Donaldson 'feeling pretty solid' entering 2017

After earlier calf injury, third baseman keying in at right time

Donaldson 'feeling pretty solid' entering 2017

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Josh Donaldson doesn't have a lot of at-bats this spring, but it hasn't taken him long to get back to swinging well.

Donaldson homered and doubled in Toronto's 10-4 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday night at Spectrum Field. Those happened to be Donaldson's first two hits of the spring, which might sound odd, until you consider he entered the game with just nine at-bats.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Watch Mark Melancon troll his teammates (and Lou Seal) in the Giants new commercial

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Watch Mark Melancon troll his teammates (and Lou Seal) in the Giants new commercial

The bullpen was perhaps the Giants' Achilles' heel at the end of last season -- even if they came within a few lucky bounces of defeating the Cubs in the NLDS. The team looked to rectify that in the offseason by signing Mark Melancon to a four-year, $62 million deal

The Giants want to make sure you haven't missed the news with a new ad campaign centered around their brand-new closer literally closing things. 

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R.B.I. Baseball 17 is out now, and you can win a team-themed Xbox One S to go along with it

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R.B.I. Baseball 17 is out now, and you can win a team-themed Xbox One S to go along with it

MLB's season opener may still be five days away, but if you've waited long enough and really just cannot wait any longer, fear not: R.B.I. Baseball 2017 is here, and it can be yours today.

The Corey Seager-adorned game (or Kevin Pillar  if you're in Canada) is available to purchase in North America at GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and MLB.com, among other participating outlets. Globally, it's accessible as a digital download on the Xbox Marketplace, PlayStation Store and the App Store on iPhone and iPad.

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Inbox: Will Glover be the Nats' closer?

Inbox: Will Glover be the Nats' closer?

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- With only a few days left before the team breaks camp and heads back to Washington, the Nationals still have a few pressing questions left to answer, including one that has lingered all offseason.

This special Opening Day preview Inbox begins with the question everyone has been asking for months now about the Nationals, trying to predict who will begin the season as their closer.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellsbury could hit 5th in Yanks' Opening Day lineup

Yankees may have previewed order against Tigers on Tuesday

Ellsbury could hit 5th in Yanks' Opening Day lineup

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees fielded a possible preview of their Opening Day lineup in a 6-3 loss against the Tigers on Tuesday, an order that features Gary Sanchez hitting second, Jacoby Ellsbury fifth, Aaron Hicks in right field and Ronald Torreyes at shortstop.

"This could very well be similar to our Opening Day lineup," said manager Joe Girardi, whose club will open the regular season on April 2 against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

For starters, Mets' rotation best in business

Indians, Nationals, Cubs, Blue Jays round out top 5

For starters, Mets' rotation best in business

Let's celebrate this final lead-up to Opening Day by doing what we baseball fans do best -- arguing!

Each day through Friday, I'm going to present my personal top five in the following categories: rotations (today), lineups (Wednesday), bullpens (Thursday) and overall depth and flexibility (Friday). These are power rankings with admittedly little predictive value, because teams will inevitably rise and fall as injuries, trades and unexpected boosts or busts enter the equation. But for now, here are the five clubs with the best rotation alignments at the start of the season.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Russell's back improving as Zobrist returns

Russell's back improving as Zobrist returns

MESA, Ariz. -- Ben Zobrist returned to the Cubs lineup Tuesday after missing more than one week because of a stiff neck while Addison Russell remained day to day, still nursing a sore back.

"Missing a few games this spring is a lot better than a few games in the season," Russell said Tuesday. "I've talked to [manager Joe Maddon] and there's no hurry back. I think in Houston, I'll get reps, but as far as tightness, it's getting better."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robertson unfazed by rumors, feeling great

Right-hander happy with how well he threw breaking balls in WBC '17

Robertson unfazed by rumors, feeling great

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The trade rumors have quieted down where David Robertson is concerned, with the veteran right-hander ready to begin the 2017 season as the White Sox closer.

"I guess I'll move back into Chicago," a smiling Robertson said. "I have a place there. It's home. So going back home.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yo backs Gsellman with bat, dazzling catch

Yo backs Gsellman with bat, dazzling catch

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Yoenis Cespedes flashed both power and leather, while Matt Adams added to his impressive spring resume Tuesday in the Mets' 3-3 tie with the Cardinals at First Data Field.

Cespedes tripled, singled and scored a run for the Mets, finishing 2-for-3 to wrap up his Grapefruit League with a .396 batting average. The loudest cheers for Cespedes occurred when he leapt near the left-field wall to rob Greg Garcia of extra bases in the fifth.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Got a draft? Get an edge with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

Got a draft? Get an edge with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

Baseball, both real and fantasy, is more a marathon than a sprint. As a fantasy owner, you work 162 games across 180-plus days.

But the thing is, your full-time job isn't to run a fantasy team. And that championship trophy on your mantel isn't paying the phone bill, shiny as it is.

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Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Plan B: How NL East teams may shift in '17

Plan B: How NL East teams may shift in '17

Opening Day is a time for hope. General managers have spent the past few months -- or years, in some cases -- to build a roster they hope will take the next step toward bringing a World Series title to their fan base.

But what happens when things don't go as planned? Each year, an injury or two can derail even the most accomplished club from its goal. A couple of ice-cold bats can transform a ferocious lineup into one that struggles to score runs with any regularity. And let's not even talk about pitchers, whose fragile arms can betray them at any time, spoiling the hopes for a franchise with championship aspirations.

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Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Be a GM with Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball

Be a GM with Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball

Since the final out of the 2016 World Series settled in Anthony Rizzo's glove, giving the Cubs a championship 108 years in the making, baseball's general managers have been preparing their clubs for success in '17.

And now, with Opening Day quickly approaching, you can join in on the excitement.

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Zachary Finkelstein is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rollins appears unlikely for Giants' roster

Rollins appears unlikely for Giants' roster

MESA, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy dropped a very large hint that Jimmy Rollins won't be on his club's roster when it opens the 2017 season Sunday at Arizona.

Asked about Rollins' absence from San Francisco's Cactus League exhibition finale Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, Bochy said, "We're waiting to hear back. We talked to Jimmy. He knows the scenario and the situation. We're just waiting to hear back from him."

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

May the best kind of spring surprise

White Sox third-generation player earns roster spot with stellar camp

May the best kind of spring surprise

Sometimes baseball is about the lineage. It's also about surprises.

One of the best things about baseball this time of the year is the development that nobody saw coming. No matter how much we project, we analyze, we micro-manage, there are some people you just can't keep down. The human element is there.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCann, Giancarlo homer as Astros top Marlins

McCann, Giancarlo homer as Astros top Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. -- Brian McCann connected on a two-run homer and Jose Altuve collected an RBI double on Tuesday as the Astros defeated the Marlins, 7-3, at Roger Dean Stadium. Giancarlo Stanton belted a home run for Miami.

The game featured a pair of already-announced Opening Day starters. Dallas Keuchel threw 4 2/3 innings in his final tuneup, giving up three runs with four strikeouts. Miami's Edinson Volquez worked five frames, also allowing three runs.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans will get 15 Seconds of Fame at ballpark

New technology enables downloads of video clips from live telecasts

Fans will get 15 Seconds of Fame at ballpark

Brett and Chad Joshpe can still see the baseball coming down from the heavens one sublime day at Shea Stadium, closer and closer toward the brothers' seats down the right-field line.

If only they had a way back then to preserve their precious moment, like Major League Baseball fans of all 30 clubs are about to enjoy starting Opening Day for the first time in broadcast history. Imagine watching that play again and again, sharing the video clip on the other person's social media page and laughing together about the result.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Austin Hedges made a bet that UCLA would beat Kentucky and now he looks like this

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Austin Hedges made a bet that UCLA would beat Kentucky and now he looks like this

Padres catcher Austin Hedges has been a UCLA basketball fan his entire life. His manager, Andy Green, bleeds Kentucky blue (and still holds his alma mater's all-time hits record).

Those two schools met Friday in the NCAA men's basketball tournament with an Elite Eight berth on the line. And Green's Wildcats came away victorious, 86-75.

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Tulo, Donaldson hit first spring home runs

Tulo, Donaldson hit first spring home runs

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Powered by four home runs, the Blue Jays topped the Phillies, 10-4, on Tuesday night at Spectrum Field.

Trailing 2-0 after the first inning, Troy Tulowitzki and Melvin Upton Jr. each homered during Toronto's five-run second inning. Josh Donaldson recorded his first hits of the spring with a double in the fourth and a homer the next inning. In the eighth, Mike Ohlman added a two-run shot.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox shut down Thornburg for a week

Reliever hasn't pitched in Grapefruit League since March 1

Red Sox shut down Thornburg for a week

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg will be shut down for the next week, manager John Farrell announced on Tuesday. Thornburg underwent an MRI on his right shoulder on Tuesday morning and will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days.

"He is dealing with some impingement in his shoulder," Farrell said. "There's a little bit of inflammation in there."

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Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Betts, Bradley combine for 7 RBIs vs. Pirates

Betts, Bradley combine for 7 RBIs vs. Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. -- For the second time in five days, the Red Sox feasted in the first inning against Pirates right-hander Drew Hutchison and cruised to a high-scoring win. Boston put up six runs in the first and went on to beat Pittsburgh, 9-2, at LECOM Park on Tuesday night.

The Red Sox batted around in the first inning against Hutchison, who struggled in his final audition for a spot in the Pirates' rotation. Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. each hit a two-run homer, and Heiker Meneses lined a two-run triple to right field to cap a six-run first. It was all too familiar for Hutchison, who served up five runs to the Red Sox in the first inning on Thursday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

JD Martinez upbeat, optimistic despite foot injury

Tigers right fielder was initially scheduled to miss 3-4 weeks with sprain

JD Martinez upbeat, optimistic despite foot injury

LAKELAND, Fla. -- If outfielders were allowed to use scooters, J.D. Martinez might be ready for Opening Day. With his injured right foot elevated, he maneuvers the hallways of Tigertown with enough speed and agility that he could probably roam right field.

It's all he can do to avoid going crazy as he waits out the week with his sprained right foot in a cast.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

HRs from Upton, Moya power Tigers' offense

HRs from Upton, Moya power Tigers' offense

TAMPA, Fla. -- After watching 31 batters make hard turns back to the dugout, the Tigers finally got to Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday, interrupting the right-hander's perfect spring in a 6-3 Grapefruit League victory over the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Tanaka had held the Tigers both scoreless and hitless over 10 1/3 innings this spring, spanning three starts. Detroit ended that quickly in the first inning, as Ian Kinsler cracked a broken-bat single and scored on Alex Presley's run-scoring double. Presley trotted home with an unearned run when catcher Gary Sanchez mistakenly threw down to second base on a walk.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montero launches effort to help sick children

Foundation aimed at improving medical care for Venezuelan kids

Montero launches effort to help sick children

MESA, Ariz. -- If Miguel Montero can help one child from his native Venezuela, it will be enough.

Montero and his wife have created the Miguel and Vanessa Montero Foundation to provide medical assistance to seriously ill children of Venezuela. Their goal is to bring one or two Venezuelan children a year to the U.S. to get medical treatment.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellis clears hurdle, returns to Marlins' lineup

Veteran catcher had been out with strained hamstring

Ellis clears hurdle, returns to Marlins' lineup

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A number of questions were answered Tuesday, as A.J. Ellis caught five innings and got three at-bats against the Nationals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Returning to the lineup after being out with a strained left hamstring since late February, Ellis went 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored in the Marlins' 4-2 victory over the Nationals.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospects Davis, Garrett make Reds' rotation

Prospects Davis, Garrett make Reds' rotation

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- One day before breaking camp and heading to Cincinnati, the Reds made what will likely be their final 25-man roster decisions. However the team that faces the Phillies Monday on Opening Day could change quickly.

In the meantime, prospects Rookie Davis and Amir Garrett earned the third and fourth spots in the rotation, respectively. Cody Reed is technically listed as the fifth starter until Bronson Arroyo is ready to be added, which won't happen before rosters are officially set on Sunday.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hutchison's spring struggles continue

Right-hander is competing with Glasnow and Williams for Pirates' last rotation spot

Hutchison's spring struggles continue

BRADENTON, Fla. -- An hour before the Pirates' penultimate Grapefruit League game, general manager Neal Huntington made it clear that right-hander Drew Hutchison didn't enter Spring Training with any sort of advantage over his competition for the final spot in Pittsburgh's starting rotation.

His $2.3 million salary won't factor into the decision. Nor will his status as the Bucs' lone return in the deal that sent Francisco Liriano and two prospects to the Blue Jays. The decision will come down to each pitcher's qualifications and performance.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright enters 2017 healthy, feeling good

Knuckleballer allows one run over four innings against Pirates on Tuesday

Wright enters 2017 healthy, feeling good

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Despite a late start to his spring, Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright is well ahead of where he wants to be for the regular season.

"I've felt good throughout the whole time," Wright said.

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Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price 'very satisfied' with Arroyo's outing

Price 'very satisfied' with Arroyo's outing

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In a game vs. Dodgers Triple-A players on Tuesday, Reds righty Bronson Arroyo threw 74 pitches over 4 1/3 innings. He gave up three earned runs on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

In his third inning of work, Arroyo did give up back-to-back-to-back homers.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox get good news on Rodon, Petricka

Second opinion on young lefty's shoulder confirms no structural damage

White Sox get good news on Rodon, Petricka

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The news was predominantly positive for the White Sox in terms of a couple of injury updates provided Tuesday at Camelback Ranch.

Carlos Rodon received a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Monday concerning tightness in the biceps tendon area, and it confirmed the MRI he received Friday showing no structural damage with a diagnosis of bursitis. Rodon will be placed on a throwing program for the next two weeks and then be re-evaluated, but he will begin the 2017 season on the disabled list.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.