Giants' Will Smith: Mulling Tommy John surgery after second opinion
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Smith (elbow) is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery after going for a second opinion on his pitching arm this week, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

According to Schulman, Smith will meet with his agent Friday before making a final decision on his course of action. An MRI earlier in the week revealed that Smith had a sprained UCL in his left elbow and now it appears that a Tommy John procedure could be imminent. Smith was acquired by the Giants at the trade deadline and was strong down the stretch with a 1.78 FIP and 26 strikeouts over 18.1 innings. If the Giants lose Smith for a significant amount of time, they'd be missing a significant piece of their bullpen puzzle. More information on Smith's course of action should be made available over the weekend.


White Sox's Zack Burdi: Gives up two runs Thursday
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Burdi allowed two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out one over one-third of an inning Thursday.

Burdi's expected to the start the season at Triple-A Charlotte, but the fact he's still in major league camp is a good sign. The 2016 first-round pick (26th overall) should make it up to Chicago at some point this season, but first he'll work on commanding his 100 mph in Charlotte.


Brewers' Carlos Torres: Bullpen spot secure
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Torres, despite allowing five earned runs over 5.0 innings with the Brewers this spring, is a lock to open the season in the Brewers' bullpen, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Torres' numbers this spring (9.00 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 6:3 K:BB) are unsightly, but they have come in just five innings over four outings, so they also carry very little weight in the long run, particularly when compared to the numbers (2.73 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 78:30 K:BB) he posted over 82.1 innings out of the Brewers' bullpen a year ago. Torres will begin the year as one of the top relievers in front of closer Neftali Feliz and figures to work in either the seventh or eighth inning.


Brewers' Jhan Marinez: Will open season with big club
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Marinez was informed Thursday that he will open the regular season in the Brewers' bullpen, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports.

It would have taken a rough spring for Marinez not to break camp with the big club -- he is out of options and was effective over 43 appearances after being claimed by the Brewers last season -- but he has had anything but, giving up just one earned run and allowing only seven baserunners over eight spring innings. Like last year, Marinez will work in middle relief for the Brewers.


Cubs' Mike Montgomery: Will begin year in bullpen
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Montgomery will begin the year in the bullpen with the announcement of Brett Anderson as the team's No. 5 starter, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.

This isn't much of a surprise, as Anderson has never pitched in relief before, while Montgomery excelled in a relief role last season, including getting the save in Game 7 of the World Series. Montgomery will begin the year in the bullpen, but Anderson's injury history would suggest that Montgomery will get some starts down the road.


Rockies' Jairo Diaz: Touches upper-90s in spring debut
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Diaz (elbow) pitched two-thirds of an inning in his first Cactus League appearance, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk.

The appearance is definitely a step in the right direction for the fireballer, and although the results are somewhat cringe-worthy, some positives can be taken away from the outing. Diaz's fastball touched 98.8 miles per hour, showing the high-octane delivery that has Rockies fans drooling. He also got the first two outs of the inning relatively quickly, one of them even being a strikeout. His rust became apparent afterward, however, as his inability to command his changeup and slider led to a home run and a premature exit from the contest. Diaz appears to be pretty healthy as of now, although he'll likely need some more work in game situations prior to being fully cleared for major league innings. His return to full-time work appears to still lie in early May.


Cardinals' Miguel Socolovich: Fine-tuning fastball in bid for bullpen spot
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Socolovich, who owns a 4.00 ERA over nine spring innings, sees command of his fastball as a pivotal part of winning a roster spot, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. "If I throw more fastballs for strikes, it's going to make my changeup and my slider better," Socolovich said. "They're not going to be able to be ready for just one pitch. They're going to have to be ready for three. I want to prove that I can throw my fastball for a strike and locate it, too."

Socolovich owns a 1.89 ERA, .175 BAA, 0.94 WHIP and 8.1 K/9 since debuting with the Cardinals in 2015, with the first two figures tops among any relievers on the team with a minimum of 18 innings pitched over that span. That said, he's still fighting for the final bullpen spot, with the fact that he's out of minor league options potentially giving him a slight leg up. The team has encouraged Socolovich to throw his fastball with greater regularity and he's followed suit, firing it with 12 percent greater frequency in 2016 as compared to the season prior. The pitch was key in helping get off to a strong start this spring, and despite some struggles over his last three innings, he retains the confidence of manager Mike Matheny. "He's been terrific," Matheny said. "He's got a good enough fastball to come at anybody, and that will make his secondary pitches better. He was a hard thrower even before we got him. [We're] just making sure he knows he can trust the fact that that should be a good pitch."


Cubs' Jake Buchanan: Sent to Triple-A
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Buchanan was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports.

This isn't too surprising, as Buchanan accumulated a 7.65 ERA across 8.1 innings through spring. The Cubs are simply too deep in the bullpen, so the 27-year-old should see most, if not all, of his time at Triple-A Iowa next season.


Mariners' Nick Vincent: Trouble with long ball this spring
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Vincent, who's given up five home runs in 5.2 innings this spring, is nevertheless not the subject of manager Scott Servais' concern, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "I'm anxious to get him out of this environment. It's tough for him and how he pitches. He pitches up in the zone and is a fly-ball pitcher. It hasn't worked out so great for him this spring. But he's healthy, he feels fine."

Vincent tends to give up plenty of flyballs and sported the worst HR/9 rate of his career last season (1.64), but the Mariners remain confident in their 30-year-old reliever. The dry air typically present in Cactus League games has not done Vincent any favors this spring, as he's seen the ball leave the yard in five of his six appearances thus far. However, he's being counted on as a key bullpen piece after amassing 17 holds and three saves over 60.3 innings last season, his first in Seattle.


Jim Henderson: Released by Cubs
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(3/23/2017) Henderson was released by the Cubs on Thursday, Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports.

Henderson was looking to earn a spot in the Cubs' bullpen as a non-roster invitee, however his 9.64 ERA in 4.2 innings this spring wasn't enough to get Chicago to bite. He's struggled since a 2014 shoulder injury, but he'll look to catch on with another team's bullpen.


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