American League

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Blue Jays | Michael Saunders back in April?
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:47:09 -0800

Updating a previous report, Toronto Blue Jays OF Michael Saunders (knee) underwent surgery Friday, February 27, to remove 60% of the meniscus from his left knee. Saunders is expected to miss five to six weeks, should be able to start running in two weeks, and might be able to begin a rehab assignment in three to four weeks from now. "Having him back sooner is great, and nice that he's got a chance to be back by the middle of April," said general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

Red Sox | Rusney Castillo unlikely to lead off
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:28:17 -0800

Boston Red Sox OF Rusney Castillo is behind others in the competition to bat leadoff, according to manager John Farrell. When discussing batting first for the Red Sox Farrell said, "whether or not Rusney is a guy who evolves into that in time I would say there are other guys ahead of him right now." Castillo is the apparent favorite to beat out OFs Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. for the starting center field job.

Red Sox | Shane Victorino to hit leadoff?
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:06:12 -0800

Boston Red Sox OF Shane Victorino could bat first, according to manager John Farrell. "Vic is a candidate, but it will be dependent on the opposing pitcher on a given day," Farrell said. OF Mookie Betts, who is battling OFs Rusney Castillo and Jackie Bradley Jr. for the center field job, hit .308/.393/.423 in his last 20 starts of the year hitting leadoff.

Red Sox | David Ortiz to open year at 1B?
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:42:32 -0800

Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz opens the year in Philadelphia, a National League city, eliminating the designated hitter from their lineup. When asked whether he'd have any reservations about using Ortiz in the field the first three games in Philadelphia, manager John Farrell answered, "none at all." Ortiz has hit .220 in 127 at-bats since 2007 in games in which he's played first base.

Blue Jays | Toronto talking to Dayan Viciedo
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:45:09 -0800

Free-agent OF Dayan Viciedo (White Sox) is talking to the Toronto Blue Jays, according to sources.

Rangers | Yovani Gallardo talks maturation
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:43:47 -0800

Texas Rangers SP Yovani Gallardo still possesses the same velocity he did as a rookie in 2007, but his arsenal has evolved. He leaned on his slider 24.6% of the time last season but only 7.3% as a rookie, and he has added a sinking fastball to his repertoire which lead to fewer strikeouts and more ground balls. His ground-ball rate climbed to 52.4% last season and it was just 37.9% as a rookie. "The older you get, the more things you figure out on how to get hitters out," Gallardo said.

Athletics | Oakland looking at Dayan Viciedo
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:43:13 -0800

Free-agent OF Dayan Viciedo (White Sox) is talking to the Oakland Athletics, according to sources.

Angels | Albert Pujols not worried about shift
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:16:27 -0800

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1B Albert Pujols said he's not worried about defensive shifts against him. In 2014, defenses shifted him to pull 224 times, which was the most of any other right-handed hitter in the league. "They think they're screwing with your mind, but actually it's worse because they're telling you how they're going to pitch to you," Pujols said. "So actually it's the opposite. It's helping a hitter to know how they're going to pitch to you." Pujols' ability to go the opposite way is increased now that his right quadriceps is stronger after he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in November of 2012. He had 34 hits to right field last year, his second highest total since 2008.

Yankees | Alex Rodriguez working at 1B
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:06:34 -0800

New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was taking fielding practice at first base Friday, Feb. 27, with less than ideal results. Rodriguez is concerned about "embarrassing himself" at a position he said he hasn't played at any level. There was a hesitance to Rodriguez as he learned the position Friday. Right now, the only job available to Rodriguez is a part-time designated hitter role against lefties.

Orioles | Chris Davis will see time in right field
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 12:46:57 -0800

Baltimore Orioles 1B Chris Davis will receive playing time in right field during spring training, according to manager Buck Showalter.

Angels | Word on Josh Hamilton may come next week
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 10:40:24 -0800

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim OF Josh Hamilton isn't expected to have a suspension announced Friday, Feb. 27, so the team might have to wait until Monday, March 2, at the earliest. Hamilton met with MLB officials Wednesday, Feb. 25, regarding a drug-related relapse that he had in the offseason. Hamilton likely wouldn't be treated as a first-time offender if he violated the Joint Drug Agreement because he was on the Tampa Bay Rays' 40-man roster when he failed his first drug test in 2003. He could be facing a suspension from 25-50 games on a second positive test.

White Sox | Carlos Rodon to be a starter
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:43:03 -0800

Chicago White Sox SP Carlos Rodon will see innings as a starter this spring.

Tigers | Alex Avila has sore back
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:35:38 -0800

Detroit Tigers C Alex Avila (back) is dealing with a sore back and didn't participate in workouts Friday, Feb. 27, according to manager Brad Ausmus. Avila is day-to-day.

Angels | Josh Hamilton out at least 25 games
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 06:51:18 -0800

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim OF Josh Hamilton is likely to be suspended at least 25 games for breaching the league's drug policy. However, the league is unlikely to suspend him for a full season.

Blue Jays | Johan Santana signs
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 04:28:00 -0800

Free-agent SP Johan Santana (Mets) signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

Red Sox | BOS has no urgency on Cole Hamels
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 04:22:26 -0800

Philadelphia Phillies SP Cole Hamels has had trade talks cool with the Boston Red Sox, who feel no urgency to deal the pitcher. The Red Sox do not want to part with either OF Mookie Betts or C Blake Swihart in any deal and the Phillies are interested in those players.

Indians | Nick Swisher swinging the bat well
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:23:07 -0800

Cleveland Indians 1B Nick Swisher (knees) is swinging the bat "really well," according to manager Terry Francona, and he could be ready for games by mid-March.

Blue Jays | Toronto left field job wide open
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:14:36 -0800

Toronto Blue Jays OFs Ezequiel Carrera, Chris Dickerson and Andy Dirks (back), 1B Chris Colabello and 3B Danny Valencia are expected to compete for the vacant left field job during spring training. Driks will continue to rehab a back injury and is not expected to resume baseball activity for the next seven to 10 days, according to general manager Alex Anthopoulos, and manager John Gibbons does not expect Dirks to be able to adequately compete for the position due to his injury.

Athletics | Sean Doolittle talks recovery
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:46:58 -0800

Oakland Athletics RP Sean Doolittle (shoulder) expects to be a "thorn in the side" of the trainers during his recovery. "I told them, 'Whatever you throw up on that whiteboard, I'm going to crush it today. Then after I'm done, tell me what I have tomorrow.' I kind of like it that way. I keep my blinders on and focus on what I have to do."

Athletics | Rest days will be key for Ben Zobrist
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:33:37 -0800

Oakland Athletics 2B Ben Zobrist is expected to play primarily at second base this season. Manager Bob Melvin has discussed finding rest days for the versatile defender as the biggest challenge concerning Zobrist, because of the temptation for Melvin to plug Zobrist in at third base or the outfield to allow other starters a day off.

Mariners | James Paxton progressing
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:54:42 -0800

Seattle Mariners SP James Paxton (forearm) is "progressing fine" from a bruised left forearm, according to manager Lloyd McClendon.

Angels | Matt Joyce set to remove platoon label?
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:41:39 -0800

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim OF Matt Joyce will work extensively against left-handed pitching during spring training, according to hitting coach Don Baylor. Joyce is expected to receive ample at-bats against lefties in games but will also be scheduled for extra work in the cage and against the breaking-ball machine. "I don't want him looking over his shoulder every time a lefty comes in, thinking he's going to get pinch-hit for," Baylor said. "I'm trying to get him out of that mentality. He's on a new ballclub now."

Twins | Joe Mauer won't bat lower than third
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:03:18 -0800

Minnesota Twins 1B Joe Mauer will not bat lower than third in the order, according to manager Paul Molitor.

Orioles | Manny Machado looking good
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:40:37 -0800

Baltimore Orioles 3B Manny Machado (knee) continues to be a full-go in spring workouts, and he's taking part in all infield drills. "He looks good," manager Buck Showalter said. "His face is good. You get to the point where he almost looks bored. It's kind of where he is. It's not step, 'is that going to hurt?' Step, 'is that going to hurt.' So far so good."

Orioles | Matt Wieters looking comfortable
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:37:47 -0800

Baltimore Orioles C Matt Wieters (elbow) looked very comfortable during fielding drills again Thursday, Feb. 26, according to manager Buck Showalter. Wieters isn't slated to catch in an exhibition game until March 17, but he'll receive plenty of work before then. It's unknown if he'll be ready to catch on opening day.

Angels | Garrett Richards throws off mound
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:20:22 -0800

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim SP Garrett Richards (knee) threw 50 pitches, including offspeed pitches, from the stretch and windup Thursday, Feb. 26, which marked a big step for him. He will repeat the process Sunday, March 1.

Blue Jays | Jonathan Papelbon interested in TOR
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:14:16 -0800

Philadelphia Phillies RP Jonathan Papelbon said the idea of being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays interests him even more than pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers would have. Papelbon has a vesting $13 million option for the 2016 season, and he wouldn't say if he'd require the option to be guaranteed in order to accept a deal to Toronto.

Angels | Retirement an option for Josh Hamilton?
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:38:16 -0800

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim OF Josh Hamilton may need to retire from baseball. Roy Silver, one of Hamilton's closest friends and mentor in Hamilton's struggles with addiction, said the best thing for Hamilton is to retire from the sport. Silver last spoke with Hamilton in December, and his friend feared that something wasn't right and that Hamilton may have suffered a relapse.

Athletics | Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir to be eased in
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:55:25 -0800

Oakland Athletics SPs Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir will be held out of Cactus League games for the first week. Gray made a career-high 33 starts in 2014 and tossed 219 innings, while Kazmir made 32 starts and threw 190 innings, his most since 2007. It'll also allow the A's to get better looks at SPs Jesse Hahn and Kendall Graveman, among others.

Angels | Josh Hamilton had relapse
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:20:08 -0800

Updating previous reports, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim OF Josh Hamilton suffered a cocaine and alcohol relapse, and he met with MLB officials Wednesday, Feb. 25, about a disciplinary issue, according to a source. Hamilton told the league about his relapse, and Hamilton's father-in-law said Hamilton "hit a bump in the road, keep him in your prayers." Hamilton is facing a possible suspension. He had surgery earlier this month and wasn't slated to return until May. According to the agreement he made during his minor league suspension from 2003 to 2005, his drug violations can be taken into account in any discipline he might receive from the league.

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