2B Robinson Cano took a few days off to attend to a personal
matter in his native Dominican Republic. Manager Lloyd McClendon
said the issue was expected and that Cano should be back by March
Seattle Mariners Rodney, Fernando
RHP Fernando Rodney, who turns 37 on March 18, failed to solidify
the closer role so far this spring. He is coming off a 2013 season
that saw him blow a career-high eight saves among his 45
opportunities with the Tampa Bay Rays. With the Mariners, he had a
team-high 18.00 ERA this spring through March 17. On March 15,
Rodney gave up two hits, a hit batter and three runs in one-third of
an inning, and he was ejected for arguing a non-strike call.
Houston Astros De Leon, Jorge
RHP Jorge De Leon was reassigned to minor league camp March 16.
"They told me I've done a good job," said De Leon, who finished camp
with a 1.80 ERA. "They told me my stuff -- my slider, changeup,
split -- improved. They told me to keep working and if they need me
they're going to call me."
Houston Astros Peacock, Brad
RHP Brad Peacock added a changeup this spring, and the addition drew
praise after he gave up only one run and two hits with four
strikeouts through four innings of relief. "I'm definitely happy
with it," Peacock said March 16. "The changeup was great today, and
that's the pitch I've been working on the most. I was able to throw
it for strikes and for balls whenever I wanted. Last year it wasn't
great, and I had three decent pitches and I need just a changeup. Me
and (pitching coach Brent Strom) have been working every day on it.
I'm trying to throw it like my fastball and make it look like my
fastball, and it did today."
Houston Astros Heineman, Tyler
C Tyler Heineman, 22, left a good impression during his first major
league camp. "We're fortunate that we've got a pretty decent roster
of prospect catchers," Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said. "And Heineman, I
would say our major league staff knew who he was but didn't really
know much about him. He's definitely on the radar now. Our
collective belief -- not only staff and front office -- is that he's
going to be a catcher in the big leagues. He'll probably go to
(Double-A) Corpus Christi and probably share the workload there."
Seattle Mariners Iwakuma, Hisashi
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, who finished third in AL Cy Young Award voting
last season, could be close to making his spring debut. Manager
Lloyd McClendon told reporters that Iwakuma was scheduled to meet
with a doctor March 17, and the splint could come off the pitcher's
injured finger. A strained right middle finger kept Iwakuma off the
field all spring, but the removal of the splint could mean he would
begin throwing on the side sometime during the week of March 17-23.
Seattle Mariners Walker, Taijuan
RHP Taijuan Walker made another step toward returning to action when
he threw a 40-pitch bullpen session March 16 at the team's spring
training complex. Walker said his arm felt great. "(The ball) was
really coming out good. I was pumped," he said. Right shoulder
soreness forced the Mariners to shut down Walker for a week, and it
still appears unlikely that he will be ready to make a start during
the first week of the season.
Seattle Mariners Elias, Roenis
LHP Roenis Elias was one of the most pleasant surprises of the
Mariners' spring camp. The 25-year-old Cuban defector spent last
season at Seattle's Double-A affiliate, but he emerged as a
candidate for the big leagues after opening the spring with a 3-0
record and 1.46 ERA in his first four appearances. He made his first
start of the spring March 16, holding the Los Angeles Angels to one
run on two hits over five innings. Afterward, manager Lloyd
McClendon said: "His stuff is plenty good. He's an interesting kid."
Seattle Mariners Baker, Scott
RHP Scott Baker didn't put up very good numbers in a recent start,
especially considering that it came against players in Milwaukee's
minor league camp, but it was successful in that his clean bill of
health remained intact. The veteran is coming off 2012 Tommy John
surgery, but he is showing no signs of rust this spring. His 4
2/3-inning, five-hit, two-run performance against Brewers farmhands
included a spring-high 75 pitches, and afterward the veteran said he
felt really good. Baker is one of the Mariners' options to fill in
for RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker in the rotation, as both
pitchers are expected to miss their first starts of the regular
Seattle Mariners Romero, Stefen
OF Stefen Romero is beginning to find his stride. After going
hitless in his first 16 at-bats of the spring, he went on a 9-for-19
tear that included two doubles, two triples and two home runs.
Romero is one of seven outfielders attempting to make the roster on
a Seattle team that doesn't have many sure-fire players at the
Seattle Mariners Maurer, Brandon
RHP Brandon Maurer was once considered a possibility for the Opening
Day rotation, but a recurring back problem all but ruled him out.
The back flared up again in mid-March, and he was expected to be out
for about a week. Manager Lloyd McClendon said the injury meant
Maurer is unlikely to make the season-opening rotation.
Houston Astros Feldman, Scott
RHP Scott Feldman, who was the Texas Rangers' Opening Day starter in
2010, will join Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers to earn Opening Day
starts for the Astros and Rangers. Ryan started on Opening Day for
the Astros in 1982, 1985 and 1986 and the Rangers in 1990, 1991 and
"You look at his track record and the fact that he's a former
17-game winner and the fact that he gives us a great opportunity to
win a ballgame each and every time he takes the mound," manager Bo
Porter said of Feldman. "He's a strike-thrower. He's a competitor."
Houston Astros Owens, Rudy
LHP Rudy Owens, who was in line to be one of the first pitchers
called up to the majors last year at Triple-A Oklahoma City before
he suffered a fractured left foot, did not pitch the way he hoped
this spring before he was optioned to minor league camp March 16.
Owens was 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA, allowing four runs over 4 1/3
innings in Grapefruit League play. "I came back and I felt great,"
he said. "The camp, I want to say it could have gone a lot better.
Maybe not a lot better, but it could have gone better. I expected
more out of myself coming into camp, and there's just kind of a slow
Texas Rangers Moreland, Mitch
DH/1B/OF Mitch Moreland left the March 17 game with tightness in his
left oblique muscle. There was no immediate word on how much time
Moreland might miss. He was hitting .241/.395/.345 with no homers
and six RBIs through 10 games this spring.
Texas Rangers Profar, Jurickson
2B Jurickson Profar played in the field for the first time this
spring March 17 after being slowed by tendinitis in his right
shoulder, which limited him to DH duty. The injury wasn't affecting
Profar at the plate, though, as he went 12-for-40 (.300) in his
first 13 games, with three doubles and two home runs.
Texas Rangers Beltre, Adrian
3B Adrian Beltre (left quadriceps tightness) is expected to return
to the lineup March 20 and should be ready for Opening Day. He left
the March 13 game with the injury. Beltre was hitting .217
(5-for-23) this spring with one extra-base hit, a double, through
Texas Rangers Contreras, Jose
RHP Jose Contreras was reassigned to minor league camp March 17 and
offered a spot on the Triple-A Round Rock roster as a reliever to
open the season. The 42-year-old did not immediately accept the
assignment and was said to be contemplating retirement. Contreras
pitched six innings in Cactus League games and gave seven runs and
13 hits for a 10.50 ERA.
Texas Rangers Bard, Daniel
RHP Daniel Bard (neck/shoulder) was assigned to minor-league camp
March 17 without appearing in a major league exhibition game. He
likely will begin throwing off a mound sometime during the week of
March 24-30. The Rangers signed Bard as a minor league free agent in
the offseason after he had thoracic outlet surgery in early January.
Bard made just two relief appearances with the Boston Red Sox last
season and is slated to begin the season at Triple-A Round Rock once
he becomes healthy enough to see game action.
Texas Rangers Holland, Derek
LHP Derek Holland is six weeks ahead of schedule in his recovery
from microfracture surgery on his left knee Jan. 14 and now expects
to be ready to come off the disabled list by the first week of June.
After Holland had the surgery, it was announced he would not be able
to rejoin the major league rotation until at least the All-Star
break in mid-July.
Texas Rangers Choice, Michael
OF Michael Choice is getting plenty of chances to prove himself to
his new team after being acquired from the Oakland Athletics in an
offseason trade. Choice played in each of the Rangers' first 18
exhibition games, hitting .378 (14-for-37) with three doubles, one
triple and two home runs. The Rangers do not have a starting spot
for Choice and must decide whether the rookie is better served
seeing part-time duty as a bench player or playing regularly at
Triple-A Round Rock.
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Texas Rangers Choo, Shin-Soo
LF Shin-Soo Choo (left elbow inflammation) received an
anti-inflammatory injection March 11, but he returned to action two
days later. He was hitting .156 in 32 spring at-bats through March
Texas Rangers Rios, Alex
RF Alex Rios (strained right oblique) missed nine consecutive games
before returning to action March 13. He was hitting .429 in eight
spring games through March 17.
Texas Rangers Soto, Geovany
C Geovany Soto (arthroscopic left foot surgery in February 2014) saw
his first game action March 13. He was 3-for-7 over three spring
games through March 17.
Texas Rangers Beltre, Engel
OF Engel Beltre (shin splits) returned to action March 11 after
missing three games. He was hitting .318 over 11 spring games
through March 17.
Rangers Adcock, Nate
RHP Nate Adcock (thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in March 2014)
will begin the season on Triple-A Round Rock's disabled list. There
is no timetable for his return.
Los Angeles Angels Hamilton, Josh
OF Josh Hamilton made his spring debut Monday, going 1-for-3 as the
designated hitter. He missed the previous three weeks while nursing
a left calf strain suffered during baserunning drills in camp.
Manager Mike Scioscia expressed uncertainty as to Hamilton's
availability for Opening Day. Hamilton previously said he is
confident he will be ready, but he backed off his comments March 17.
"Whatever Scioscia thinks, I'm gonna go with that," Hamilton said.
"I'm not gonna create any controversy with you guys. I'm not gonna
be put in the position to do that. Whatever he says goes."
Los Angeles Angels Santiago, Hector
LHP Hector Santiago said he threw his screwball roughly nine times
in his start March 17, much more than normal and more than he threw
his changeup. He was pleased with its effectiveness and said he
could see himself using it at that rate going forward.
Los Angeles Angels Ibanez, Raul
OF/DH Raul Ibanez played his first game at first base for the Angels
this spring on March 17 and made no visible mistakes, cleanly
fielding the only ball hit to him. "He did the basics, and that's
really what we're trying to evaluate," manager Mike Scioscia said.
The Angels hope to use him as an occasional substitute there this
Los Angeles Angels Blanton, Joe
RHP Joe Blanton moved to the third base side of the rubber from the
first base side and experienced immediate positive results, throwing
seven consecutive scoreless innings before giving up three runs to
the Cubs on March 17. He remains a dark-horse rotation candidate for
Los Angeles Angels Richards, Garrett
RHP Garrett Richards issued no walks through 11 2/3 innings this
spring, a direct result of his attempt to be more controlled in his
pitching. A previous knock on him was his high walk rate. Richards
will pitch six minor league innings on the Angels' off day March 18
to stay on schedule.
Los Angeles Angels Cron, C.J.
1B C.J. Cron was optioned to minor league camp and will begin the
2014 season at Triple-A Salt Lake, but he impressed the Angels'
coaching staff by hitting .400 with six RBIs this spring. "If I look
at his growth from the middle part of last year through the Fall
League and what he showed this spring, there's no doubt that he's
starting to develop into the hitter everyone projected," manager
Mike Scioscia said.
Los Angeles Angels Burnett, Sean
LHP Sean Burnett (left elbow surgery in August 2013) threw off a
mound March 10 for the first time in 10 months, then had another
successful mound session in mid-March. He remains on track to appear
in major league games in early April.
Oakland Athletics Gentry, Craig
OF Craig Gentry is doing all the on-field work before games,
including taking batting practice, but the A's still do not have a
timetable for him to get into games. Gentry, who has missed most of
the spring with back soreness, is 50-50 to make the Opening Day
roster. Non-roster invitee Sam Fuld is the most likely replacement
the first week of the season; Fuld has an opt out in his contract if
not on the Opening Day roster.
Oakland Athletics Parker, Jarrod
RHP Jarrod Parker, 25, will miss the entire season due to a torn
ulnar collateral ligament, as he needs a second Tommy John surgery.
He also underwent the procedure in 2009, and the return rates for
second such operations are not as high as successful returns from
the first surgery. Parker was expected to be the Athletics' Opening
Oakland Athletics Griffin, A.J.
RHP A.J. Griffin will be shut down from throwing for three weeks
with flexor tendinitis. Griffin, projected to be the team's No. 4
starter, is unlikely to be available until May at the earliest.
Griffin also had trouble with right forearm soreness last September.
Oakland Athletics Chavez, Jesse
RHP Jesse Chavez is expected to move into Oakland's rotation because
of injuries to RHPs Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin. Chavez, the
Athletics' long reliever in 2013, did not allow a run through 12 2/3
innings this spring.
Oakland Athletics Cook, Ryan
RHP Ryan Cook is scheduled to throw a simulated game March 19, but
the team had yet to decide when Cook would appear in an exhibition
game. Cook, out all spring due to right shoulder soreness, remains a
question mark for the Opening Day roster but isn't expected to miss
much time even if he starts the season on the disabled list.
Detroit Tigers Verlander, Justin
RHP Justin Verlander will get the start when the Tigers open the
season March 31 against the visiting Kansas City Royals. It will be
Verlander's seventh consecutive Opening Day start. The announcement
is a bit surprising considering Detroit RHP Max Scherzer won the
American League Cy Young Award last year and Verlander is coming off
core muscle surgery. The last time a reigning Cy Young Award winner
did not start Opening Day was when Brad Radke started over Johan
Santana for the Minnesota Twins in 2005.
New York Mets Niese, Jon
LHP Jonathon Niese was cleared to resume throwing later this week
after undergoing an MRI in New York on March 17. Niese has no
structural damage in his left elbow. He received a cortisone
injection and will rest for two to three days before he starts
throwing. Niese was examined by team doctor David Altchek at the
Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, a day after departing a
spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals after two
innings and 35 pitches because of elbow discomfort.
Atlanta Braves Beachy, Brandon
RHP Brandon Beachy, coming off 2012 Tommy John surgery, might need
to undergo the elbow reconstruction procedure again. He had an elbow
cleanup operation last September, and he battled arm tightness this
spring. Beachy also visited Andrews, and he was due to get another
opinion from Los Angeles Dodgers team doctor Neal ElAttrache.
Atlanta Braves Medlen, Kris
RHP Kris Medlen will undergo a second Tommy John surgery, the Braves
announced March 17. The decision was made after Medlen was examined
by Dr. James Andrews.
Medlen is 24-12 with a 2.47 ERA in 44 games since moving into the
Braves' rotation after the 2012 All-Star break. Only Dodgers LHP
Clayton Kershaw has a better ERA among major league starters in that
Detroit Tigers Iglesias, Jose
SS Jose Iglesias announced March 17 that he is dealing with stress
fractures in both shins. He will open the season on the disabled
list, but he said he definitely would return to action at some point
in 2014. "I was able to play through it last year, but that's not
going to happen this year," he told reporters. "That's why it
doesn't get better."
Los Angeles Dodgers Guerra, Javy
RHP Javy Guerra, a former closer who was out of options, was
designated for assignment by the Dodgers on March 17. Guerra, 28,
posted a 2.25 ERA in eight innings this spring. He had no record and
a 6.75 ERA in nine appearances for Los Angeles last year, spending
much of the season in the minors. As a rookie in 2011, he recorded
21 saves for the Dodgers.
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