Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Friday, March 9th, 2018

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Suarez cranks two bombs vs Rangers Friday 03-09-2018
Eugenio Suarez 3B CIN
Eugenio Suarez slugged a pair of home runs in a 6-3 Cactus League victory over the Rangers on Friday. He took Matt Bush deep with a runner aboard in the first inning, then smacked a solo shot off Yohander Mendez in the third frame. Suarez has a .333/.440/.857 line with three homers and five RBI so far this spring. He's been improving rapidly both at the plate and in the field over the last couple years and has blossomed into one of the best all-around third basemen in the game.
Barnhart goes 2-for-3 with a home run Friday 03-09-2018
Tucker Barnhart C CIN
Tucker Barnhart went 2-for-3 and cracked a two-run homer versus the Rangers on Friday. His blast off reliever Jose Leclerc was his third of the spring. He is slashing .412/.474/.941 in eight games. Barnhart will be the Reds' primary backstop again this season with Devin Mesoraco serving as the higher-paid backup even though he is fully healthy for the first time in years.
DeSclafani spins three shutout innings Friday 03-09-2018
Anthony DeSclafani P CIN
Anthony DeSclafani battled reduced velocity but turned in three scoreless innings against the Rangers in Cactus League action on Friday. His fastball was reportedly sitting in the upper eighties rather than his usual mid-nineties heater. Reds general manager Dick Williams told the radio crew the scoreboard radar gun was inaccurate but DeSclafani seemed to be the only pitcher affected by the reduced figures. The radar readings didn't affect his results as he allowed just one hit and one walk against one strikeout. He missed all of last season rehabbing an elbow injury that did not require surgery. He turned in a fine 3.28 ERA in 20 starts with the Reds in 2016.
DeShields goes 1-for-3 vs Reds on Friday 03-09-2018
Delino DeShields CF TEX
Delino DeShields stayed hot by going 1-for-3 in a loss to the Reds on Friday. The youngster is now slashing .375/.464/.500 in spring action. The 25-year-old is slated to serve as the Rangers' starting center fielder this year and offers fantasy owners a potential impact option in the stolen base category. He has stolen as many as 101 bases in a single minor league season and has stolen 50 or more three times. He swiped 29 bags last year in the majors.
Bush yields two runs in two innings vs Reds 03-09-2018
Matt Bush P TEX
Matt Bush drew the start against the Reds and allowed two runs in two innings in Friday's loss. Both runs came home on a longball by third baseman Eugenio Suarez. He struck out three batters, walked two and allowed just two hits. Bush is attempting to win a spot in the Ranger's rotation after establishing himself as an excellent late-inning reliever the last two years.
Mejia goes 3-for-4 with 3-run HR vs. COL 03-09-2018
Francisco Mejia C CLE
Francisco Mejia went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer and a double in Friday's 8-5 victory over the Rockies. Mejia, one of the game's top position prospects, is hitting .444 (8-for-18) with two homers and seven RBI in the Cactus League. There's not a clear spot for him on the active roster right now, but he could force his way there before long whether behind the plate or somewhere else in the lineup.
Kluber Ks seven batters vs. Rockies 03-09-2018
Corey Kluber P CLE
Corey Kluber struck out seven batters while allowing one run in 3 2/3 innings Friday against the Rockies. He was pulled with a runner on base and that run was ultimately charged to him when Neil Ramirez gave up a two-run homer to David Dahl. Kluber has struck out 15 batters in 8 2/3 innings this spring and is locked in as one of the top-four starting pitcher options in mixed fantasy drafts along with Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and Chris Sale.
Gray gives up six runs against Indians 03-09-2018
Jon Gray P COL
Jon Gray was touched up for six runs over 3 1/3 innings in Friday's Cactus League start against the Indians. Gray gave up a two-run homer to Yan Gomes and a three-run shot to Francisco Mejia along the way. The 26-year-old has been doing some experimenting with his grips and pitches this spring, so one poor outing shouldn't be taken too seriously. He remains the best bet in the Rockies' rotation from a fantasy perspective and will get the ball against the Diamondbacks on Opening Day.
Kipnis stays hot with two more hits Friday 03-09-2018
Jason Kipnis 2B CLE
Jason Kipnis stayed hot on Friday by going 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Somehow he didn't hit a home run. Kipnis has been flat-out ridiculous during Cactus League action, hitting an even .500 (11-for-22) with six homers and 12 RBI. He appears to be on a mission for a rebound season.
Dahl homers, drives in three vs. Indians 03-09-2018
David Dahl RF COL
David Dahl went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI in Friday's loss to the Indians. Dahl clubbed a two-run blast against Neil Ramirez in the fourth inning and added an RBI single in the sixth. We were feeling a lot better about his chances of being a major contributor to begin the year before the Carlos Gonzalez signing. He'd probably be better served getting regular at-bats in Triple-A rather than serve as a part-time player in the majors.
Desmond's struggles continue Friday 03-09-2018
Ian Desmond 1B COL
Ian Desmond went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts Friday versus the Indians. Desmond is in quite the rut to begin the spring, going 1-for-19 (.053) with eight strikeouts. He still has time to get on track before Opening Day, but it's fair to wonder if he could lose some at-bats if the slow start carries over to the regular season. The Rockies have a lot of choices.
Teheran twirls four shutout frames vs Yankees 03-09-2018
Julio Teheran P ATL
Julio Teheran turned in four scoreless frames in a 3-1 Grapefruit League win over the Yankees on Friday. He struck out two batters, didn't issue a walk and surrendered just two singles. Teheran has been marvelous this spring, not allowing a single run through his first three starts. He is looking like a good bet to beat the disappointing 11-13 record and 4.49 ERA he delivered in 32 starts a year ago.
Tucker goes 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run 03-09-2018
Preston Tucker LF ATL
Preston Tucker went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored in Friday's Grapefruit League win over the Yankees. He cracked an RBI-double to open the scoring in the fifth inning. He's now hitting .348/.444/.478 this spring and is making a strong case to open the season as the Braves' starting left fielder.
Belt continues strong spring with two-run HR 03-09-2018
Brandon Belt 1B SF
Brandon Belt socked a two-run homer and drew a walk in Friday's 10-7 victory over the Mariners in Cactus League action. It was his first homer of the spring, though Dee Gordon did his best to try to rob it. Belt has enjoyed an impressive start to his spring, hitting .429 (9-for-21) with more walks (five) than strikeouts (four) through eight games. He was on pace to surpass 20 homers for the first time last season before going down with another concussion. His history can't be ignored, but he could surprise in fantasy leagues this year if his health allows.
Paxton has another shaky spring outing 03-09-2018
James Paxton P SEA
James Paxton was tagged for four runs over three innings Friday against the Giants. Paxton allowed five hits, including a two-run homer to Brandon Belt. The southpaw has turned in back-to-back rough outings, but he said after the game that he wasn't discouraged by Friday's performance. He still has time to round into form before Opening Day.
Sanchez goes 2-for-3 with a home run Friday 03-09-2018
Gary Sanchez C NYY
Gary Sanchez went 2-for-3 and slugged a solo home run in a loss to the Braves on Friday. His shot off Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino was his second of the spring schedule. He is now hitting .412/.474/.824 and seems ready to pick up where he left off last season. He took over as the top catcher in fantasy baseball by registering a .278 batting average with 33 home runs and 90 RBI in 122 games in 2017.
Samardzija gives up five runs Friday 03-09-2018
Jeff Samardzija P SF
Jeff Samardzija was hurt by the home run ball on Friday, allowing five runs in four innings of work against the Mariners. Dee Gordon, Nelson Cruz, and Dan Vogelbach all took him deep in the span of five batters in the third inning. Home runs were the thing that did him in last year, as he allowed 32 in 207 2/3 innings while posting a 4.42 ERA. That's despite a career-low walk rate and his best strikeout percentage since 2012. He's in a nice environment for a rebound on the ERA front.
Dyson gives up homer in appearance Friday 03-09-2018
Sam Dyson P SF
Sam Dyson gave up a solo homer to Dee Gordon in his one inning of work Friday against the Mariners. Gordon led off the frame with a homer. Things could have gotten worse, as Dyson walked Nelson Cruz before giving up a double to Daniel Vogelbach, but he managed to escape further damage. Mark Melancon (forearm) is aiming to be ready for Opening Day, but Dyson is the natural fallback for the closer job if plans change. The 29-year-old notched 14 saves with San Francisco last season while posting a 4.03 ERA and 27/18 K/BB ratio in 38 innings.
Gordon shows rare power with two-homer day 03-09-2018
Dee Gordon 2B SEA
Dee Gordon connected for two homers and knocked in three runs Friday against the Giants. Really, that happened. The new Mariners' center fielder now has three homers this spring, which equals his total in 1,041 plate appearances between 2016-2017. He's never had a regular season multi-homer game. Let's not get carried away here, though. Fantasy owners know by now that any power from the speedy Gordon is just a bonus.
Nelson Cruz snaps hitless streak with homer 03-09-2018
Nelson Cruz DH SEA
Nelson Cruz reached base four times - including a solo homer - against the Giants on Friday. Cruz went 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. It was a great day for the veteran slugger, who came into Friday's action 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts on the spring. Cruz is going into his age-37 season, so we understand the impulse to get ahead of his decline in fantasy leagues, but he hasn't shown any signs of slowing down on the power front.
Gray twirls 3 2/3 scoreless innings vs Braves 03-09-2018
Sonny Gray P NYY
Sonny Gray held the Braves to one hit and no runs for 3 2/3 innings in Friday's Grapefruit League contest. He struck out three, walked two and yielded just one single. He has yet to allow a run through two starts this spring. Gray went 10-12 with a 3.55 ERA in 27 starts between the Athletics and Yankees last year.
Verlander fans eight in five one-run innings 03-09-2018
Justin Verlander P HOU
Justin Verlander racked up eight strikeouts and allowed just one run in five innings of a 4-2 Cactus League win over the Cardinals on Friday. He was in peak Cy Young form in this one. He allowed just two hits, including a solo home run by Cardinal shortstop Paul DeJong. That was the first and only run Verlander has surrendered in ten innings so far this spring. He has amassed 17 punchouts and zero walks in those 10 innings. He seems ready for the regular season to start.
Tucker smacks bases-loaded triple vs Cards 03-09-2018
Kyle Tucker RF HOU
Kyle Tucker went 1-for-2 and drove in three runs with a bases-loaded triple in a spring win over the Cardinals on Friday. The young outfielder is having a great Cactus League season, batting .407/.429/.963 with four homers but is destined to start the season at Double-A. He was the fifth pick of the first round in the 2015 draft and has torn up the minor leagues the last two years. It is possible he could make his major league debut this year.
DeJong slugs solo home run vs Astro Friday 03-09-2018
Paul DeJong SS STL
Paul DeJong went 1-for-3 and whacked a solo home run in Friday's loss to the Astros. It was an impressive shot against an utterly dominant Justin Verlander. It's been a slow spring for DeJong, who is currently sporting a .182 batting average. He was one of the biggest breakout players of the 2017 season and is fresh off signing a six-year, $26 million contract extension.
Davis goes deep in win over Brewers 03-09-2018
Khris Davis DH OAK
Khris Davis crushed a two-run homer in Friday's 2-0 victory over the Brewers in Cactus League play. Davis is hitting just .160 this spring, but he's contributed with three homers and 10 RBI. He's a risk on the batting average front - granted, he's at least been consistent in that area by hitting exactly .247 in three straight years - but he's second in the majors with 85 homers since the start of 2016. Only Giancarlo Stanton (86 home runs) has slugged more in that timespan.
Gallardo gives up two runs vs. Athletics 03-09-2018
Yovani Gallardo P TEX
Yovani Gallardo gave up two runs over three innings in Friday's start against the Athletics. Gallardo gave up three hits - including a two-run homer to Khris Davis - and two walks while striking out three batters. The veteran right-hander is hoping to secure a rotation spot in his return to Milwaukee, but his days of fantasy relevance are behind him at this point.
Fowler reaches base three times Friday 03-09-2018
Dustin Fowler CF OAK
Dustin Fowler reached base in all three of his plate appearances Friday against the Brewers. Fowler singled, doubled, and drew a walk while stealing a base and scoring a run. Coming back from a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee, the 23-year-old has also received some at-bats in minor league and intrasquad games in an effort to get his timing back at the plate. After striking out twice in four straight Cactus League games, he has gone without a strikeout in back-to-back games. He still has a legitimate shot to claim the starting center field job.
Mikolas fans three in four shutout frames Fri 03-09-2018
Miles Mikolas tossed four shutout innings against the Astros in Friday's Cactus League ballgame. He struck out three batters, walked two and allowed four singles. The Cardinals are breathing easier tonight after seeing their big free agent acquisition get thoroughly shelled in his first two outings. He allowed ten earned runs in just 4 2/3 in his previous spring starts but looked much better tonight. He spent the last three seasons dominating hitters in Nippon Professional Baseball and turned that into a two-year, $15.5 million contract with St. Louis this winter.
Herrmann homers, drives in two vs. Royals 03-09-2018
Chris Herrmann C SEA
Chris Herrmann went 2-for-3 with a homer, a double, and two RBI in Friday's 7-2 win over the split-squad Royals in Cactus League action. Herrmann slugged a solo homer off Wily Peralta in the fourth before plating another run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh. The 30-year-old bounced between the outfield and catcher last season while batting .181 with 10 homers and a .619 OPS over 256 plate appearances. He should be back as a utility player this season, but he figures to see fewer opportunities unless there's an injury.
Ray gives up one run vs. Royals 03-09-2018
Robbie Ray P ARZ
Robbie Ray yielded one run in 3 1/3 innings in Friday's Cactus League outing against the split-squad Royals. The lone run scored on a homer off the bat of Paulo Orlando in the fourth. Ray fanned six and walked a pair. The southpaw finished third in the NL in strikeouts (218) and fourth in ERA (2.89) last season. He walks a lot of batters and had a lot of success both with balls in play and stranding runners, so many have projected some regression for 2018, but the humidor at Chase Field has to be viewed as a positive development for him and the D-Backs' pitching staff.
Kennedy tosses three scoreless frames 03-09-2018
Ian Kennedy P KC
Ian Kennedy tossed three scoreless frames in his start against the Diamondbacks on Friday. It's worth noting that the Diamondbacks didn't have their heavy hitters in the lineup. Kennedy is coming off a rough 2017 where he posted a career-worst 5.38 ERA over 30 starts. He's allowed at least 30 homers in three straight years. So just keep that in mind if you are looking to stack some hitters in daily formats.
Bradley tosses two scoreless innings 03-09-2018
Archie Bradley P ARZ
Archie Bradley notched two strikeouts over two scoreless frames Friday against the Royals. Bradley was credited with the win, because pitcher wins are important, especially during spring training. Bradley was a monster out of Arizona's bullpen last season and is part of a competition for the closer role along with Brad Boxberger and offseason signing Yoshihisa Hirano. There's no doubt that Bradley has the most fantasy upside of this trio, but there's something to be said for having him available for high-leverage spots in the seventh and eighth innings of ballgames.
Jay singles in Royals' debut 03-09-2018
Jon Jay RF ARZ
Jon Jay went 1-for-4 with a single and two strikeouts in his Royals' debut on Friday versus the Diamondbacks. Jay signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Royals this week and appears likely to begin the year as the primary center fielder and No. 2 hitter behind Whit Merrifield. He's a strong on-base guy (.355 career OBP, .374 OBP last year), but unfortunately he just doesn't provide enough pop or speed to be relevant outside of AL-only fantasy formats.
Spangenberg goes 3-for-3 with a home run Fri. 03-09-2018
Cory Spangenberg 3B SD
Cory Spangenburg went 3-for-3 and cracked a solo home run in Friday's Cactus League win over the White Sox. He singled twice in the game while serving as the second baseman and leadoff batter. He followed a Matt Szczur solo shot with one of his own off starter Carson Fulmer in the third inning. Spangenberg started 86 games at third base for the Padres last year, and also played some second base and outfield. He is battling for the starting second base job this spring and is likely to play all over the diamond again this year.
Richard notches four shutout frames vs CHW 03-09-2018
Clayton Richard P SD
Clayton Richard fired four shutout innings in a 2-0 Cactus League victory over the White Sox on Friday. He allowed a couple of harmless hits and a pair of walks while striking out one batter. It was a nice bounce-back effort for the veteran hurler after he surrendered five runs over four combined innings in his first two spring outings. He tallied an 8-15 record with a 4.79 ERA in 32 starts for the Padres a year ago.
Schwarber slugs two-run homer Friday 03-09-2018
Kyle Schwarber LF CHC
Kyle Schwarber slugged a two-run homer in Friday's 6-1 win over the Angels in Cactus League action. It was his second home run of the spring. The svelte Schwarber is hitting .333 (7-for-21) with five walks through nine games this spring. He's no longer catcher-eligible in fantasy leagues, but he could still prove to be a nice value in fantasy leagues after a resurgent second half last year.
Lester spins five scoreless frames vs. Angels 03-09-2018
Jon Lester P CHC
Jon Lester was excellent in his latest tune-up start on Friday, tossing five scoreless innings against the Angels. And he didn't even need his "Pippen-to-Jordan" bounce pass. Lester gave up three hits - all of them singles - while walking none and striking out three. The veteran southpaw is rounding into form in anticipation of his Opening Day assignment against the Marlins.
Shoemaker gives up six runs in loss 03-09-2018
Matt Shoemaker P LAA
Matt Shoemaker surrendered six runs in 3 2/3 innings in Friday's Cactus League loss to the Cubs. Shoemaker gave up eight hits, including two-run homers to Kyle Schwarber and David Bote. That's back-to-back shaky outings for the veteran right-hander. He's now allowed five homers in just 8 1/3 innings this spring after allowing 15 of them in just 77 2/3 innings last season. The Angels are going with six starters, so Shoemaker is assured of a rotation spot if healthy, but there's not a lot of upside here if that issue continues.
Morrow gives up one run Friday 03-09-2018
Brandon Morrow P CHC
Brandon Morrow gave up one run in his one inning of work Friday versus the Angels. Morrow didn't give up a hit or a walk in the frame, but he hit Michael Hermosillo with a pitch to begin the frame. Hermosillo went on to steal second and third base before being brought home on a sacrifice fly. After a strong 2017 season out of the Dodgers' bullpen, Morrow received a two-year, $21 million contract to be the Cubs' closer. He comes with a lengthy injury history, but he's obviously in a great situation for fantasy value.
Toles goes 2-for-2 with a double vs Royals 03-09-2018
Andrew Toles LF LAD
Andrew Toles went 2-for-2 with a double in Friday's 6-4 Cactus League victory over the Royals. He rapped an RBI-single in the fifth inning and was then caught trying to steal second base. He doubled and scored in the seventh. Toles is having a nice spring as he tries to latch on to the big club as a backup outfielder. He has a .409 batting average with two home runs and eight RBI in 10 games. The 25-year-old could start for many teams. He has a .294/.341/.483 slash line with eight homers in 79 major league games the last two seasons.
Merrifield goes 2-for-3 with a solo homer Fri 03-09-2018
Whit Merrifield 2B KC
Whit Merrifield went 2-for-3 and belted a solo home run in Friday's Cactus League loss to the Dodgers. He led off the game with a blast off Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda. It was his second bomb of the spring to go with a .520 batting average. The 29-year-old was a waiver-wire gem in fantasy leagues last season, coming out of nowhere to register a .288 batting average with 19 homers, 78 RBI and 80 runs scored in 145 games. His 34 stolen bases led the American League.
Kenley Jansen (hamstring) scratched Friday 03-09-2018
Kenley Jansen P LAD
Kenley Jansen didn't make a scheduled appearance Friday after his right hamstring tightened up during warmups.

Andy McCullough on Twitter
It doesn't appear to be a big deal, as Jansen is slated to pitch in a minor league game next week instead. The stud closer is only expected to make two appearances this spring, as he doesn't need much work to get ready for Opening Day.
Yankees cut three from majors camp 03-09-2018
Albert Abreu P NYY
Yankees optioned RHPs Albert Abreu and Jonathan Loaisiga to High-A Tampa; optioned INF Thairo Estrada to Double-A Trenton. The three players were added to the 40-man roster over the winter but never had a chance at the Opening Day roster. They all have loads of potential but need more seasoning.
Reds cut eight from major league camp 03-09-2018
Ariel Hernandez P LAD
Reds optioned RHPs Ariel Hernandez, Jose Lopez, Keury Mella and Jesus Reyes, INF Shed Long, OFs Aristides Aquion and OF Jose Siri to Triple-A Louisville; reassinged RHP Jose Rafael De Paula to minor league camp. Nothing to be surprised about here. The Reds now have 53 players in camp.
Jordan Luplow homers in Pirates' win 03-09-2018
Jordan Luplow LF PIT
Jordan Luplow had a homer and two sac flies Friday in the Pirates' 5-4 win over the Phillies. Luplow is just 3-for-18 this spring, though two of his hits have been homers. He was in line to potentially compete for a starting job before the Pirates acquired Corey Dickerson. Now he's almost certainly Triple-A bound. Still, he's an intriguing player after busting out with a .302/.381/.527 line between Double- and Triple-A last year.
Steven Brault gives up three runs in start 03-09-2018
Steven Brault P PIT
Steven Brault surrendered three runs -- two earned -- in 2 2/3 innings Friday against the Phillies. Brault had pitched four scoreless innings this spring before getting touched up some today. He's one of the fallback options for the Pirates rotation, and he could make the team as a reliever if he's not needed as a starter.
Nick Williams goes 0-for-3 in loss 03-09-2018
Nick Williams RF PHI
Nick Williams went 0-for-3 with a strikeout against the Pirates on Friday. Williams is 4-for-19 with no RBI and a 5/0 K/BB ratio. It's still too early to worry much, but he might be vulnerable in right if Aaron Altherr outproduces him all spring. Williams played surprisingly well after getting the call last year, but Altherr has the better overall track record.
Wilmer Flores goes 2-for-4, homers 03-09-2018
Wilmer Flores 3B NYM
Wilmer Flores went 2-for-4 and homered as the Mets and Tigers played to a 4-4 tie on Friday. We'd like to see what Flores would do with regular at-bats after solid seasons in part-time roles the last two years, but his glove is a big enough problem that he really only makes much sense at first base. The Mets will likely pencil him into the lineup against most lefties, but he's not going to see enough action against righties initially to be of much use for fantasy purposes.
Buster Posey gets cortisone shot in ankle 03-09-2018
Buster Posey C SF
Buster Posey was given a cortisone shot in his ailing left ankle this week and went 3-for-3 with two doubles in his return to action Friday.

Andrew Baggarly on Twitter
Posey also underwent a precautionary MRI, which came back clean. The hope is obviously that the ankle will now be a non-issue for him going forward.
Steven Matz goes four scoreless 03-09-2018
Steven Matz P NYM
Steven Matz bounced back from an ugly outing to pitch four scoreless innings Friday in his start against the Tigers. Matz didn't make it through the first inning last time out and wasn't much better in his first start, so he needed this. He'd seem to be battling Zack Wheeler for one spot in the Mets rotation at this point.
Montgomery named Yankees' fifth starter 03-09-2018
Jordan Montgomery P NYY
Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Friday named Jordan Montgomery the team's fifth starter.

Erik Boland on Twitter
The only way Montgomery wasn't going to be the club's No. 5 starter was if the Yankees brought in someone from outside the organization. The lefty posted a 3.88 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 144/51 K/BB ratio over 155 1/3 innings in 2017 and boasts a 1.04 ERA with 11 strikeouts over his first 8 2/3 frames this spring. He has mixed fantasy league appeal.
Hector Robles gives up four runs 03-09-2018
Hansel Robles P NYM
Hansel Robles was tagged for four runs in an inning of relief by the Tigers on Friday. Those were the only four runs allowed by Mets pitching today, so his performance stands out all the more. Robles has been a big part of the Mets pen for much of the last three years, but the team soured on him somewhat last season. He has an option year left, so it's possible he'll begin the season in Triple-A.
Miguel Fulmer strikes out five Mets 03-09-2018
Michael Fulmer P DET
Michael Fulmer allowed one run over three innings and struck out five Friday against the Mets. Fulmer has shaken off his latest bout with a sore elbow, but it's always possible that another one is right around the corner. He'll likely be quite good while healthy, though.
Phillies option Dylan Cozens, Eliezer Alvarez 03-09-2018
Dylan Cozens RF PHI
Phillies optioned OF Dylan Cozens and INF Eliezer Alvarez to minor league camp. Cozens hit a disappointing .210/.301/.418 last season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He'll look to improve in his second go-round there.
Miguel Sano homers twice in Twins' win 03-09-2018
Miguel Sano 3B MIN
Miguel Sano homered twiced in leading the Twins past the Rays 4-3 on Friday. They were the first two homers of the spring for Sano, who sat out the first few days of the Grapefruit League season as he continued his recovery from shin surgery. Barring something unexpected, he should be ready to play third base regularly once the season starts. There is, however, the possibility of a suspension related to the sexual assault accusation against him.
Jose Berrios picks up win over Rays 03-09-2018
Jose Berrios P MIN
Jose Berrios allowed one run and three hits over four innings Friday in a victory over the Rays. Berrios is guaranteed a rotation spot for the first time after failing to win one the last two springs, but he doesn't seem to be taking it for granted; he's given up just the one run and he's yet to walk a batter through 7 1/3 innings.
Jonny Venters throws scoreless frame 03-09-2018
Jonny Venters P TB
Jonny Venters pitched his third scoreless inning of the spring Friday against the Twins. One for each Tommy John surgery he's had in his career. Venters has a chance at winning a spot in the Rays bullpen if he can make it through March healthy. It'd be an amazing comeback from the former Braves reliever.
Brian Dozier goes 0-for-3 for Twins 03-09-2018
Brian Dozier 2B MIN
Brian Dozier went 0-for-3 on Friday, dropping his spring average to .150. Dozier is 3-for-20 with no homers and one walk. One wonders what he could do in a season if he could avoid his customary slow start; he's hit just .221/.310/.369 in April during his career.
Brewers make several cuts on Friday 03-09-2018
Marcos Diplan P MLW
Brewers optioned RHPs Marcos Diplan, Adrian Houser, Jorge López and Freddy Peralta, LHP Tyler Webb, INF Mauricio Dubon and C Jacob Nottingham to minor league camp; reassigned RHPs Corbin Burnes, Erik Davis, Luis Ortiz and Jon Perrin to minor league camp. It's the team's first round of cuts this spring. None of them come as a surprise. Burnes and Ortiz are two of the team's top prospects and Burnes in particular could push to debut in 2018.
Report: A's closing in on Jonathan Lucroy 03-09-2018
Jonathan Lucroy C OAK
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Athletics are close to an agreement with Jonathan Lucroy.

Jerry Crasnick on Twitter
MLB.com's Jane Lee was first to report that the two sides were talking, and she says it's a one-year contract. Oakland has one of the least stable catching situations in baseball, so the fit makes sense especially since they're likely to get Lucroy at a nice discount. Lucroy batted .265/.345/.371 with six home runs last year for the Rangers and Rockies. He could bounce back to some degree in 2018, although Oakland isn't the best environment for that.
Alex Wilson moves back to bullpen 03-09-2018
Alex Wilson P DET
The Tigers have moved Alex Wilson back to the bullpen.

Chris McCosky on Twitter
The team obliged when Wilson requested being given a shot at a rotation spot this spring, but he struggled badly. He'll help set up for closer Shane Greene.
J.B. Shuck homers in Marlins' win 03-09-2018
J.B. Shuck RF MIA
J.B. Shuck hit a two-run homer to help propel the Marlins to a 5-4 win over the Red Sox on Friday. Before the Cameron Maybin signing, Shuck was about as good of choice as anyone to start in right field for the Marlins, though that says more about the quality of the alternatives than it does about Shuck. Now Shuck is competing for a spot on the bench. He was last seen in the majors hitting .205/.248/.299 in 224 at-bats for the White Sox in 2016.
Gohara to have X-rays after spraining ankle 03-09-2018
Luiz Gohara P ATL
Luiz Gohara (groin) will undergo X-rays after spraining his left ankle during pitcher's fielding practice Friday.

Mark Bowman on Twitter
Gohara had been slated for his Grapefruit League debut Sunday after missing time with a groin injury, but now he's got a new ailment to deal with. We will know more about the young left-hander's status later this weekend, but he almost surely will now not be ready for Opening Day.
Adam Conley gives up two runs to Red Sox 03-09-2018
Adam Conley P MIA
Adam Conley yielded two runs and four hits in three innings out of the pen Friday against the Red Sox. Conley has allowed five runs and 12 hits in eight innings this spring, striking out just two batters along the way. Even with a few openings still to be decided, it doesn't seem at all likely that he's going to retain his spot in Miami's rotation.
Athletics showing interest in Lucroy, Wieters 03-09-2018
Jonathan Lucroy C OAK
MLB.com's Jane Lee reports that the Athletics have been in talks to sign Jonathan Lucroy or trade for Matt Wieters.

Jane Lee on Twitter
Lee's sources expect the A's to land one of the two catchers. Lucroy's market has been stagnant this offseason after he batted a disappointing .265/.345/.371 with six home runs last year for the Rangers and Rockies, but he makes sense as a rebound candidate for an Oakland team without a settled catching situation. The Nationals have been rumored to be looking at catching options outside the organization, so it's not a surprise they're shopping Wieters.
Chris Sale strikes out five in debut 03-09-2018
Chris Sale P BOS
Chris Sale struck out five while allowing one run in four innings Friday against the Marlins. Sale was plenty sharp in his first start of the spring, allowing just two hits and walking none. The Red Sox have yet to announce their Opening Day starter, but Sale is sure to get the call.
Bud Norris to be used exclusively in relief 03-09-2018
Bud Norris P STL
The Cardinals will use Bud Norris (hamstring) exclusively as a reliever moving forward.

Derrick Goold on Twitter
The team planned to keep Norris stretched out in case he might be needed to start, but his best chance at contributing has always been as a reliever and he expressed a desire to the Cards to stay in that role. Norris could be in the mix for saves on a team that has an unsettled ninth inning situation. He's been out with a hamstring issue lately but is nearing a return to games.
Marco Estrada goes four innings in win 03-09-2018
Marco Estrada P TOR
Marco Estrada held the Orioles to one run over four innings in the Blue Jays' 8-5 win Friday. Estrada has allowed just one run on five hits and no walks in eight innings this spring. He'll be an asset in AL-only leagues and a streaming option in mixed leagues.
Joe Mantiply undergoes Tommy John surgery 03-09-2018
Joe Mantiply P CIN
Joe Mantiply underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow Friday.

John Fay on Twitter
Mantiply is in camp with the Reds as a non-roster invitee. He'll be sidelined at least until Opening Day next season.
Miguel Castro goes three in spring debut 03-09-2018
Miguel Castro P BAL
Making his spring debut, Miguel Castro pitched three innings of one-run ball Friday against the Blue Jays. Castro had been held back by soreness in his knees and back, but it's a good sign that he was able to get through three innings today. He's a strong candidate to open the year in the Baltimore rotation, though if that doesn't happen, he will have a spot in the pen.
Kendrys Morales homers, doubles in win 03-09-2018
Kendrys Morales DH TOR
Kendrys Morales homered, doubled and knocked in two runs Friday against the Orioles. We figured Morales would be locked into the cleanup spot behind Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak at the beginning of the year, but he's hit fifth twice and sixth twice in his four starts over the last week. That's not going to help his fantasy value if it sticks.
Dominic Smith (quad) expected to play Sun. 03-09-2018
Dominic Smith 1B NYM
Dominic Smith (quad) is expected to return to Grapefruit League action on Sunday.

Jon Morosi on Twitter
Smith has been limited to two spring training plate appearances to this point because of a strained left quad, but he's been working out lately with no issues. The youngster entered camp with a shot at he Mets' first base job, but he'll have to do some real damage over the next couple weeks in order to have a chance to pass up Adrian Gonzalez on the depth chart.
Matt Murton takes job in Cubs' front office 03-09-2018
Matt Murton LF COL
Matt Murton has taken a job in the Cubs' front office as a baseball operations assistant.

Bruce Miles on Twitter
Murton, 36, was in the minors in the Cubs and Tigers organizations over the last two seasons after spending six years in Japan. He batted .286/.352/.436 over parts of five majors league seasons from 2005-09.
Chris Denorfia joins Cubs front office 03-09-2018
Chris Denorfia RF CHC
Chris Denorfia has taken a job in the Cubs' front office as a special assistant to general manager Jed Hoyer.

Bruce Miles on Twitter
And that will officially do it for the 37-year-old's major league career. Denorfia was stuck in the minors for the last two seasons but finishes his big league career with a decent .272/.330/.392 batting line over parts of 10 campaigns.
White Sox' Renteria not ready to name closer 03-09-2018
Nate Jones P CWS
White Sox manager Rick Renteria on Friday said he's not ready to name a closer.

Daryl Van Schouwen on Twitter
The skipper noted that he's been encouraged by the performance of Nate Jones, who has struck out five over three scoreless innings so far this spring after returning from last July's elbow surgery. Joakim Soria -- who allowed four runs without recording an out in his first Cactus League appearance before bouncing back with a scoreless outing -- is also an option. Renteria also added that he won't hesitate to use his best reliever in the eighth inning this season if the situation calls for it. We like Jones to lead the White Sox in saves in 2018 even if he doesn't open the season with the closer job.
Evan Longoria scratched with sore heel 03-09-2018
Evan Longoria 3B SF
Evan Longoria was scratched from the Giants' Cactus League lineup Friday because of a sore heel.

Andrew Baggarly on Twitter
It's unclear at this point how Longoria was injured or how long he might be sidelined. The Giants could have an update on the third baseman's status later Friday.
Rangers make several cuts Friday 03-09-2018
Ariel Jurado P TEX
Rangers optioned RHP Ariel Jurado and LHP Brett Martin to Double-A Frisco; optioned RHP Jonathan Hernandez to Low-A Down East; reassigned LHP Jeffrey Springs, INF Andy Ibanez and OF Jose Cardona to minor league camp. There are no surprise cuts in this group. The Rangers now have 62 players in big league camp.
Rule 5 pick Anthony Gose returned to Rangers 03-09-2018
Anthony Gose P HOU
Astros returned Rule 5 pick LHP/OF Anthony Gose to the Rangers. Gose walked the only three batters he faced with the Astros and is now back with the Rangers after signing a minor league deal with them back in November. He'll be in big league camp as a non-roster invitee. He's expected to be used as both a pitcher and outfielder.
Eloy Jimenez (knee) hopes to play Sunday 03-09-2018
Eloy Jimenez RF CWS
The White Sox hope Eloy Jimenez (knee) can return to Cactus League action Sunday.

Daryl Van Schouwen on Twitter
Jimenez has been limited to just one game so far this spring because of tendinitis in his left knee. The top prospect will likely open the season at Double-A Birmingham.
Jesse Biddle among the cuts for Braves 03-09-2018
Jesse Biddle P ATL
Braves optioned LHP Jesse Biddle to Triple-A Gwinnett; optioned LHPs Adam McCreery and Ricardo Sanchez to Double-A Mississippi; reassigned RHPs Michael Soroka and Ray-Patrick Didder, LHPs Kolby Allard and Philip Pfeifer, Cs Kade Scivicque and Tyler Marlette and OF Cristian Pache to minor league camp. There are some big prospect names here, but none of the cuts are surprising. A former Phillies top prospect, Biddle had a nice showing as a full-time reliever in 2017 and could debut in 2018.
Tigers ink Donovan Hand to minors deal 03-09-2018
Donovan Hand P CIN
Tigers signed RHP Donovan Hand to a minor league contract.

Evan Drellich on Twitter
Hand impressed the Tigers while throwing in the MLBPA free agent camp. The 31-year-old hasn't appeared in the majors since 2015 and is merely organizational depth.
Austin Hays nursing sore back 03-09-2018
Austin Hays RF BAL
Austin Hays has been getting treatment for a sore back.

Jon Meoli on Twitter
Hays recently returned to action following an absence due to a lat injury, and he now has a new ailment to deal with. It's viewed as minor and he's expected back in games soon, but Hays hasn't had much of an opportunity to try and play his way into a roster spot. The prospect was probably always headed back to the minors, anyway.
Chris Davis (forearm) nearing activities 03-09-2018
Chris Davis 1B BAL
Chris Davis (forearm) is expected to resume baseball activities early next week.

Rich Dubroff on Twitter
He should be ready for game action at some point by the end of next week if all goes well. Davis probably still has time to be ready for Opening Day after dealing with lingering discomfort in his right forearm, but he'll be cutting it close.
Logan Morrison's (glute) injury minor 03-09-2018
Logan Morrison 1B MIN
The soreness in Logan Morrison's right glute which forced him out of Wednesday's game is mostly gone.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Morrison will be held out of the lineup again Friday, but he's expected to be fine. He'll open 2018 as the Twins' primary designated hitter.
Baez's hamstring 'still bothering him a bit' 03-09-2018
Javier Baez 2B CHC
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Javier Baez's left hamstring is "still bothering him a bit."

Carrie Muskat on Twitter
"It's still there, it's still bothering him a bit," Maddon said. "We're trying to figure out exactly what's going on." Baez said he was merely dealing with a cramp when he was pulled from Thursday's game, but it appears it may be more serious than that. He's been ruled out of game action through at least Saturday. We could know more about his status later this weekend.
Franklyn Kilome optioned out of camp 03-09-2018
Franklyn Kilome P PHI
Phillies optioned RHPs Franklyn Kilome and Jose Taveras and LHP Ranger Suarez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. No surprises here. All three players were added to the 40-man roster over the offseason.
Willy Garcia released by White Sox 03-09-2018
Willy Garcia CF FA
White Sox released OF Willy Garcia. Garcia injured his wrist in winter ball and never made an appearance this spring with the White Sox. He's now on the lookout for a new organization.
Jace Fry optioned to Triple-A 03-09-2018
Jace Fry P CWS
White Sox optioned LHP Jace Fry to Triple-A Charlotte; reassigned LHPs Brian Clark and T.J. House, RHPs Tyler Danish, Jordan Stephens and Alec Hansen to minor league camp. Fry was added to the 40-man roster over the winter. He could debut at some point this season.
Willi Castro among the cuts for Indians 03-09-2018
Willi Castro SS CLE
Indians optioned INFs Willi Castro and Yu Chang to Double-A Akron; reassigned RHP Cole Sulser, 1B Nellie Rodriguez and LHP Robert Zarate to minor league camp. Castro and Chang were added to the 40-man roster over the winter but never had a real shot to crack the Opening Day roster.
Zach Davies (oblique) throws bullpen session 03-09-2018
Zach Davies P MLW
Zach Davies (oblique) threw a bullpen session without issue Friday.

Tom Haudricourt on Twitter
He'll throw a simulated game next before then returning to Cactus League action. Setbacks are always possible when it comes to obliques, but it's looking like Davies will be fine come Opening Day.
Ramirez (shoulder) could play catch Sat. 03-09-2018
Erasmo Ramirez P SEA
Erasmo Ramirez (shoulder) will meet with a doctor Friday and could be cleared to play catch Saturday.

Greg Johns on Twitter
Ramirez has been dealing with a lat strain since the beginning of camp. It's possible he'll be ready to serve as the team's fifth starter when they first need one in mid-April, but he'll have to progress without setbacks.
Max Muncy nursing oblique injury 03-09-2018
Max Muncy 1B LAD
Max Muncy is dealing with a minor oblique strain.

Ken Gurnick on Twitter
It could keep him out of action for a bit even though it's deemed minor. Muncy wasn't going to make the Opening Day roster, anyway.
Felix Hernandez (arm) to play catch again 03-09-2018
Felix Hernandez P SEA
Felix Hernandez (arm) will play catch again Friday.

Greg Johns on Twitter
Hernandez will extend his game of catch out to a farther distance and is nearing a bullpen session. Mariners manager Scott Servais said that the veteran right-hander will need to get in 2-3 Cactus League starts in order to be ready for Opening Day, which could be pushing it since there are less than three weeks left.
Adbert Alzolay among Cubs' cuts Friday 03-09-2018
Adbert Alzolay P CHC
Cubs optioned RHPs Adbert Alzolay, Duane Underwood and Oscar De La Druz to Double-A Tennessee; reassigned LHPs Alberto Baldonado, Daniel Camarena and Michael Roth, RHPs Craig Brooks, David Garner and Thomas Hatch, OFs Charcer Burks and Bijan Rademacher, C Ian Rice and INF Jason Vosler to minor league camp. Alzolay is one of the Cubs' better pitching prospects but is in need of some more seasoning. He could potentially debut at some point in 2018.
Angels sent four to minors camp 03-09-2018
Dayan Diaz P LAA
Angels optioned RHPs Dayan Diaz and Troy Scribner to Triple-A Salt Lake; optioned RHP Jesus Castillo to Double-A Mobile; reassigned OF Jahmai Jones to minor league camp. It's a bunch of cuts that don't come as a surprise. Diaz actually never reported to camp because of visa issues.
Walker Buehler (back) set for Cactus debut 03-09-2018
Walker Buehler P LAD
Walker Buehler (back) will make his Cactus League debut Saturday.

Ken Gurnick on Twitter
Buehler has been slowed by a back injury this spring but has already appeared in a "B" game. He's expected to be fine to begin the season and is slated to open the year in the Triple-A Oklahoma City rotation.
Nick Vincent (arm) throwing simulated game 03-09-2018
Nick Vincent P SEA
Nick Vincent (arm) will throw a simulated game Friday.

Greg Johns on Twitter
Vincent was dealt with some soreness in his pitching arm since the beginning of camp but has progressed lately with no issues. He should be cleared for Cactus League action if he gets through Friday's session.
Bubba Starling (oblique) a DL candidate 03-09-2018
Bubba Starling CF KC
Royals manager Ned Yost said Friday that Bubba Starling (oblique) is "probably" a candidate to begin the season on the disabled list.

Rustin Dodd on Twitter
Starling has been battling a sore oblique for a few days and doesn't appear close at all to returning to action. He wasn't going to make the Opening Day roster and not looks like a good bet to spend time on the DL.
Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder) shut down 03-09-2018
Adalberto Mondesi 2B KC
Adalberto Mondesi won't throw for the next five days because of a sore right shoulder.

Rustin Dodd on Twitter
It doesn't seem like a major concern at this point, but it obviously won't help Mondesi's quest to break camp with the big club. They were probably going to send him back to the minors to start the season, anyway.
Orioles reassign two to minors camp 03-09-2018
Tim Melville P BAL
Orioles reassigned RHPs Tim Melville and Asher Wojciechowski to minor league camp.

Roch Kubatko on Twitter
Neither pitcher entered camp with a real shot at a roster spot. They will open the season as rotation depth at Triple-A Norfolk.
J.T. Realmuto scratched due to knee contusion 03-09-2018
J.T. Realmuto C MIA
J.T. Realmuto was scratched from the Marlins' lineup Friday due to a left knee contusion.

Joe Frisaro on Twitter
It's likely a day-to-day situation, but the Marlins should offer more on Realmuto's status later Friday. He's 4-for-19 (.211) with one home run so far during Grapefruit League play.
Tigers ink Saltalamacchia to minors deal 03-09-2018
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C DET
Tigers signed C Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a minor league contract.

Steve Adams on Twitter
Saltalamacchia was one of the players working out at the free agent camp in Bradenton, Florida and evidently looked good enough that the Tigers decided to bring him in as added depth. Salty played for the Tigers in 2016 but spent most of 2017 in the minors.
Bedrosian 'seen as current favorite' to close 03-09-2018
Cam Bedrosian P LAA
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Cam Bedrosian "is seen as the current favorite" for the Angels' closer job.

FanRagSports.com
Interesting. The Angels opened up the closer job for competition this spring, but Blake Parker was the presumed heavy favorite since he finished last season in the role and is coming off an excellent year. However, Bedrosian also closed for a bit last season and is now healthy after dealing with some injury issues in 2017. Bedrosian has two scoreless appearances this spring, while Parker was roughed up for three runs in one of his three outings. This competition is far from over, but it might be time to move Bedrosian up and Parker down your draft board.
Steve Pearce (calf) reports improvement 03-09-2018
Steve Pearce LF TOR
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Friday that Steve Pearce (calf) is feeling better.

Gregor Chisholm on Twitter
However, the skipper is not sure when Pearce will be ready for game action. The team has referred to Pearce's left calf strain as minor, but it's still an ailment at this point that could potentially lead to a disabled list stint to start the season. If Pearce does need DL time, Teoscar Hernandez would likely make the Opening Day roster.
Rockies finalizing deal with Carlos Gonzalez 03-09-2018
Carlos Gonzalez RF COL
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Rockies are finalizing a contract with Carlos Gonzalez.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
It was Heyman who reported Thursday that the two sides were close to a deal, and he says all that's left is to finalize the language details in the contract. It's expected to be a one-year deal for the veteran outfielder. CarGo would figure to see the bulk of the playing time in right field, although he might see fewer starts than he's used to with all of the outfielders the Rockies have.
Report: ARI hasn't ruled out releasing Tomas 03-09-2018
Yasmany Tomas LF ARZ
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks releasing Yasmany Tomas "hasn't absolutely been ruled out."

FanRagSports.com
Tomas has three years and $68.5 million remaining on his contract, which is the main reason the D'Backs have had trouble drumming up any trade interest. He doesn't really fit on their roster, but it's difficult to see them just eating that amount of money. Tomas has options remaining, so the club could just stash him at Triple-A Reno for a while as an expensive insurance policy.
Koji Uehara signs with Japanese team 03-09-2018
Koji Uehara P FA
Carlos Yamazaki of the Tokyo Sports Press reports that Koji Uehara has signed with Japan's Yomiuri Giants.

Carlos Yamazaki ‏on Twitter
It's the end of Uehara's career in the United States as he returns to his native country. Uehara, who will turn 43 in April, finishes his excellent run in the big leagues with a 2.66 ERA and splendid 572/78 K/BB ratio over 480 2/3 innings to go along with 95 saves.
Blaine Hardy (shoulder) to throw off mound 03-09-2018
Blaine Hardy P DET
Blaine Hardy (shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Saturday.

Chris McCosky on Twitter
It's a few days ahead of schedule. Hardy came down with some tightness in his left shoulder in late February but has made steady progress since then. He might have a shot to be ready for Opening Day if he can avoid setbacks from here on out.
Tigers option five to minor leagues 03-09-2018
Artie Lewicki P DET
Tigers optioned RHPs Artie Lewicki and Zac Reininger to Triple-A Toledo; RHPs Gerson Moreno and Spencer Turnbull to Double-A Erie; LHP Gregory Soto to Single-A Lakeland. No real surprises here. Lewicki made a few appearances with the Tigers last season and should be up at some point in 2018.
Adrian Gonzalez on back maintenance program 03-09-2018
Adrian Gonzalez 1B NYM
Adrian Gonzalez goes through a four-step, 90-minute maintenance program every day in order to manage the lower back discomfort that sidelined him last season.

Newsday
The program has allowed Gonzalez to participate in all activities this spring with no restrictions. "Anybody in baseball I've seen with a back issue, I've seen them always do these things. And I've always been like, 'Man, you do a lot of work,' " Gonzalez said. "And they're like, 'You have to.' Now I understand why. It's a maintenance program. It's something you have to do." Gonzalez is 5-for-24 (.208) with one extra-base hit and a 5/2 K/BB ratio so far this spring. He entered spring as the favorite for the Mets' first base job and has won the gig by default with Dominic Smith (quad) injured. Gonzalez is worth a flier only in deep fantasy leagues.
Gabriel Ynoa has stress reactions in shins 03-09-2018
Gabriel Ynoa P BAL
Gabriel Ynoa has been scratched from Saturday's scheduled start after an MRI showed a stress reaction in his shins.

Roch Kubatko on Twitter
It's unclear at this point how long he might be sidelined. Whatever chance Ynoa had of cracking the Opening Day roster probably just went out the window.
Carpenter (back, shoulder) could stay at 1B 03-09-2018
Matt Carpenter 3B STL
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny indicated Thursday that injury concerns with Matt Carpenter (back, shoulder) could keep him mostly limited to first base.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The Cards told Carpenter going into the offseason to be prepared to move all over the diamond, but he's coming back from a shoulder injury and has yet to play this spring because of a back ailment. "That's a great question," Matheny said. "I don't think anything has changed really in our mindset. We'll have to see how he's doing all the way around. The shoulder is always something that we're concerned about. He's trying to get his back right; he's also been trying to get his shoulder to a really good place. There might be something that would push him more toward first base than third." If Carpenter winds up being limited to one position, it would be bad news for Jose Martinez. Carpenter took batting practice in the cage Thursday and expects to be able to get in two weeks' worth of Grapefruit League games in order to prepare for Opening Day.
Matheny not expecting set closer initially 03-09-2018
Luke Gregerson P STL
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on Thursday indicated that he doesn't expect to break camp with a set closer.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"I don't think we need to leave here with a closer. I don't think we need to leave here with that title," Matheny said. The skipper added that the job could have "a lot of different looks to it" at the beginning of the season but that he expects someone to eventually emerge with the role. Luke Gregerson has been viewed as the favorite to close for the Cards and did say Thursday that he's feeling "tremendously better" after being sidelined the last few days with a sore oblique. Dominic Leone has saved a couple games this spring and might be next in line, and Bud Norris (hamstring) and Tyler Lyons could also be in the mix.
Eddie Rosario (triceps) cleared for activity 03-09-2018
Eddie Rosario LF MIN
Eddie Rosario (triceps) has been cleared for all baseball activities.

Mike Berardino on Twitter
Rosario hasn't been allowed to throw for the last few days because of mild right triceps tendinitis, but he's feeling better. When he'll be ready to return to Grapefruit League action isn't known yet, but it shouldn't be long.
Angels calling Andrelton Simmons day-to-day 03-09-2018
Andrelton Simmons SS LAA
Andrelton Simmons' MRI confirmed a left shoulder strain.

Jeff Fletcher on Twitter
The Angels are calling him day-to-day. Simmons suffered the injury in Thursday's Cactus League game against the Athletics. Barring setbacks, the three-time Gold Glove winner should be ready well in advance of Opening Day.