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Tue, 11 Mar 2014 10:08:54 -0700
Minnesota Twins OF Aaron Hicks is hoping to turn things around in his second season after struggling in his rookie year in 2013 and being demoted to the minors for good in August. "That's what we hope Hicks does, same thing (as Dozier)," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Take it and run with it. Believe me, you're talking young players that aren't out of second chances. They'll get plenty of chances here; now it's up to them. We like the heck out of the kid, and it's the same thing with Dozier. That makes it pretty easy to give them a chance, give them a look again." Hicks is competing with OF Alex Presley this spring for the starting center field job, and Presley is out of minor league options, which gives him a slight edge.
Hicks adjusted his offseason workout routine this year, holding off from baseball activities until late November. This spring, he entered camp noticeably stronger than last year, and he spent time working with former 2B Rod Carew. Gardenhire is already noticing a big difference in Hicks this year.
FANTASY TIP: Hicks remains a top prospect in the organization, although he's now overshadowed by Byron Buxton. After his hot spring last year, Hicks was clearly overvalued in fantasy circles and was rushed to the big leagues. This could be his year if he learns from his failures in 2013. He's a nice sleeper in AL-only leagues with a solid blend of power and speed.
Source: MLB.com - Rhett Bollinger |
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 09:38:35 -0700
Texas Rangers SP Yu Darvish's goal this year is to throw more innings and pitch deeper into games. He averaged 12.6 pitches per inning in his five innings Monday, March 10, which was much better than his average of 16.5 pitches per inning a season ago. "My goal today was to throw a lot of fastballs -- two-seamers (sinkers) and cut fastballs, and let them hit the first pitch," Darvish said. He's been focusing on better fastball command this spring, and it has shown. Darvish only had one strikeout Monday.
Source: MLB.com - T.R. Sullivan |
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Tue, 11 Mar 2014 09:35:12 -0700
Philadelphia Phillies 1B Ryan Howard is focused on returning to the all-fields approach that made him successful earlier in his career. Nine of the 13 times he's put the ball in play this spring, he's hit the ball to either left or center field. Last year, Howard was pulling the ball 40.3 percent of the time. "I've never been a pull hitter. But my biggest problem was trying to pull the ball. Now I'm trying to work back to what my strength is," Howard said. "I'm trying to work the middle of the field. That's the goal. It's all about timing. It's all about rhythm."
FANTASY TIP: Achilles', ankle and knee injuries have contributed to Howard's decline in the last several seasons. He'll have to fix his approach against lefties, too. Using the whole field should help, but it is unlikely to return him to 40-homer levels.
Source: MLB.com - Paul Hagen |
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 09:19:32 -0700
Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware wants to hear a decision from the team on his future by the time free agency begins Tuesday, March 11, according to a league source. The Cowboys will not keep Ware on the team at his current salary of $12.25 million and want Ware to take a pay cut to remain.
Source: ESPN - Ed Werder |