Kansas City Royals: Perez,
C Salvador Perez gave the Royals a scare, leaving a game with a
bruised left hand after taking a foul tip. X-rays, however, were
negative. After sitting out a game, Perez returned to the Royals'
Kansas City Royals: Pena, Francisco
C Francisco Pena clubbed a game tying home run with two out and the
count full in the ninth inning Friday in a 9-9 tie with the Oakland
Athletics. Minutes later, Pena was called into manager Ned Yost's
office and told he was being optioned to Triple-A Omaha.
Kansas City Royals: Gordon, Alex
OF Alex Gordon hit his first spring training home run Friday and is
batting .367 in a dozen games. "Gordon is just steady," Royals
manager Ned Yost said. "He's a solid, solid player."
Kansas City Royals: Escobar, Alcides
SS Alcides Escobar has just six at-bats in three games. He was out
early on a paternity leave and has been setback with shoulder
tightness in his throwing arm.
Kansas City Royals: Tomko, Brett
RHP Brett Tomko, who turns 41 next month and began his big league
career in 1997, signed a minor league contract Friday with the
Royals. He pitched for eight clubs in the majors, including the
Royals in 2008, going 2-7 with a 6.97 ERA in 16 games, including 10
starts. He has pitched just 17 2/3 innings in the majors since 2009
and last year pitched for York in the independent Atlantic League.
Chicago White Sox: Troncoso, Ramon
RHP Ramon Troncoso, who was 1-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 29 relief
appearances last season with the White Sox, signed a minor league
contract Friday with the Royals. Troncoso, 31, spent four seasons
with the Dodgers, going 8-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 175 appearances.
Minnesota Twins: Perkins, Glen
LHP Glen Perkins, who had a career-high 36 saves and a 2.30 ERA last
season, signed a four-year contract extension worth $22.175 million.
Perkins restructured the first two years of the deal as he will now
have salaries of $4.025 million this season and $4.65 million in
2015 rather than $4.975 million and $3.75 million. The club option
for 2016 was eliminated and the St. Paul, Minn., native will be
guaranteed $6.3 million that year and $6.5 million in 2017. The
revised contract also includes a $6.5 million club option for 2018
with a $700,000 buyout.
Minnesota Twins: Nolasco, Ricky
RHP Ricky Nolasco was chosen to start the opener March 31 against
the White Sox at Chicago. The news was hardly a surprise after the
Twins signed Nolasco to a four-year, $49-million deal in the
offseason, the largest contract ever given to a free agent by the
franchise. Nolasco twice started opening day for the Miami Marlins.
Minnesota Twins: Florimon, Pedro
SS Pedro Florimon played in a minor league game Friday. It was the
first game action of the spring for Florimon, who underwent an
appendectomy three weeks earlier. He is expected to be the starting
shortstop again this season after hitting .221 with nine home runs
in 134 games last year.
Minnesota Twins: Kubel, Jason
OF/DH Jason Kubel started off 2-for-21 (.095) in exhibition play in
his bid to win a spot on the roster after singing a minor league
contract as a free agent in the offseason. That comes after Kubel
hit just .216 with five home runs in 97 games last season with the
Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians. He spent the first seven
seasons of his nine-year with the Twins and still has manager Ron
Gardenhire's faith. "He can click on a baseball," Gardenhire said.
"We know that."
Minnesota Twins: Presley, Alex
CF Alex Presley was considered the favorite to be the starting
center fielder and leadoff hitter coming into spring training.
However, he struggled in Grapefruit League play this season, hitting
.167 (4-for-24) with eight strikeouts through games as of March 14.
Presley was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates last Aug. 31 in a
trade for 1B Justin Morneau and batted .283 with one home run in 28
Chicago White Sox: Gillaspie, Conor
3B Conor Gillaspie is not just going to let rookie Matt Davidson win
the starting job at third without a fight, and that's what the
competition between the two has been in Cactus League games. Both
have hit the ball well, and have been making the plays at third. The
bigger question for Gillaspie will be can he handle the pressure?
After a hot start last year, he seemed to think too much and got in
his own way, finishing the year with a .245 average, after starting
off with a .319 average and three homers in his first 22 games.
"This is a tough game," Gillaspie said. "The less stressed I get
about one day, it's going to help me in the long run. And I don't
feel quite as stressed about everything this year as I did a little
bit last year."
Chicago White Sox Beckham, Gordon
2B Gordon Beckham looked like he had Gold Glove stuff defensively
back in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons, but his 12 errors last year
were the second most among American League second baseman. Guess
what the focus has been for him this spring? "Stupid mistakes,"
Beckham said of his dismal 2013. "I can make the plays — I've
proved that. It wasn't a lack of concentration. But there were
certain times where it just didn't work out. I had a terrible year
defensively." It wasn't just Beckham. The Sox had the second most
unearned runs last season with 80.
Chicago White Sox: Danks, John
LHP John Danks continued to be the talk of camp over the last week,
making a second-consecutive start in which he didn't allow a run.
For Danks, who missed most of the 2012 season with a bad shoulder
and then spent last year struggling to get back to form — evidenced
by his 4-14 record and 4.75 ERA last year — the better news was the
shoulder feels great. "It has been fun to be healthy and feel good,
and not worry about certain rehab things or being in the training
room and just being able to focus on baseball," Danks said. "We get
to (work) on the side in a couple of days and work on things rather
than worrying about how the shoulder feels." Danks is still on
schedule to be the No. 3 starter in the rotation.
Chicago White Sox: Viciedo, Dayan
OF Dayan Viciedo was rumored to be in trade talks, as the Sox could
be getting a feel of what's out there if they decide to move the
power hitter. After a promising 2012 season in which he hit 25 home
runs, Viciedo took a step back in 2013, needing a strong second half
when the Sox were out of the division race to salvage a .265 season
with 14 homers and 56 RBIs in 124 games. The focus this spring has
been getting him to cut down on his aggressiveness a bit and be more
patient at the plate, and it seems to be working. But Viciedo knows
his name is out there, and wants to stay with the Sox. "This is
where I want to be," Viciedo said through an interpreter. "I feel
appreciative that the White Sox continue to give me the opportunity
to succeed. I feel comfortable. I feel I'm among family. I feel I
can get better, and they've given me the confidence to keep working
Chicago White Sox: Lindstrom, Matt
RHP Matt Lindstrom (oblique) is back throwing on the side, and once
again feels good about making that Opening Day roster. The plan,
according to manager Robin Ventura, is to get him back on the mound
the last week in Arizona, and that should give them a good enough
idea on if Lindstrom is far enough to be a difference maker out of
Cleveland Indians: Masterson, Justin
RHP Justin Masterson has been named by manager Terry Francona as the
team's opening day starter. Masterson will be on the mound March 31
when the Indians open the season in Oakland. The announcement was
hardly a surprise. Masterson has been the Indians' opening day
starter in each of the last two years and in those games had a 1.29
ERA, having allowed two earned runs on five hits, with 15 strikeouts
in 14 innings.
Cleveland Indians: Kluber, Corey
RHP Corey Kluber will begin the season as the Indians' No. 2
starter. Kluber had a breakout season last year, when he was 11-5
with a 3.85 ERA. Kluber will pitch the Indians' second game of the
regular season, April 1 in Oakland.
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Cleveland Indians: McAllister, Zach
RHP Zach McAllister was named by manager Terry Francona as the
Indians' No. 3 starter. McAllister will start the third game of the
season, April 2 in Oakland, following RHP Justin Masterson and RHP
Corey Kluber, who will start the first two games. In 24 starts last
season McAllister was 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA.
Cleveland Indians: Giambi, Jason
DH Jason Giambi will likely start the season on the disabled list as
the result of a non-displaced rib fracture. Giambi suffered the
injury on March 7 when he was hit by pitch thrown by the Cubs' Edwin
Jackson. The 43-year-old Giambi played a big role on the Indians'
roster last year. Despite only hitting .183 as a part-time DH,
Giambi had several big hits, belting nine home runs and collecting
31 RBIs in just 186 at-bats.
Cleveland Indians: Lindor, Francisco
SS Francisco Lindor, the former first-round draft pick and the
Indians' top minor league prospect, was included among the first
round of roster cuts. Lindor was assigned to the minor league camp
March 12. He is expected to begin the season at Double-A Akron.
Lindor appeared in eight spring training games, hitting .267
(4-for-15) with 1 home run, 1 double and 4 RBIs.
Detroit Tigers: Verlander, Justin
RHP Justin Verlander answered a lot of questions with his first
start of the spring March 11, throwing 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He
gave up one hit, walked two and struck out a pair. His spring
timetable is being slowed to make sure there are no setbacks from
the January sports hernia surgery he had involving groin muscles in
both legs. "I felt good. It felt great to get back out there,"
Verlander said. "I wasn't perfect, but it was good. It's the
direction I want to go." His curve was sharp, his changeup was
decent and he was able to spot a fastball that moved in the low 90s.
"Everything looked really great," C Bryan Holaday said. "It
definitely didn't look like anything was bothering him or that he
missed anytime." "I didn't feel a thing," Verlander, 31, said of
making a good play on defense. "That's what I've been wanting, to
get off the mound and field my spot. To be honest with you, I didn't
even think about it." He was held to 52 pitches. Verlander's first
scheduled start of the spring was rained out but he was able to
throw a strong bullpen and remain on track to start Opening Day.
Detroit Tigers: Iglesias, Jose
SS Jose Iglesias, heading into his third week of inactivity due to
shin splints and needing to get back on the field to be able to open
the season with Detroit, was scheduled March 14 to see a specialist
about his lingering shin splint problems. He was temporarily shut
down from all baseball activities prior to seeing the specialist.
"We're not there yet, but it's getting more and more tenuous,"
manager Brad Ausmus said of the diminishing chances that Iglesias
will be able to avoid going on the disabled list when the season
begins. "The sooner Iglesias is able to play the better it is, not
just for him, but for the team in general. Part of that is so he and
Ian (2B Kinsler) can work together, because it does take a little
bit of time. Now, I'm not saying it takes a season. At this point,
they're going to be learning each other into the season even if he
started playing today."
Detroit Tigers: Kinsler, Ian
2B Ian Kinsler is looking more and more like manager Brad Ausmus'
choice to open the season as Detroit's leadoff hitter. Kinsler hit
first when he is in the lineup with the club's leadoff man since he
is been with the team, CF Austin Jackson, batting lower in the
order, mostly sixth. Kinsler led off for Texas during his time with
Detroit Tigers: Ray, Robbie
LHP Robbie Ray was among Detroit's first cuts of the spring but may
have positioned himself to be the first brought up should the Tigers
need someone to fill a spot in their rotation. Ray was sent to minor
league camp March 12 when Detroit made its first batch of cuts.
"He's definitely close," manager Brad Ausmus said of the primary
pitcher Detroit got from Washington in the trade of RHP Doug Fister.
"I think a lot of it's going to depend on the secondary pitches. The
quicker he commands the secondary pitches, the quicker he's going to
be a major league pitcher, because his fastball plays to the major
leagues right now. He's one of the few guys who has a swing-and-miss
fastball. It plays up a couple of miles per hour from the radar gun.
But I think it's important for him to not only go down and gain
experience but also to work on his secondary pitches, specifically
the breaking ball, and see if he can tighten that up. But I
certainly liked how he pitched." In three Grapefruit League games
Ray allowed two hits and walked three in 3 1/3 innings, but without
Detroit Tigers: Jackson, Austin
CF Austin Jackson appears comfortable batting down in the order — he's been a hot hitter all spring — and that may lead to more
stolen bases this season. Jackson, bothered by a hamstring injury in
mid-year, swiped only eight bases a year ago. Some of that was due
to hitting above 3B (now 1B) Miguel Cabrera, when he was not
inclined to steal because it would open up a base to walk the
cleanup man. "You've got one of the greatest hitters hitting behind
you," Jackson said. "You're in scoring position if you can get on
base." Hitting behind cleanup man DH Victor Martinez, or in the
sixth spot, means Jackson can feel free to attempt a steal any time
he likes. "Brad (manager Ausmus) really wants to bring that to the
team," Jackson said. "That definitely eliminates the fear of getting
Detroit Tigers: Reed, Evan
RHP Evan Reed might be out of options but he is clearly not out of
chances. Reed has enhanced his opportunity to be one of Detroit's
relievers with a strong Spring Training, which he needed because the
Tigers can't get him to the minors without putting him through
waivers. "His offspeed stuff has improved big-time over the last
year," C Alex Avila said. "He's throwing great this spring. And it's
hard not to like 96, 97 (mph), especially when he's throwing
strikes." Reed would not get through waivers after having an
often-impressive 2013 season in limited time with Detroit. "I feel
great, man. I feel very confident every time I take the mound right
now," Reed, 28, said recently. "I know every time I go out there,
I'm getting evaluated, so I make the most of every opportunity. I've
been around long enough where I know every day I have to prove
myself. ... You can't think of it as, like, 'I can't fail today.'
You have to think of it as, 'I'm going to make the most of this
opportunity today.'" "He's thrown really well," manager Brad Ausmus
said. "He's been impressive."
Detroit Tigers: Davis, Rajai
LF Rajai Davis may get more playing time in left with the injury and
subsequent surgery on LF Andy Dirks' back but Detroit likes him more
as a platoon player. "I'm not locked into it, but probably if I had
to choose today, I'd lean that direction," manager Brad Ausmus said
recently when asked if he still sees Davis as a platoon guy. "That
doesn't mean he can't earn his way into more playing time with us.
We've gotta fill that position somehow. And if Rajai proves he can
play against any starting pitcher, then he'll play if he helps us
win." Davis is a .300 hitter against lefties but close to .260
against right-handers over his eight-year career. His on-base
differential is even greater. Not many teams have thrown lefties
against Detroit through the first half of Spring Training and he's
hit well against the right-handers he's seen. "Again, it's spring
training," Ausmus said. "With a guy like him, he's got a little bit
of history that you can lean on. You'd probably be more apt to look
Detroit Tigers: Suarez, Eugenio
SS Eugenio Suarez is showing the Tigers he would be a capable
alternative if SS Jose Iglesias isn't far enough along in his
recovery from shin splints to open the season with Detroit. He
hasn't hit overly well but Suarez has shown enough glove and is
already on the club's 40-man roster, which would make it easy to
have him play short should Iglesias not be quite ready. "You'd like
him to have more seasoning, just get more at-bats," manager Brad
Ausmus said Suarez. "He shows power at times. He's got the ability
to really extend through the ball, which can give the baseball
carry. I think he's learning not only his swing, but I think he's
got to learn how to build some consistency into that swing and not
try to do too much with the baseball when it's being thrown to him."
2B/SS Hernan Perez is considered more of a second baseman and none
of the potential stopgap replacements is going to hit a lot. Suarez
is "pretty young, but he carries himself pretty well defensively in
the field," Ausmus said. "He doesn't look like he's rattled or
intimidated by major league camp or major league hitters. "I want
him to get more at-bats and more innings. He's opened some eyes. ...
If Iglesias isn't back, we have to have some type of answer at
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