Indians' Yan Gomes' first hit of spring goes for home run
by Jason Butt |
(3/5/2015) Indians catcher Yan Gomes' first hit of the spring came on a two-run home run during Cleveland's 9-3 Cactus League win over the Reds. 

Gomes went yard in the fifth inning off of Reds pitcher Burke Badenhop. 

Thursday's showing was a good sign that Gomes is picking up where he left off in 2014, when he recorded a batting average of .278 and hit 21 home runs. 

Astros catcher Hank Conger dealing with left wrist injury
by Michael Hurcomb |
(3/5/2015) Astros catcher Hank Conger is dealing with a minor left wrist injury, according to the Houston Chronicle. However, he could catch in a game this weekend.

“Conger has been delayed a little bit,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “I think we’re going to get him in a game this weekend, he’s not injured. It’s just we’re delaying the start of his spring until most likely this weekend. … We’ve tried to be good to these guys on the health side and our trainers have kept him healthy.

“I think he’s catching a 'pen today. We held him off a couple days, but he’s fine. He just needed a day.”

Padres C Griff Erickson joined Padres for 'opportunity'
by R.J. White |
(3/4/2015) Padres catcher Griff Erickson is in camp as a nonroster invitee and said Wednesday he chose to join his hometown team for "the opportunity," U-T San Diego reports.

"It's not about the money," Erickson said. "I could've signed somewhere else, got paid more money. It's about the opportunity. I feel like here, not only is it just because it's my hometown, it's a great opportunity."

Erickson is in major-league camp for the third time this season. He hit .297/.384/.510 with seven home runs and 29 RBI in 155 at-bats with Triple-A Albuquerque in 2014.

Orioles' J.P. Arencibia making strides working with bench coach
by Michael Hurcomb |
(3/4/2015) Orioles catcher J.P. Arencibia has made a favorable impression on manager Buck Showalter, per Arencibia, who is in camp on a minor-league deal, has been working with bench coach and catching instructor John Russell on improving his defense.

"He and John are working on a couple of things," Showalter said. "I've seen John do some things with guys that I didn't think was possible. I keep a real open mind about anything with a catcher here. I think John very quietly is one of the best I've ever been around, but he doesn't make everybody do it exactly the same. We'll see how it plays out.

"He's very engaged. He knows what the job description requires and he's trying to bring it. I think we all know offensively he's capable of better, but his damage has always good."

Cubs taking wait-and-see approach on Welington Castillo's future
by Igor Mello |
(3/4/2015) Although Cubs catcher Welington Castillo is on the trade block and could be dealt before opening day, manager Joe Maddon told reporters that he's going to let the Castillo rumors play out before he decides whether he'll break camp with three catchers, per Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

"Let's just play it (out)," Maddon said. "Let's get him ready. He's really good. I really mean it. I like Castillo a lot. He's really opened up also in talking to guys and among the group, which is really nice to hear. There's a lot of good stuff going on there."

Rays DH John Jaso doing well in early stages of outfield experiment
by Michael Hurcomb |
(3/4/2015) Rays manager Kevin Cash seems pleased with how catcher/DH John Jaso is doing in his transition to the outfield, per The Tampa Tribune

“He was reading balls off the bat and he looked great,” Cash said. “(Monday) the outfielders did their first light throwing. Every ball he threw was right on line. I think from speaking with him, he’s been comfortable with it. We probably didn’t anticipate getting him out there until the end of spring, but I think we have him coming in the third or fourth game of the year and see how it goes. If he’s good we’ll keep working him out there. That’s a great asset for us to have.”

While Jaso's role will primarily be at DH, the Rays want him to learn how to play in the outfield to add versatility to the team's roster.

“I’m enjoying the outfield experience so far,” Jaso said. “I think the challenge is going to be picking up the ball and knowing where to throw, knowing where the cutoff man is going to be, and when there are runners on, knowing which base to throw to to keep the double play in order and catch yourself throwing to third base."

Blue Jays' Martin: Pirates 'were going to do everything they could'
by Chris Cwik |
(3/4/2015) Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin says the Pirates did everything they could to try and re-sign him, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Martin signed a five-year, $82 million deal with Toronto, but said the Pirates really pushed to keep him around. "They were going to do everything they could," Martin said. "They were pretty vocal about that. But then it comes to a point where, as an organization, if you're thinking business-wise, you can't stack all your chips and then leave yourself vulnerable for later."

Martin also admitted that the opportunity to be a role model in Canada was a big reason he signed in Toronto. "The opportunity to play in Canada, for my family to be able to watch me play, to be a role model for younger Canadians and be that guy, it's a better fit for me overall for that reason," he explained.

In the end, the money and a fifth year led Martin to the Blue Jays. "[The Pirates] were pretty vocal, and I think that they definitely wanted me back. It was just a feeling that Toronto wanted me a little bit more," he said.

The 32-year-old hit .290/.402/.430 over 379 at-bats last season.

Rockies' Wilin Rosario receives positive reviews at first base
by Chris Cwik |
(3/3/2015) Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario received positive reviews after playing first base on Tuesday, according to

Rosario showed off his athleticism, saving two possible errors during the appearance. The club is trying to work Rosario in at the position after signing Nick Hundley in the offseason. Rosario has been taking extra fielding practice at first during camp. Rosario is expected to see equal time at first and behind the plate this spring.

The 26-year-old hit .267/.305/.435 over 382 at-bats last year.

Yankees' Luis Torrens out for the year with shoulder injury
by Chris Cwik |
(3/3/2015) Yankees catcher Luis Torrens will miss the entire season following shoulder surgery, according to

Torrens has a torn labrum in his shoulder, and will need surgery to repair the issue. The 18-year-old hit. 256/.331/.383 over three levels of the minors last season. 

Tigers' Alex Avila to miss three days
by Chris Cwik |
(3/3/2015) Tigers catcher Alex Avila will miss the next three days in order to be with his family, according to the Detroit Free Press

Avila's wife is expected to give birth to their second daughter, so Avila will take a few days off. The 28-year-old hit .218/.327/.359 over 390 at-bats last year. He's expected to open the season as the team's starter behind the plate. 

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