Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki wants to move past injury concerns
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has heard the rumors about being injury-prone and he said it only motivates him to play better, reports MLB.com.

Tulowitzki only appeared in 91 games during the 2014 season and said his main goal for 2015 is to stay on the field.

"I've heard that I'm injury-prone. I've heard that I'm getting older. I like it," he said. "That stuff fuels me. It makes my workouts better. It makes me want it that much more. I just want to prove that I can do it. For so long, I've worked so hard to try to stay on the field. That's what keeps driving me - to stay on the field, help this team win and try to solidify myself as the best player in the game."

He added that he wants to play between 140 and 160 games, but he knows it will be a challenge as he gets older.

"It's been a battle for me, no doubt," Tulowitzki said. "I do everything I possibly can to prepare for the season and make myself healthy."


Dodgers sign Jarek Cunningham, Ben Rowen to minor league deals
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/23/2015) The Dodgers have signed third baseman Jarek Cunningham and pitcher Ben Rowen to minor-league contracts, the team announced Friday.

Rowen pitched just 8 2/3 innings in 2014 for Texas with a 4.15 ERA and seven strikeouts before being released by the team. Cunningham has yet to make a big league appearance.


Rockies' Bridich: Tulo 'starting to ramp up the pure baseball activity'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/23/2015) Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who underwent surgery to repair a torn left hip labrum, has been cleared to ramp up baseball activities, per MLB.com.

"Tulo was in Denver last week just for a couple days for a routine checkup on his progress, and everything's great," Rockies senior vice president and general manager Jeff Bridich said. "He's swinging fully, he's taking full batting practice in the cage, and this week he's starting to add taking ground balls in the infield and really starting to ramp up the pure baseball activity."


Huntington: Pirates' Kang 'horrified' at portrayal of Mercer quote
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told MLB Network Radio on Wednesday the team is "trying to reduce expectations up front" for shortstop Jung-ho Kang in an effort to "allow him to transition and become comfortable."

The expectations are certainly riding high for Kang, who is coming off a 40-homer season in Korea. Kang also put himself in a tough position a few weeks ago when he was quoted as saying he "can play better than" Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer.

Although, Huntington said Kang was "absolutely horrified" how the quote about winning the shortstop job over Mercer was portrayed in the U.S., per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"The one mistake I made through Kang process is not coming out and saying how much we like Jordy Mercer," Huntington told MLB Network Radio. "We like him."

Huntington said Kang is "most comfortable" at shortstop, but added he is going to play at second and third base in spring training as well.


Pirates prospect Tucker working his way back from thumb surgery
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/20/2015) Pirates shortstop prospect Cole Tucker, who was selected in the first round (24th overall) in the 2014 MLB Draft, had surgery in October to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

Tucker sustained the injury while playing in a rookie-league game in July. He opted for surgery after he aggravated the injury in the instructional league.

“We were certainly aware that Cole was battling this and were working with him as he tried to play through it,” assistant general manager Kyle Stark said in an email. “After struggling to (make) progress, we sought further testing and had further dialogue where all parties ultimately decided it was best to get the procedure done at that time.”

Tucker hit .267 with a .368 on-base percentage, .356 slugging percentage, .724 OPS, two triples, two home runs, six doubles, 13 RBI, 39 runs and 13 stolen bases in 48 games in the Gulf Coast League last season.

He is expected to be ready for the start of the minor-league season.


Brewers trade Yovani Gallardo to Rangers for three players
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/19/2015) The Rangers have finalized the trade for Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. The Brewers will receive infielder Luis Sardinas, reliever Corey Knebel and pitching prospect Marcos Diplan in the trade.

The 28-year-old Gallardo is in the last year of his contract. He won less than 10 games in 2014 for the first time in the last six seasons. He is 89-64 with a 3.69 ERA in eight MLB seasons. 

The 21-year-old Sardinas made his MLB debut in 2014, batting .261 with six doubles, eight RBI and five stolen bases in 43 games. He had been considered a top-100 prospect by MLB.com in 2013 and 2014. He had a .289/.336/.355/.691 slash line in the minors.

The 23-year-old Knebel was traded for the second time in a year. He was traded from Detroit to Texas in July. He also made his MLB debut in 2014, posting a 6.23 ERA in eight relief outings for Detroit. He struck out 11 in 8 2/3 innings. He is 7-2 with a 1.65 ERA in two minor-league seasons.

The 18-year-old Diplan went 7-2 with a 1.54 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 13 starts in the Dominican Summer League in 2014. The Rangers signed Diplan in July 2013 for $1.3 million, per MLB.com.


Report: Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond will not be traded
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/18/2015) Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond will reportedly not be traded and remain with the team for the time being, according to FOXSports.com senior baseball writer Ken Rosenthal.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo reportedly told another executive this week Desmond will not be traded, but the team would consider a deal "that we can't refuse." Rizzo also said the deal would have to be "pretty elaborate," according to Rosenthal.

Desmond hit .225 in 2014 with 24 home runs and 91 RBI for the Nationals.


Cardinals INF Pete Kozma willing to play anywhere in 2015
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/17/2015) Cardinals infielder Pete Kozma said he is willing to play anywhere next season, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"If (manager Mike Matheny) names a position, I'm going to say, 'Yes,''' said Kozma. "I'm not going to say, 'No.'"

After serving as a starting shortstop for most of 2013, Kozma spent nearly all of his 2014 season in the minors. The club's top draft pick in 2007 hit .304 (7 for 23) in 14 big-league games. He struck out 567 times compared to 294 walks in the minor leagues.

"I've focused on trying to cut my strikeouts down and trying to get on base. Try to get my walks and my strikeouts about even," Kozma said.


Report: Giants' Brandon Crawford files for $3.95 million
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford has filed for $3.95 million in arbitration, with the team offering $2.4 million, Fangraphs reports.

Crawford is in his first year of arbitration eligibility but has already been part of two World Series championship teams. He hit .246/.324/.389 with 10 home runs and 69 RBI in 491 at-bats in 2014.


Mets lock up Dillon Gee, Ruben Tejada before arbitration deadline
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Mets reached a settlement with starting pitcher Dillon Gee and shortstop Ruben Tejada prior to Friday's arbitration deadline, reports ESPN. Gee agreed to a one-year deal, worth $5.3 million, while Tejada settled for $1.88 million.

Jenrry Mejia and Lucas Duda did not reach an agreement before the 1 p.m. deadline.


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