asche said he began to feel tightness in his back while the team was stretching Thursday.

Asche is batting .238 (10 for 42) with two doubles, three home runs, five runs and seven RBI in 16 spring games.

Phillies 2B Freddy Galvis to use bigger bat
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Phillies second baseman Freddy Galvis is hoping that a switch to a bigger bat will mean more hits, according to MLB.com.

Galvis has been swinging too hard and he is now using a 35 inch, 33 ounce U1 bat. The Phillies hope the new bat will stop him from over swinging.

"It's a bat that's not about being down on the nob and over swinging for home runs," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "He's taken to it very well. It's been a good thing for him."

After singling in the team's loss against the Astros, his batting average raised to .280. The 25-year-old plans to use the new bats during the season.

"I knew I over swung, but I didn't know with the heavy bat I'd have more control," Galvis said. "I thought with a heavy bat I'd have to do more to get to the ball. But what it showed me is if you relax your hands and let the ball come to you and throw the bat [at the ball], that's it. Because when you hit it good, it's going to go."

Nationals' Ian Stewart could open season at third base
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Nationals infielder Ian Stewart is a candidate to start at third base if Anthony Rendon (knee) isn't ready for the start of the regular season, MLB.com reports.

Stewart has shot out to a hot start this spring, going 10 for 31 with one double, three home runs and four walks. He credits his work in the offseason and the tutelage of hitting coach Rick Schu in the batting cage.

"[Schu] got my hands in a good position to fire. The rest is up to me at that point," Stewart said. "It's nice to be able to get the at-bats here, be able to play and do well at the same time, showing that I'm ready if Anthony is not."

Cubs' Kris Bryant on OF drill: 'I think it went very well'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has begun outfield drills with coach Davey Martinez, with the coach instructing the prospect without the use of a glove, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"I just started catching the ball barehanded and just going over the basics," Bryant said about Tuesday's session. "That plays a part in getting to the ball quickly and having a good first step just like an infielder. I think it went very well."

Bryant was slated for more outfield drills Wednesday. He's 13 for 28 with nine home runs this spring and is scheduled to play left field in a game for the first time Thursday, ESPNChicago.com reports.

"Talking to Kris on a one-on-one level he really wants the chance to play out there, which I kind of somewhat like," manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday. "He actually wanted to. That makes it easier."

Rockies' Descalso, Culberson in minor-league game Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rockies infielder Daniel Descalso (oblique) and Charlie Culberson (back) will play four innings in a minor-league game Wednesday, MLB.com reports.

Each will also bat in each inning as they continue to recover from their injuries. Descalso has been sidelined by an oblique strain but is in line to serve as the team's primary utility infielder. Culberson will likely not make the team after dealing with a bulging disk in his lower back.

Matt Carpenter exits Cards' spring game with quad contusion
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter was forced out of Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Nationals with a right quad contusion, per the team's official website. Carpenter was hit by a pitch in the opening frame, and was replaced by Pete Kozma to start the top of the third inning. He will likely be further evaluated moving forward.

Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon's Opening Day status in jeopardy
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Chances of Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon being ready for Opening Day appear "pretty slim" after a second MRI showed that his left knee is still structurally sound, but remains sore, according to Comcast SportsNet Washington. Manager Matt Williams confirmed that his status is in jeopardy, as he remains without a timetable for return.

"It's still lingering. There is no point in pushing it right now and going back to square one during the season," Rendon said, per MLB.com. "We might as well fix it right now rather than later."

Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb expanding role to first
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb is beginning to learn the ropes at first base. Lamb, who may still be the Opening Day starter at third, could be used at first when Paul Goldschmidt gets a day off, reports MLB.com.

"The weirdest part is when a ball is not hit to me -- I know it sounds obvious -- you've got to cover the base," Lamb said. "I'm so used to when the ball is not hit to me I just watch the play develop."

Lamb is still trying to get more comfortable with his role at first.

"My biggest problem right now is I don't have a glove that I'm comfortable with," Lamb said. "So if they're going to put me over there, at some time we've got to get a glove. I'm so used to having a smaller glove. Hopefully I can stick over at third, but like I've said over and over, I'll play wherever they want me to."

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