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2018 MLB Spring Training Look At All Teams-Trades-Rumours-Injuries ETC. !

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  • #31
    Wheel see: Diamondbacks set to bring back bullpen buggy
    March 6, 2018

    The bullpen cart is back in the big leagues.

    Nearly a quarter-century since relievers stopped catching rides to the mound, the Arizona Diamondbacks said Tuesday they will use a buggy - topped by the requisite oversized team cap - to transport pitchers from both bullpens at Chase Field.

    ''I don't know how it will be getting driven in, but I think it's a cool idea and we'll have some fun with it,'' Diamondbacks closer candidate Archie Bradley said.

    With Major League Baseball looking for ways to speed up things, it's hard to tell whether this will save any time. But it's certain to be a hit with fans, especially the kids the game is trying to attract.

    ''I love it. I love it. I love,'' Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. ''It brings a little personality. We're probably the only sport that can do something like that.''

    The last known time a team in the majors used a motorized vehicle - some clubs had actual cars - to relay relievers was 1995, when the Milwaukee Brewers shuttled them in a motorcycle with a sidecar.

    Baseball historians have tracked the use of bullpen carts to 1950, when the Indians first used a ''little red wagon.'' The first official use came in 1951 with the Chicago White Sox.

    The Kansas City Athletics added one in 1955, and by the 1960s, the carts could be found across the majors and minors.


    Yu Darvish struck out four over two hitless innings in his first game with the Cubs. Albert Almora Jr. hit his first home run of the spring and Javier Baez doubled, singled and drove in two runs. Logan Forsythe and Matt Kemp each doubled for Los Angeles.


    Jason Kipnis hit his sixth home run and is batting .529 this spring for Cleveland. Francisco Lindor homered and drove in three runs. Carlos Carrasco made is second appearance and first start of the spring, working two innings, striking out four and giving up a home run to Scooter Gennett.


    Joe Mauer drove in three runs with two hits. in four at-bats. Hunter Harvey, a 2013 first-round draft pick and son of former major league pitcher Bryan Harvey, worked two innings in his second start for Baltimore.

    RED SOX 9, RAYS 1

    Rafael Devers hit his second home run for Boston and Xander Bogaerts also connected. Tampa Bay starter Chih-Wei Hu gave up three runs on four hits in two innings.


    Charlie Morton struck out six in three scoreless innings and Marwin Gonzalez homered for Houston. A.J. Cole worked three innings in his second start, striking out four but giving up three runs on five hits.


    Giancarlo Stanton doubled and Billy McKinney hit his third homer for New York. Detroit newcomer Francisco Liriano started his first game of the spring and struck out three in two innings.


    St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty struck out seven and Yadier Molina doubled. Miami prospect Lewis Brinson, acquired in the Christian Yelich trade and looking to secure a roster spot, hit a two-run homer.


    Sean Newcomb worked three innings in the start for Atlanta and gave up one hit, a home run by Teoscar Hernandez. Toronto starter Joe Biagini worked 3 1/3 innings, striking out five but giving up three runs on four hits.

    METS (SS) 9, ASTROS (SS) 5

    Phillip Evans hit a game-ending grand slam and Yoenis Cespedes also homered for the Mets. New York starter Jason Vargas went 2 2/3 innings and gave up four hits and two runs, striking out three. Kyle Tucker hit his fourth home run for Houston.


    Reynaldo Lopez worked three innings in his second start for Chicago, walking three and striking out three. Milwaukee starter Wade Miley worked 3 2/3 innings, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out four. Travis Shaw hit two home runs. for the Brewers.


    Texas starter Bartolo Colon gave up no earned runs in 2 2/3 innings, working around five hits and a walk. Sean Manaea went two innings in his first spring start for Oakland, striking out three and giving up just one hit.


    Arizona reliever Neftali Feliz went one inning and allowed an earned run on three hits. Los Angeles DH Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 2 with a walk and is batting .111.


    • #32
      B]Wednesday’s 6-pack[/B]

      Over/under wagers for home runs this season:

      31.5 Gary Sanchez

      30.5 Kyle Schwarber

      28.5 Marcell Ozuna

      28.5 Charlie Blackmon

      27.5 Joey Votto

      26.5 Jake Lamb

      Quote of the Day

      “No and I’ll tell you why. Because at 11:30 at night, when I’ve had my 10th drink, I’m liable to say something that will cost me my job.”
      Bill Raftery, on why he doesn’t have a Twitter account

      Wednesday’s quiz

      Which major league team has spring training in Clearwater, FL?

      Tuesday’s quiz

      Last WCC team other than Gonzaga or St Mary’s to win the WCC tournament was San Diego, in 2008.

      Monday’s quiz
      Vanderbilt University is located in Nashville.


      • #33
        DH Brandon Moss released by Oakland Athletics.
        March 6, 2018

        MESA, Ariz. (AP) Designated hitter Brandon Moss has been released by the Oakland Athletics.

        Moss was acquired from Kansas City on Jan. 29 and was 4 for 10 with two walks in four spring training games. He was designated for assignment when Oakland claimed left-hander Jairo Labourt off waivers from Cincinnati on Sunday.

        Moss is guaranteed $7.25 million this season and a $1 million buyout of his 2019 club option. He was acquired Kansas City on Jan. 29 along with left-hander Ryan Buchter for right-handers Jesse Hahn and Heath Fillmyer, and the Royals agreed to pay Oakland $3.25 million.

        If the 34-year-old Moss signs with another team, a prorated share of the $545,000 minimum would be offset against what he is owed by the A's, who announced his release Tuesday.

        Moss hit .207 with 22 homers and 50 RBIs in 118 games for Kansas City last year and has a .237 average with 160 homers and 473 RBIs in 11 big league seasons with Boston (2007-08), Pittsburgh (2008-10), Philadelphia (2011), Oakland (2012-14), Cleveland (2015), St. Louis (2015-16) and Kansas City (2017).


        Liriano goes 2 scoreless in Tigers debut
        March 6, 2018

        LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Detroit left-hander Francisco Liriano threw two scoreless innings against the New York Yankees in his first start with a new team.

        Liriano allowed one hit, walked two and struck out three in the Tigers' 7-2 loss Tuesday.

        Liriano worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first by striking out Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez. He induced a double-play grounder from Miguel Andujar to end the second.

        ''My main focus this year is to eliminate the walks and make something happen in three pitches or less,'' Liriano said. ''That's what I'm working on right now. I missed my spots a little bit in my first outing. Trying too hard to prove something in the first outing but I got the first one out of the way and hopefully I'll be better in the next one.''

        The Tigers agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract with Liriano on Feb. 23, giving the Tigers added pitching depth.

        The 34-year-old was 6-7 with a 4.62 ERA in 18 starts last season with Toronto and 20 relief appearances with World Series champion Houston, which acquired him at the July 31 trade deadline. He is 102-99 in a 12-year big league career.

        ''I'm just happy to be healthy and go out there and pitch and have fun,'' Liriano said.

        Liriano can earn $1 million in performance bonuses based on starts.

        ''Maybe a little less velocity, but his velocity is still good,'' Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''His changeup is phenomenal. He's going to throw pitches, we know that. He's going to fire inside and outside but he's got great stuff and that changeup is still dominating.''

        Also, Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, scratched from a start Sunday because of elbow discomfort, is scheduled to take mound Friday against the New York Mets.

        Travis Wood (torn ACL and meniscus) will have surgery Tuesday in Dallas.


        Jay agrees to $3M deal with Royals
        March 6, 2018

        SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) The Kansas City Royals have plugged a hole in center field by agreeing to sign Jon Jay.

        Jay agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract Tuesday, and could earn another $1.5 million in performance bonuses. Kansas City made room for Jay by placing pitcher Jesse Hahn on the 60-day disabled list with an elbow injury.

        With Lorenzo Cain leaving to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Royals lacked an experienced center fielder to cover the spacious Kauffman Stadium grass.

        Jay has a .996 career fielding percentage, the highest of any active major league outfielder with a minimum of 500 games. He has appeared in 648 games in center during his eight-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs.

        Jay did not commit an error in 141 chances last season and enters this season with a 189-game errorless streak.

        ''Without knowing him, the more homework I do on him, the more I like him,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''The more people I talk to, the more it's like, `Wow, this guy brings a lot to the table.' He'll play a lot.''

        He hit .296 in 141 games last season with the Cubs, including .325 (13 for 40) as a pinch-hitter. Jay, 32, also is a left-handed hitter, which is attractive to the Royals, who have a predominantly right-handed hitting lineup.

        ''Jay brings veteran leadership, a very consistent, solid bat,'' Yost said. ''Good defense in the outfield. He'll fit in. Plays all three outfield positions, DH, whatever. He's always been a productive bat and is an 80 makeup guy, which is the highest on the scale. A really good teammate, really productive.''

        Jay said it has been a ''very strange'' offseason on the free agent market.

        ''I'm happy to be here, excited to be here, happy to be in spring training,'' he said. ''There are a lot of pieces here. I'm here to do my part.''

        Hahn, who was acquired from Oakland in a trade for Brandon Moss, experienced elbow discomfort in his start Thursday. It has been diagnosed as a right ulnar collateral ligament sprain.

        The club is sending Hahn's medical reports to Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a second opinion. Hahn had Tommy John surgery in 2010.

        ''Hopefully we were able to catch something soon enough and take control of the situation and hopefully I end up good to go,'' Hahn said. ''We're just going to treat it right now and see how it responds. Test it dynamically, let it calm down and then get out there, start a throwing program and just take it from there, one step day by day.''

        Outfield prospect and former first-round draft pick Bubba Starling has also been shut down with an oblique issue. He was limited to 80 games last season with Triple-A Omaha because of an oblique strain.


        • #34
          New vibe surrounds Phillies in spring
          March 6, 2018

          CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) Loud music blares inside the clubhouse and several players gather to watch an intense battle during another round of the team's pingpong tournament.

          There's a different vibe surrounding the Philadelphia Phillies this spring.

          New manager Gabe Kapler has brought a new-school philosophy, a ton of energy and plenty of positivity to an organization that needed revitalization after five straight losing seasons.

          ''He's the man,'' shortstop J.P. Crawford said. ''He's the reason why this clubhouse is like this. He makes everyone feel comfortable and everyone wants to fight for him. He cares so much about us and that translates to us wanting to play for him and win for him and it's great to have a manager like that.''

          Kapler's only previous managerial experience came in 2007 when he took a season off from playing in the majors to lead Boston's Class A affiliate. He also coached Team Israel during the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifying period. But his progressive thinking was an attractive quality for Philadelphia general manager Matt Klentak.

          Kapler has a fondness for analytics - an area the Phillies sorely lacked until Klentak came along. He embraces sports science to the point he had players start workouts at 11 a.m. early in camp to give them an extra hour of sleep. The staff is logging reps of everything from swings to throws to squats to sprints to make sure players don't get overworked.

          ''We are going to focus on rest, recovery and our guys being the strongest versions of themselves,'' Kapler said. ''I don't think there's any value in getting to the ballpark when it's dark just to get to the ballpark when it's dark.''

          Kapler is a believer in using video and pictures. He can be seen taking it himself on any of the practice fields.

          ''I think images are very powerful, video is very powerful and sharing images of people doing great work is a great way to endorse them,'' he said.

          The 42-year old Kapler is a fitness freak who is challenging some of the older traditions. For example, he doesn't believe pitchers always have to run laps as if they're training for a marathon because they need to be explosive for one pitch at a time.

          ''The game is always evolving and changing,'' he said. ''Pitchers understand they don't always need to run super long distances to be explosive. Sprints are awesome and more interval training.

          ''We have to look at it scientifically and medically how do our bodies recover most effectively and then how does it affect us mentally and strike that healthy balance.''

          Players have welcomed all the changes. They've bought into Kapler's unconventional approach.

          ''He's an amazing guy,'' third baseman Maikel Franco said. ''The positivity he has is all over the place. He has good communication with us, good relationships. He makes you feel comfortable and makes you feel all you have to do is go out there and play baseball. When you have confidence and play the right way, everything is going to be fine.''

          Kapler's message is: ''Be Bold.'' Those words are printed on red T-shirts players are wearing around the ballpark.

          ''The thought process is create an environment where people feel they can be bold and comfortable,'' Kapler said. ''We can win. We're fighting for the NL East in September.''

          The Phillies won only 66 games last year but were 37-38 after the All-Star break and 17-13 in the final 30 games. They have a talented group of young players on the rise.

          The lineup could be dynamic with veteran first baseman Carlos Santana joining Crawford, slugger Rhys Hoskins, outfielders Nick Williams, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr, second baseman Cesar Hernandez, catcher Jorge Alfaro and Franco.

          ''We know we can win games,'' Herrera said.


          Nats send Romero home for violation
          March 6, 2018

          WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Seth Romero, a top pitching prospect selected by Washington with the 25th overall pick in last year's amateur draft, was sent home from spring training by the Nationals for violating curfew.

          Washington said the left-hander violated team policy but did not go into details. A person familiar with the situation said Romero's girlfriend was at spring training and he stayed out late. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no announcements were authorized.

          ''We don't discuss family politics or family issues, but he's part of this family,'' general manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday. ''Actions beget consequences. No player is bigger than the organization.''

          Romero was kicked off the team during his final season at the University of Houston. Coach Todd Whitting issued a statement attributing the decision to an unspecified event that followed what the coach said was previous conduct detrimental to the team.

          Before that, some had projected Romero as an early first-round pick. He signed with the Nationals for a $2.8 million bonus.

          Romero, who turns 22 on April 19, had been training on the minor league side of Nationals camp. Rizzo didn't offer a timeframe for Romero's return.

          ''Hopefully when he gets back here he'll be better for it,'' Rizzo said.

          Romero pitched in one game for the Nationals' rookie league team and six for Class A Auburn last season, going 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 22 innings.

          He was 4-5 with a 3.51 ERA as a junior at the University of Houston before being tossed off the team in May. Romero throws a fastball that can reach 95 mph, a slider and a changeup.

          ''This isn't the first time we've sent a player home and it won't be the last,'' Rizzo said.


          Mancini wants to prove 2017 wasn't fluke
          March 6, 2018

          SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn't believe that left fielder Trey Mancini is going to have a difficult time in his second full season in the major leagues.

          ''People threw the kitchen sink at him last year,'' Showalter said. ''It wasn't like, `this year, we're going to throw him something different.' They tried everything.''

          Mancini had an impressive rookie season. He hit .293 with 24 home runs and 78 RBIs, and made a successful conversion from first base to the outfield, which he had never played professionally.

          The 25-year-old finished third in voting for American League Rookie of the Year, and feels he has a lot to prove.

          ''Every spring training I've gone in with the mindset that I'm fighting for a job and I'm not going to change that, no matter what the circumstances,'' Mancini said. ''I'm kind of like a creature of habit in that regard, so I'm always going to go in trying to compete for a spot.''

          Mancini doesn't have to compete for a spot, but it's that attitude and maturity that's impressed Showalter about him. After all, there aren't many players in the majors who have degrees in political science from Notre Dame.

          He soaked up advice from veterans last year, and will encourage young players to seek him out.

          ''They know that they can come to me if they need anything, need advice,'' Mancini said.

          Mancini has a huge fan in Showalter, who watches carefully to make sure players don't get spoiled or complacent.

          ''It's fun to watch him hit,'' Showalter said. ''This guy has come in here like he's trying to make the club. He's always trying to improve. He's fun to watch. I don't think he's ever going to get comfortable with success. He's a driven guy.''

          Before last season, Mancini worked with Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson in Southern California. It was a crash course of playing the outfield, and the two worked on it again before this

          ''The first year was basic and just kind of lay of the land out there,'' Mancini said. ''Now, it's a little more getting good jumps and focusing on things like that, which is something I wanted to improve on, so it's a little more technical, I guess now this year.''

          Mancini is one of the younger players in Baltimore's clubhouse, but he knows the team has many accomplished veterans. He's hoping to become one of them.

          ''You look around this locker room and there's a lot of talent around, so there's a lot of depth, a lot of experience, a lot of playoff experience, too,'' Mancini said. ''I feel really good about the guys we've brought in and it's a good feeling, for sure.''

          NOTES: Mancini played first base for the first time this spring with Chris Davis out with a sore right elbow. Davis had an MRI on the elbow Saturday and was forecasted to be out three-to-five days. . The Orioles optioned RHPs Stefan Crichton, Michael Kelly and Yefry Ramirez to Triple-A Norfolk and assigned OF Jaycob Brugman and LHP Andrew Faulkner to minor league camp. They have 55 players on the spring training roster.


          • #35
            March MLB Record: ( Opinions Only )

            DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

            03/06/2018 7-4-1 63.64% +14.25
            03/05/2018 4-8-1 33.33% -21.80
            03/04/2018 7-10-0 41.18% -20.90
            03/03/2018 7-8-0 46.67% -7.85
            03/02/2018 13-5-0 72.22% +40.50
            03/01/2018 9-8-2 52.94% -1.45


            • #36
              WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7
              GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

              BAL at TB 01:05 PM
              BAL +130

              NYY at NYM 01:10 PM
              O 8.5

              SD at SF 03:05 PM
              SD +120

              CIN at CHW 03:05 PM
              CHW -132

              MIL at KC 03:05 PM
              MIL +110

              LAD at LAA 03:10 PM
              LAA +115
              O 9.5

              TEX at COL 03:10 PM
              COL -132

              CHC at CLE 08:05 PM
              CLE -132

              OAK at SEA 08:40 PM
              O 9.5


              • #37
                Ichiro rejoins Mariners at 44, says Seattle is home team
                March 7, 2018

                Now that Ichiro Suzuki is back with the Seattle Mariners, he hopes to stick around a while.

                ''I think everybody hears that I want to play until I'm 50,'' he said through a translator. ''But I want to make sure everybody understands that I always say at least 50.''

                The 44-year-old outfielder rejoined his former team Wednesday with a $750,000, one-year contract.

                ''Even in the offseason when I would go back to Japan, I always came back to Seattle. This was my home ... has always been my home,'' he said. ''Somewhere deep inside, I wanted to return and wear this uniform again.''

                Suzuki was the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year with Seattle in 2001. He was traded to the New York Yankees during the 2012 season and spent three years in Miami.

                Suzuki has a .312 career average and 3,080 hits, not including the 1,278 hits he totaled in Japan. He played 136 games last year for the Marlins and hit .255 with a .318 on-base percentage.

                Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said discussions about Suzuki's return intensified about a week ago, when the club's outfield injury situation became a greater concern.

                ''It did not take very long to put a deal together that brought Ichiro back home,'' Dipoto said.

                TWINS 8, RED SOX (SS) 1

                J.D. Martinez went 0 for 2 in his Boston debut, hitting a pair of flyballs. Martinez, who signed with the Red Sox in late February, batted cleanup and played left field. Jake Odorizzi gave up a run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings in his second start for Minnesota. Twins newcomer Logan Morrison got two hits and Miguel Sano doubled.

                PHILLIES 2, RED SOX (SS) 1

                Philadelphia opening day starter Aaron Nola gave up just one hit in four strong innings, striking out five. Drew Hutchison, who signed a minor league deal in February, worked three solid innings for the Phillies, giving up a run on two hits while striking out four. Newcomer Carlos Santana got a hit and is batting .211.

                MARLINS 7, ASTROS 6

                Gerrit Cole worked 3 2/3 innings in his third start for Houston, striking out four and allowing four hits. Jose Altuve homered and George Springer got a hit and is batting .368 this spring. Lewis Brinson, acquired from Milwaukee in the Christian Yelich trade, continued to make a strong case for a major league roster spot by getting two hits, including his fifth double of the spring.

                YANKEES 11, METS 4

                Mets starter Zack Wheeler scattered four hits and fanned four in three scoreless innings. Travis d'Arnaud homered for the first time this spring.

                Brett Gardner got two hits and well-traveled Billy McKinney, who has been part of trades for both Jeff Samardzija and Aroldis Chapman, hit a grand slam for his fourth homer for the Yankees.

                CARDINALS 4, NATIONALS 3

                Adam Wainwright worked 3 2/3 innings in his second start of the spring for St. Louis. Cardinals closer Luke Gregerson is expected to be sidelined for at least a couple of days with tightness in his oblique. Washington starter Max Scherzer struck out four and gave up a home run to Greg Garcia.

                ORIOLES 7, RAYS 2

                Jose Mesa, the 24-year-old son of the former major league reliever of the same name, gave up a run on two hits in two innings for Baltimore. Danny Valencia drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, raising his spring batting average to .411 for the Orioles. Tampa Bay lefty Blake Snell allowed two hits over three innings.

                BLUE JAYS (SS) 6, TIGERS 5

                Victor Martinez hit his third home run of the spring for Detroit. Dalton Pompey had two hits and a steal for Toronto.

                BLUE JAYS (SS) 13, PIRATES 4

                Russell Martin, playing third base, and Curtis Granderson each hit their third home runs for Toronto. J.A. Happ gave up two hits and two walks in his three-inning start. Josh Bell homered for Pittsburgh.

                DODGERS 4, ANGELS 2

                Clayton Kershaw pitched three shutout innings and Logan Forsythe homered and doubled for the Dodgers. Angels starter Clayton Richard struck out seven in four innings, allowing two hits and an earned run.

                WHITE SOX 14, REDS 12

                Yoan Moncada had three hits and scored twice for Chicago. Starter Miguel Gonzalez got just two outs, giving up five runs on four hits and two walks. Reds starter Homer Bailey was tagged for six runs and seven hits in three innings. Scott Schebler got four hits.

                PADRES 4, GIANTS 4, 10 INNINGS

                San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner threw 48 pitches over 3 1/3 innings, giving up two runs and striking out six. Evan Longoria doubled and Brandon Belt had two hits for the Giants. San Diego starter Tyson Ross gave up two runs in three innings.

                ROCKIES 5, RANGERS 4

                New Colorado closer Wade Davis gave up a two-run homer to Drew Robinson. Charlie Blackmon hit his second homer of the spring for the Rockies. Texas slugger Joey Gallo hit his second homer of the spring as he settles in at first base.

                BREWERS 10, ROYALS 6

                Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra allowed one earned run in four innings. Ramon Torres had three hits for Kansas City.

                CUBS 11, INDIANS 6

                Slimmed-down Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber hit his first home run of the spring after Chicago had already gotten to Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer for eight runs. Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr. and Tommy La Stella each had two hits for Chicago. Cleveland first baseman Yonder Alonso hit his second homer of the spring after signing with Cleveland as a free agent.

                ATHLETICS 7, MARINERS 3

                Robinson Cano hit his first home run of the spring for Seattle, but the Mariners were undone by a trio of Oakland homers as Sheldon Neuse, Jake Smolinski and Chad Pinder each went deep for the A's during a five-run sixth inning. Seattle starter Marco Gonzalez pitched four scoreless innings and has yet to allow a run over nine innings this spring.


                • #38
                  March MLB Record: ( Opinions Only )

                  DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

                  03/07/2018 6-3-1 66.67% +14.90
                  03/06/2018 7-4-1 63.64% +14.25
                  03/05/2018 4-8-1 33.33% -21.80
                  03/04/2018 7-10-0 41.18% -20.90
                  03/03/2018 7-8-0 46.67% -7.85
                  03/02/2018 13-5-0 72.22% +40.50
                  03/01/2018 9-8-2 52.94% -1.45


                  • #39
                    Guerrero Jr has 4 hits in Blue Jays' spring training debut
                    March 8, 2018

                    SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had four singles in his spring training debut for the Toronto Blue Jays, a 9-3 win at the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.

                    The 18-year-old third baseman, whose father Vladimir will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, signed with Toronto in July 2015 for a $3.9 million bonus.

                    He was the designated hitter and had hits in the second inning off Nestor Cortes Jr., in the sixth and seventh against Tim Melville and in the ninth versus Asher Wojciechowski. He also flied out in the fourth against Darren O'Day. He hit .323 with 13 homers and 76 RBIs at a pair of Class A teams last year with a .910 OPS.

                    ''Good looking hitter,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ''He looks like he has fun playing.''

                    Bo Bichette, a son of former major leaguer Dante Bichette, had two hits and drove in two runs for Toronto. The Blue Jays' Anthony Alford had two doubles and his second triple. Aaron Sanchez allowed one run in three innings and struck out five.


                    NATIONALS 8, METS 5

                    Noah Syndergaard struck out his last seven batters, allowing two hits over 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his third start for New York. He struck out the side in consecutive innings, including Trea Turner, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon in the third. Stephen Strasburg gave up two runs, three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings, striking out five. Turner doubled in a run, Harper had an RBI single and Matt Adams hit a two-run home run in a four-run fifth against Jeurys Familia. Brandon Nimmo had three hits leading off for the Mets, including a triple and a double.

                    PHILLIES 7, YANKEES 6

                    Luis Severino allowed an unearned run over 3 1/3 innings in his first start, Didi Gregorius hit a two-run homer and Giancarlo Stanton had a two-run single. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman struck out two in the fourth. Aaron Altherr doubled in a run for Philadelphia.

                    CARDINALS 5, MARLINS 4

                    St. Louis ace Carlos Martinez made his second start, allowing one run and five hits in four innings while striking out four. Miami No. 2 starter Jose Urena made his second start, giving up one run and two hits in three innings. Derek Dietrich had two hits and an RBI for the Marlins. Yadier Molina doubled in a run for the Cardinals.

                    RAYS 6, RED SOX 6

                    Boston's J.D. Martinez had three hits, including an RBI double, while Xander Bogaerts added two hits and also had a run-scoring double. Adeiny Hechavarria singled twice and drove in a run for the Rays. Tampa Bay ace Chris Archer allowed two runs and five hits in three innings.

                    PIRATES 8, TIGERS 3

                    Jordan Zimmermann gave up three runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings, striking out five. David Freese hit his first home run, a two-run drive off Zimmermann. Francisco Cervelli had two hits for the Pirates.

                    ASTROS 6, BRAVES 4

                    Scott Kazmir made his third start for the Braves, giving up two runs and four hits in three innings. Ender Inciarte had two hits and walked leading off for Atlanta, while Dansby Swanson went 0 for 2, dropping his average to .182.

                    CUBS 10, PADRES 4

                    Ben Zobrist had his first hit after a late spring training start and scored a run for Chicago. Ian Happ, batting .429, had an RBI triple and scored. Addison Russell had two hits and two RBIs, Javier Baez added a two-run double and Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward both drove in runs for the Cubs. Tyler Chatwood, hoping to earn the fifth spot in Chicago's rotation, allowed one run, two hits and two walks in three innings. Freddy Galvis hit his first home run for San Diego.

                    RANGERS 5, WHITE SOX (SS) 4

                    Chicago ace James Shields allowed one run and three hits over four innings in his spring training debut. Texas ace Cole Hamels gave up one run and four hits over 3 2/3 innings in his second start. White Sox prospect Ryan Cordell batted third and had a pair of doubles and drove in two runs, raising his average to .389. Yolmer Sanchez tripled twice off Hamels.

                    ROYALS 12, WHITE SOX (SS) 0

                    Whit Merrifield tripled and doubled, driving in two runs for Kansas City, while Jorge Soler hit his fourth home run, a solo shot. Royals ace Danny Duffy gave up two hits in three scoreless innings. Chicago pitching prospect Michael Kopech was tagged for five runs, four hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings.

                    DIAMONDBACKS 11, BREWERS 6

                    Manny Pina hit his first two home runs and had three hits and four RBIs for Milwaukee. Steven Souza Jr. had his first two hits and drove in three runs for the Diamondbacks. Jake Lamb and Souza had back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning. Lorenzo Cain had two hits, including his third double, raising his average to .409.

                    ATHLETICS 7, ANGELS 3

                    Oakland ace Kendall Graveman allowed three hits, three hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings, leaving his ERA at 12.00. Khris Davis had a two-run triple. Mike Trout, batting just .071, walked and scored a run for Los Angeles. Justin Upton, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun all drove in runs for the Angels.

                    ROCKIES 3, REDS 2

                    Billy Hamilton was hitless in two at-bats and is 0 for 16. Kyle Freeland, hoping to earn a rotation slot, allowed one run, three hits and two walks in three innings. Rockies prospect Sam Hilliard had two hits, including a game-ending single. Reds starter Luis Castillo yielded two runs, five hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.


                    • #40
                      AP source: Moustakas, Royals agree to $6.5M, 1-year contract
                      March 8, 2018

                      Mike Moustakas is staying with the Kansas City Royals in a surprising turn dictated by a historically slow free-agent market.

                      Kansas City agreed Thursday to a one-year contract that guarantees the third baseman $6.5 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

                      The deal could be worth up to $22.7 million over two seasons, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.

                      Moustakas gets a $5.5 million salary this year and has the chance to earn $2.2 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. The agreement, reached exactly three weeks before opening day, includes a $15 million mutual option for 2019 with a $1 million buyout.

                      The 29-year-old infielder turned down a $17.4 million, one-year qualifying offer from the Royals in November. But he found the interest of many other teams dimmed because a deal would have required compensation such as a loss of draft picks and/or international signing bonus allotment.

                      Moustakas would make $200,000 each for 225, 250, 275, 300, 325 and 350 plate appearances, and $250,000 apiece for 375, 400, 425 and 450. If he earns those bonuses and the option is declined, the total value of the deal would match the $8.7 million he earned in 2017.

                      His agreement was first reported by Yahoo.

                      The 29-year-old could not be given a qualifying offer again after this season. One of the changes in the collective-bargaining agreement reached in November 2016 is a provision preventing a player from being given more than one qualifying offer in his career.

                      Among the players who in 2015 led the Royals to their first World Series title in 30 years, Moustakas will find a changed clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium. First baseman Eric Hosmer left as a free agent for a $144 million, seven-year contract with San Diego, and center fielder Lorenzo Cain departed for an $80 million, five-year deal with Milwaukee.

                      But a languid market that left dozens of free agents unsigned when spring training began last month allowed the Royals to reach an agreement with Moustakas and keep shortstop Alcides Escobar for a $2.5 million, one-year contract. Kansas City added first baseman Lucas Duda for $3.5 million and outfielder Jon Jay for $3 million. Jay will compete for playing time with Jorge Bonifacio, Paulo Orlando and Jorge Soler in the outfield.

                      Cheslor Cuthbert had been expected to get the majority of playing time at third base, and Ramon Torres has also played the position. But in Moustakas, the Royals were able to keep a left-handed power bat in the lineup, not to mention a veteran who helped to establish the current clubhouse culture.

                      Moustakas was an All-Star for the second time last season, when he hit .272 and set a Royals season record with 38 homers. He also drove in 85 runs in what was by far the most productive season of his career.

                      Ultimately, his track record - he's a career .251 hitter and had never hit more than 22 homers before - and some injuries that have sidelined him over the years may have kept clubs reticent from making big-money long-term offers.


                      At 34, Braves' Kazmir compensating for diminished fastball
                      March 8, 2018

                      KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Scott Kazmir hopes that if his second major league comeback is slowed by an injury, it would be an arm ailment.

                      ''It's not good to go through pains in other parts of your body,'' Kazmir said Thursday after his third spring training start for the Atlanta Braves. ''You tend to compensate and you get into bad habits.''

                      The 34-year-old Atlanta left-hander reached 89 mph Thursday, when he allowed two runs and four hits in three innings of a 6-4 loss to Houston.

                      ''It's crazy to even say it, but from experience it seems like you'd almost want it to be your arm that goes down,'' Kazmir said. ''You're probably going to shut it down when there's something wrong with your arm, as opposed to some little thing you've got going on somewhere else. You figure `I'll compensate, I'll figure something out.' But it doesn't always work out that way.''

                      Kazmir is in the final season of a $48 million, three-year contract he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His left hip started to bother him in September 2016, and his only games last year were four appearances at Class A during an injury rehabilitation assignment. The Braves acquired him in a December trade that sent Matt Kemp to the Dodgers.

                      Kazmir hopes to earn a spot in a young rotation projected to include Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Brandon McCarthy, Sean Newcomb and Luiz Gohara - who has yet to pitch because of a groin injury.

                      At this stage of his career, Kazmir does not have the velocity that helped him lead the AL in strikeouts in 2007 and earn the start for Tampa Bay in the 2008 World Series opener.

                      ''There have been glimpses of it that were a little more than I actually expected,'' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. ''He's gone through everything that was drawn up for him to do up to this point, so that's a good thing.''

                      As recently as 2016, Kazmir's fastball averaged 92 mph.

                      ''It just doesn't come overnight apparently,'' he said. ''It definitely feels like there's a lot more in the tank. It's not like I'm trying to force something through a certain pain or restriction. Historically in spring training I really don't throw hard at all, especially the first couple out there.''

                      He thought his cutter was flat Thursday, and he allowed a home run to Derek Fisher.

                      ''You definitely have to find a way to compensate and get the job done,'' Kazmir said. ''I know the velo is going to be there once I'm synched up.''


                      Nunez likely to start Red Sox opener at 2B as Pedroia heals
                      March 8, 2018

                      FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Eduardo Nunez is likely to be the opening-day second baseman for the Boston Red Sox while Dustin Pedroia recovers from offseason knee surgery.

                      ''He's a guy that he can play a lot of positions, but we know the situation we're in and we know where Dustin is,'' manager Alex Cora said Thursday. ''It looks that way.''

                      Nunez would be the first player other than Pedroia to start a Boston opener at second since Mark Loretta in 2006. Pedroia made his major league debut Aug. 22 that year.

                      Pedroia had left knee surgery on Oct. 25 in which Dr. Riley Williams III restored cartilage, and the Red Sox said then he was expected to miss more than the first month of the season.

                      The 30-year-old Nunez was an All-Star with San Francisco in 2016 and was acquired by the Red Sox last July 26 for a pair of minor leaguers. He hit .321 with eight homers, 23 runs and 27 RBIs in 38 games for Boston but was slowed when he bruised his right knee on Sept. 9.

                      His only regular season appearance after that was on Sept. 25, when he aggravated the injury and was removed in the third inning. He started the Division Series opener against Houston but re-injured the knee while running out a ground ball. He also was on the disabled list from June 20-July 13 with a right hamstring strain.

                      A veteran of eight major league seasons that also included time with the New York Yankees and Minnesota, Nunez became a free agent after the World Series and stayed with the Red Sox for a deal that pays him $4 million this year and includes a $4 million player option in 2019.

                      Nunez made his exhibition season debut Thursday, going 0 for 2 against Tampa Bay and playing four innings of defense. He is expected to play second base Saturday against the Twins and be the designated hitter Sunday against Baltimore.

                      ''He's a full go now,'' Cora said.


                      • #41
                        Right shoulder tendinitis could limit Cardinals' Carpenter
                        March 8, 2018

                        JUPITER, Fla. (AP) Right shoulder tendinitis could limit the versatility this year of the St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter.

                        He has not played in any exhibition games because of back tightness.

                        ''The shoulder is always something we're concerned about,'' manager Mike Matheny said Thursday. ''That probably hasn't been talked about much during all of this.''

                        Carpenter mainly played first base last season but had started prior seasons as the primary third or second baseman. During the offseason the Cardinals discussed the possibility of moving Carpenter around the diamond defensively.

                        Carpenter's primary position in 2018 always figured to be first base, but he could also spell Jedd Gyorko at third base and Kolton Wong at second.

                        ''Trying to get his back right, he's also been trying to get his shoulder into a really good place,'' Matheny said. ''We'll see how that looks once he gets out here.''

                        Carpenter began hitting off a tee Wednesday and fielded ground balls Thursday.

                        ''We'll get a better read on his shoulder,'' Matheny said. ''There might be something that would push him more toward first base than third.''

                        A three-time All-Star, Carpenter has a .277 career average with 97 home runs. He hit a career-low .241 last season after a back injury caused him to skip the World Baseball Classic but had 23 homers and 96 RBIs. He played 120 games at first base, 16 at third and 13 at second.

                        Using Carpenter to spell Gyorko or Wong would afford St. Louis the opportunity to give r first baseman Jose Martinez extra at-bats. Martinez hit .309 with 14 homers and 46 RBI in 307 plate appearances last season.

                        A candidate to make the opening day roster should Carpenter's back issues force a DL stint, Luke Voit played first against Miami and was hitless in three at-bats.


                        Right shoulder tendinitis could limit Cardinals' Carpenter
                        March 8, 2018

                        JUPITER, Fla. (AP) Right shoulder tendinitis could limit the versatility this year of the St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter.

                        He has not played in any exhibition games because of back tightness.

                        ''The shoulder is always something we're concerned about,'' manager Mike Matheny said Thursday. ''That probably hasn't been talked about much during all of this.''

                        Carpenter mainly played first base last season but had started prior seasons as the primary third or second baseman. During the offseason the Cardinals discussed the possibility of moving Carpenter around the diamond defensively.

                        Carpenter's primary position in 2018 always figured to be first base, but he could also spell Jedd Gyorko at third base and Kolton Wong at second.

                        ''Trying to get his back right, he's also been trying to get his shoulder into a really good place,'' Matheny said. ''We'll see how that looks once he gets out here.''

                        Carpenter began hitting off a tee Wednesday and fielded ground balls Thursday.

                        ''We'll get a better read on his shoulder,'' Matheny said. ''There might be something that would push him more toward first base than third.''

                        A three-time All-Star, Carpenter has a .277 career average with 97 home runs. He hit a career-low .241 last season after a back injury caused him to skip the World Baseball Classic but had 23 homers and 96 RBIs. He played 120 games at first base, 16 at third and 13 at second.

                        Using Carpenter to spell Gyorko or Wong would afford St. Louis the opportunity to give r first baseman Jose Martinez extra at-bats. Martinez hit .309 with 14 homers and 46 RBI in 307 plate appearances last season.

                        A candidate to make the opening day roster should Carpenter's back issues force a DL stint, Luke Voit played first against Miami and was hitless in three at-bats.


                        Correa, Bregman have contracts renewed by Astros
                        March 8, 2018

                        WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) The Houston Astros have renewed the contract of shortstop Carlos Correa for the second straight year and also renewed third baseman Alex Bregman.

                        Correa was given a $1 million salary while in the major leagues by the World Series champions. In the unlikely event he is sent to the minors, his salary would drop to $267,500.

                        Correa earned the $535,000 major league minimum last year, when he was a first-time All-Star and hit .315 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs in 109 games. His salary in the minors would have been $258,350.

                        Bregman was renewed at $599,000 in the major leagues and $269,700 in the minors, up from $539,400/$97,063 last year. He hit .284 with 19 homers and 71 RBIs.

                        Houston has not yet announced the renewals.

                        Correa will be eligible for salary arbitration after next season and Bregman after the 2019 season.


                        • #42
                          March MLB Record: ( Opinions Only )

                          DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

                          03/07/2018 6-3-1 66.67% +14.90
                          03/07/2018 6-3-1 66.67% +14.90
                          03/06/2018 7-4-1 63.64% +14.25
                          03/05/2018 4-8-1 33.33% -21.80
                          03/04/2018 7-10-0 41.18% -20.90
                          03/03/2018 7-8-0 46.67% -7.85
                          03/02/2018 13-5-0 72.22% +40.50
                          03/01/2018 9-8-2 52.94% -1.45

                          ************************************************** ****

                          Friday’s 6-pack

                          — Pitt fired basketball coach Kevin Stallings after only two seasons.

                          — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is worth $112B; he is the richest guy in the world.

                          — Houston Rockets are 51-13, only 15-10 if either Harden or Paul sit out

                          — Aaron Judge hit .228 after the All-Star break LY; no more HR Derbies for him.

                          — Tampa Bay Rays will use a 4-man rotation early this season; when a 5th starter is needed, they’ll just have a bullpen game.

                          — Dodgers starting pitchers threw 100+ pitches only 24 times last year. Surprising.

                          Quote of the Day
                          “Kids kept on talking to our guys. You know, we pushed our guys away, man. It’s not right. You know, I’m really proud of our group because everybody’s been telling us, including some guys on FS1 last night, that with our attention to detail and not being ready to play, I thought our guys were ready.”
                          Xavier coach Chris Mack, about a brief ruckus after Xavier-St John’s game Thursday

                          Friday’s quiz
                          Last time the Mountain West basketball tournament wasn’t held in Las Vegas, where was it held?

                          Thursday’s quiz
                          Jimmy Carter is the US President who was once the governor of Georgia.

                          Wednesday’s quiz
                          Phillies have their spring training in Clearwater, FL.


                          • #43
                            FRIDAY, MARCH 9
                            GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

                            PIT at PHI 01:05 PM
                            PHI -147
                            U 9.5

                            NYM at DET 01:05 PM
                            DET -132

                            MIN at TB 01:05 PM
                            MIN -105

                            BOS at MIA 01:05 PM
                            BOS -147

                            BAL at TOR 01:07 PM
                            BAL +140

                            LAA at CHC 03:05 PM
                            LAA +120
                            O 10.5

                            OAK at MIL 03:05 PM
                            OAK +110
                            O 11.5

                            SEA at SF 03:05 PM
                            SF -132

                            CLE at COL 03:10 PM
                            CLE +105

                            CHW at SD 03:10 PM
                            CHW +100
                            O 11.5

                            NYY at ATL 06:05 PM
                            ATL +110

                            STL at HOU 06:05 PM
                            HOU -175

                            TEX at CIN 08:05 PM
                            TEX +105


                            • #44
                              Angels' Ohtani struggles in exhibition start
                              March 9, 2018

                              TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Los Angeles Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani allowed six runs while pitching three innings in an exhibition game against the Mexican League's Tijuana Toros on Friday.

                              The 23-year-old Ohtani struck out six and walked one.

                              Ohtani spent five seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters before signing with the Angels as an international free agent on Dec. 10. He is trying to become the first player in nearly 100 years to play regularly as a pitcher and hitter, but he has had mixed results so far this spring.

                              AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES

                              DODGERS 6, ROYALS (SS) 4

                              Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen was held out of what was supposed to be his first big league spring training game this year due to an injured upper right hamstring.

                              ''When he was getting ready today, his pregame stuff and kind of getting his legs loose, it tightened up on him,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ''We had the trainers look at him and it just made sense to just not throw him out there.''

                              Roberts said he expects Jansen will pitch in a minor league game on Monday, then hopefully work in his first big league spring game next Thursday against the Royals.

                              Kansas City's Whit Merrifield had two hits, including his second home run, and is batting .520. Kenta Maeda allowed one run and three hits in three innings for Los Angeles.

                              MARLINS 5, RED SOX 4

                              Boston ace Chris Sale struck out five in his spring training debut, allowing one run and two hits in four innings. Christian Vazquez had two hits and Sam Travis hit his third homer for Boston, a two-run drive.

                              Miami's Dan Straily gave up two runs and six hits in four innings.

                              BRAVES 3, YANKEES 1

                              Julio Teheran pitched four crisp innings for Atlanta. Teheran allowed two hits, struck out two and walked none.

                              Gary Sanchez homered for New York, and Sonny Gray pitched 3 2/3 innings of one-hit ball.

                              ASTROS 4, CARDINALS 2

                              Houston right-hander Justin Verlander struck out eight in five innings. He allowed one run on Paul DeJong's second-inning homer.

                              Miles Mikolas pitched four scoreless innings for St. Louis.

                              REDS 6, RANGERS 3

                              Eugenio Suarez homered twice and drove in three runs for the Reds. Tucker Barnhart also connected, and Anthony DeSclafani pitched three scoreless innings.

                              Texas right-hander Matt Bush allowed two runs and two hits in two innings. Luis Marte hit a two-run homer for the Rangers.

                              METS 4, TIGERS 4

                              New York's Steven Matz pitched four shutout innings after giving up 10 runs over 1 2/3 innings during his first two appearances. Kevin Plawecki and Wilmer Flores hit their first spring-training homers for the Mets.

                              Detroit ace Michael Fulmer, allowed by right elbow swelling, made his first start in 12 days and allowing one run and three hits in three innings.

                              PIRATES 5, PHILLIES 4

                              Jerad Eickhoff struggled in his third start for Philadelphia, giving up four runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings. Rhys Hoskins had two hits and two RBIs for the Phillies, and Odubel Herrera had two hits following a 1-for-17 start.

                              Adam Frazier had two hits for Pittsburgh, including a double, and Josh Bell added an RBI double.

                              TWINS 4, RAYS 3

                              Miguel Sano hit his first two home runs for the Twins, both solo shots, and Byron Buxton had two hits, scored a run and stole two bases. Jose Berrios gave up one run and three hits over four innings in his third start.

                              C.J. Cron drove in a run with his third double for Tampa Bay, while Denard Span singled in a run and stole a base.

                              BLUE JAYS 8, ORIOLES 5

                              Toronto's Marco Estrada allowed one run and four hits over four innings following a pair of scoreless outings. Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna pitched a scoreless seventh. Kendrys Morales had two hits, including his first home run, and two RBIs.

                              Caleb Joseph, in a battle for Baltimore's starting job at catcher, singled in a run and is batting .438.

                              GIANTS 10, MARINERS 7

                              Dee Gordon, Nelson Cruz and Dan Vogelbach connected for third-inning homers against San Francisco's Jeff Samardzija, and Gordon also homered against Sam Dyson leading off the fifth. Cruz, who had been 0 for 14, also singled and walked twice.

                              Samardzija allowed five runs and six hits in four innings. Buster Posey had three hits, including two doubles. Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer off Seattle's James Paxton, who allowed four runs and five hits in three innings. Pablo Sandoval had three hits and two RBIs.

                              INDIANS 8, ROCKIES 5

                              Cleveland ace Corey Kluber struck out seven in 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run and two hits. Colorado's Jon Gray gave six runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings.

                              Indians prospect Francisco Mejia hit a three-run homer and Yan Gomes added a two-run drive off Gray. Jason Kipnis, who has six homers, singled and doubled.

                              CUBS 6, ANGELS 1

                              Cubs ace Jon Lester allowed three hits in five scoreless innings during his third start. Anthony Rizzo singled and scored on Kyle Schwarber's second home run of spring training. Chicago closer Brandon Morrow made his second appearance and gave up a sacrifice fly in a hitless sixth.

                              The Angels' Matt Shoemaker was knocked around for six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

                              DIAMONDBACKS 7, ROYALS (SS) 2

                              Arizona's Robbie Ray struck out six of 10 batters he retired, allowing one run, two hits and two walks. Nick Ahmed had two hits and is batting .353.

                              Paulo Orlando homered for the Royals. Ian Kennedy gave up three hits in three shutout innings.

                              PADRES 2, WHITE SOX 0

                              San Diego ace Clayton Richard allowed two hits in four innings and Corey Spangenberg had three hits. Chicago's Carson Fulmer gave up two runs and four hits in three innings.

                              ATHLETICS 2, BREWERS 0

                              Oakland prospect A.J. Puk gave up three hits in three innings and extended his scoreless streak to eight innings in three appearances. Khris Davis hit his third homer, a two-run drive off Yovani Gallardo, who allowed two runs and three hits in three innings.


                              • #45
                                Zimmer makes Royals' spring debut against Dodgers
                                March 9, 2018

                                GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Kyle Zimmer is healthy again, and that's enough for the Kansas City Royals right now.

                                Zimmer made his spring training debut Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers and got two outs in the fifth inning. He was charged with a run and one hit with two walks in Kansas City's 6-4 loss.

                                ''I felt pretty good,'' Zimmer said. ''I got a little bit tired. It was great out there to see a batter in the box and be able to compete again. I'm not too worried about results right now, but just getting back in the game was great.

                                ''I wouldn't say nervous, more just see how it goes. It's a spring training game. I've been out there before in the past. Just get the first one out of the way. It was fun to get back out there for sure.''

                                Zimmer was selected by Kansas City with the fifth pick in the 2012 draft. The right-hander had a big fastball and a knee-buckling curve in his front-of-the-rotation stuff.

                                Then there was a rash of health issues. He had an elbow procedure, shoulder surgery, a latissimus dorsi strain and thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

                                The outing against Los Angeles was his first time in a game since Aug. 15 with Triple-A Omaha. He threw 36 2/3 innings in 21 appearances last year in the minors. That was up from 2016, when he pitched just 5 2/3 innings.

                                The 26-year-old Zimmer acknowledged he was ''a little bit'' curious how he would fare.

                                ''In the live BPs, I was throwing with really good intensity, treating it like a game,'' he said. ''It felt good to get through those. Those were great tests going into a game, but a game with fans in the stands was going to be a little bit different.

                                ''I'm happy with where we're at. I've got some things to work on and clean up and we're going to move forward.''

                                Zimmer's fastball was clocked in the low 90s against his first couple of hitters, but dropped to the upper 80s.

                                ''I wasn't really trying to put much on it, just sort of cruising, fill the zone and go after them,'' he said. ''I'm sure the velocity will continue to go up as I build up arm strength and getting adjusted.''

                                Zimmer's future could be in the bullpen instead of starting.

                                ''I don't know yet,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''He's never been healthy enough to determine what he is. He feels really, really good now. After the thoraric thing and removing some sutures that were grabbing at him, now he's feeling great and he looks great, very healthy, a picture of health.''