Cubs SP Jon Lester Ks three in first spring action
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:06 pm ET) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester, who signed a six-year, $155 million contract in December, looked sharp in his first spring action on Friday against the Reds. The left-hander struck out three of the six batters he faced, per MLB.com.

"He's been Jon Lester," manager Joe Maddon said. "I think he's a guy who leads by example, although if he were to say something, everybody does listen. He's been that guy, he's been exactly what I expected, a consummate pro, quiet in his own way."

Lester will be Chicago's opening day starter on April 5 against the Cardinals.


Giants reassign Turley, Blackburn, Black to minor-league camp
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:18 pm ET) The Giants announced Friday they reassigned pitcher Nik Turley, pitcher Clayton Blackburn and pitcher Ray Black to minor-league camp. Blackburn is considered the Giants' fifth-best prospect by Baseball America.

Phillies ace Hamels throws two scoreless innings in spring debut
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:09 pm ET) Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels, who is seeking a trade, took the hill for the first time this spring Friday against the Yankees. Amid rainy conditions, the left-hander allowed one hit and no walks, while striking out two in two shutout innings.

"I guess that’s what you want to do, get in there, throw strikes and execute," Hamels said, per The Philadelphia Daily News. "I’ve been in a lot of springs and I know what I’m supposed to do with a certain pitch count and the first game and trying to build up. I’m not trying to go out there and blow by everybody. I’m just trying to hit my spots. I wasn't able to do it as much. But if you’re able to throw strikes, then I think that works. I had a general area that I needed to throw it in and I think I was able to do so."


Matt Harvey pitches like an ace in return to action for Mets
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:04 pm ET) Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey pitched in a game Friday against the Tigers for the first time in about 18 months, and the team couldn't have scripted a better outcome

Harvey, who made his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in Oct. 2013, threw two perfect innings during Friday's spring game and reached as high as 99 mph on the radar gun.

"I feel like I never left," Harvey said, per MLB.com. "I could tell the ball was coming out good. I think I let a few go, but for the most part I was really trying to stay loose and hit my spots, and I felt pretty confident with that."

Harvey began the game with a strikeout of Anthony Gose on a 98 mph fastball. He then broke the bats of Jose Iglesias and Rajai Davis on grounders. 

Harvey returned in the second inning with a flyout and two more strikeouts. He threw 25 pitches.


Brewers' Jimmy Nelson working on mixing curveball into repertoire
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:00 pm ET) Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson (hamstring) impressed manager Ron Roenicke as he threw batting practice Friday, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“The last two times I’ve seen him throw, I really liked it. Just better command with his stuff,” Roenicke. "We’re trying to simplify things for him a little bit.

“First, we have to get him locked in with his fastball, get it over the plate, down, so he can attack hitters with it. He has come up with a curveball this year and I like it. It’s a nice curveball. With all of his pitches, I’m liking what I’m seeing.”

Nelson relied primarily on his fastball and sinker last season. He did throw a changeup, but he didn't throw it much. With the addition of a curveball, the Brewers are hoping it will aid his other pitches.

“He throws a changeup but he’s thinking this will help,” Roenicke said. “He’s still working on his changeup and he’ll see which one comes out better.

“He’ll throw all four (pitches). I don’t think he’ll get rid of one. But in different games you go sometimes with a different offspeed, depending on which is working better that day.”


D-Backs SP Yoan Lopez will have to wait another day for debut
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:39 pm ET) Diamondbacks starting pitcher Yoan Lopez, who is competing for a spot in the rotation, will have his spring debut pushed back from Saturday against the Mariners to Sunday against the Giants, per MLB.com.

Padres' Casey Kelly throws in bullpen for first time in two weeks
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:24 pm ET) Padres starting pitcher Casey Kelly (groin) threw a side session in the bullpen Friday, per U-T San Diego. It's been two weeks since Kelly has thrown in the bullpen.

"He's back in the mix, which is great," Padres manager Bud Black said Friday. "Casey felt so great (coming into camp) that the groin injury was a little bit of a setback, but better now than later in spring. We're going to have to monitor his work, even when the season starts. But he'll be fine."


Dodgers' Greinke (elbow) set to make first spring start Wednesday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:47 pm ET) Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (elbow) threw 36 pitches during his first live batting practice session Wednesday, per The Orange County Register. Greinke is slated to make his first spring start Wednesday against the Cubs.

Rockies' Jorge De La Rosa to miss start due to groin tightness
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:10 am ET) Rockies starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa will miss his spring debut Saturday against the Cubs due to left groin tightness, per The Denver Post.

He plans to play catch Friday and throw a bullpen Saturday. De La Rosa also expects to be ready for his next turn through the rotation.

The left-handed pitcher has been one of the Rockies' best pitchers the last two seasons. He is 30-17 with a 3.81 ERA since 2013.


Rockies' Jorge De La Rosa scratched from Saturday's spring start
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:13 am ET) Rockies starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa will not pitch Saturday against the Cubs as originally planned, according to multiple reports. There was no reason initially given, but MLB.com reports the veteran left-handed hurler was consulting with trainers Friday morning.

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