Giolito, who posted a 6.75 ERA and walked 12 batters in 21.1 innings while up with Washington last year, felt part of his struggles were the result of him being called up to Washington on five separate occasions. He feels his new organization, which isn't expected to be involved in the heat of a pennant race, will allow a young pitcher to settle in. Giolito is likely to start the season at Triple-A Charlotte, but once he's promoted to Chicago, he's expected to remain there regardless of performance results.
Grossman will most likely begin the season as the fourth outfiedler, but it's possible he could win the DH job or platoon in left field with Eddie Rosario. Grossman had the most productive offensive season of his big league career last year (.280/.386/.443), so it would be an upset if he didn't make the final 25-man roster. His only worry would be if the Twins decided to keep a better outfielder on he bench for his glove, as Grossman was a poor fielder by most advanced metrics.
The A's' projected No. 2 starter looked the most impressive of the team's top trio of arms, avoiding the kind of hard contact that both Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman fell victim to in their respective intrasquad games. Manaea was so efficient in getting three outs that the inning had to be extended in order for him to get in sufficient work. The 25-year-old southpaw is slated to make his Cactus League debut Monday against the Giants behind Gray.
Oakland's projected No. 3 starter got matters off on the wrong foot by surrendering a leadoff triple to Rajai Davis, and Stephen Vogt eventually drove him home with a single. Graveman was able to get Matt Joyce looking on a fastball later in the frame, but the consensus was that he gave up plenty of hard contact in his 15-pitch outing. The right-hander will try to bounce back with a more consistent effort Sunday, when he'll likely have a chance to fire at least two innings.
The A's' ace is slated to open Monday's Cactus League tilt versus the Giants, and also got in some game action Thursday by firing one frame in an intrasquad tussle. Gray gave up a run on an RBI double to right-center by Mark Canha, but also fanned Ryon Healy with an impressive breaking ball. Manager Bob Melvin was pleased with Gray's effort overall despite the aforementioned hiccup, and the 27-year-old will try to build on Thursday's results with a strong outing Monday.
Cishek initially hoped to be ready for Opening Day, but now admits he will probably need to wait a bit longer before returning to regular-season action. The 30-year-old reliever has now changed his goals to simply pitching during spring training. "I'd like to be pitching in spring training games," Cishek said. "It'll take a little longer before I'm ready to pitch in regular-season games, but I'd like to get that far before the end of the Cactus League games." With Edwin Diaz now firmly entrenched as the team's closer heading into the season, Cishek will have to settle into either a seventh or eighth inning role for the Mariners. However, his experience as a closer keeps him in the mix for saves should Edwin Diaz suffer an injury or struggle.
Kemp appeared in 59 games for the Astros in 2016, almost exclusively in left field, but offseason acquisitions leave him out of the outfield picture. So, it' s back to the position with which he's most familiar. Unfortunately, that's the spot already occupied by Jose Altuve, so we can expect Kemp to start the season playing second base for Triple-A Fresno.
So far, Cooney's surgically-repaired shoulder has held up well in camp, but now there's a new ailment impeding his progress toward an Opening Day roster spot. There hasn't been much word on the extent of his forearm issue, but any setback for Cooney could see him cut by mid-spring. With 20 pitchers in camp, and only a few bullpen slots left to fill, Cooney could be the first man out when rosters begin to thin in the coming weeks.
During the first five months of the 2016 season, Barnes threw his four-seamer nearly two-thirds of the time, but adjusted late in the season following a truly disastrous month of August (12 ER in 10.2 IP). He felt his stuff was still good, but the results weren't there. It was at that point he realized the problem was in how he used his stuff. Barnes mixed in more curves and sliders, throwing them as often as the four-seamer, and allowed just one run and no extra-base hits over his final 8.2 innings. While Joe Kelly's transition to the bullpen has garnered most of the headlines, Barnes may be positioned to take a step forward in 2017.
Bleier piqued the Orioles' interest this past season when he had a 1.96 ERA in 23 games with the Yankees, but he was designated for assignment on Feb. 16 and traded for cash considerations. Manager Buck Showalter said that he could foresee the team carrying three left-handers, which leaves Bleier to compete with another recent addition, Vidal Nuno, to break camp with Zach Britton and Donnie Hart as the bullpen's southpaws.