Pence out 6-8 weeks after breaking left forearm

Right fielder has non-displaced fracture resulting from getting hit by pitch

Pence out 6-8 weeks after breaking left forearm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The season hasn't started, but the Giants are already down a starting outfielder.

Hunter Pence was hit by a Corey Black pitch in the sixth inning of Thursday's Cactus League game against the Cubs, suffering a non-displaced fracture of the ulna bone in his left forearm. He is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What to watch for in today's games

Harvey's first start in 18 months highlights spring action

What to watch for in today's games

All 30 teams have officially opened their Spring Training slates, with action continuing today in Florida and Arizona.

A number of pitchers will make their spring debuts, with another veteran outfielder making his first spring appearance after an injury-plagued season.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ausmus hopeful Miggy will be ready for Opening Day

Ausmus hopeful Miggy will be ready for Opening Day

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus isn't making any proclamations about Miguel Cabrera's chances for Opening Day. He's focused on Cabrera getting healthy in due time, whether it's for the start of the season or shortly thereafter.

"I'm hoping Opening Day, but I'm not going to rush him just to have him play Opening Day," Ausmus said. "The important thing is to have him for as close to six months as possible."

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Switch-pitching Venditte continues to confound

Cubs' Fowler forced to change helmet after hurler elects to use left arm

Switch-pitching Venditte continues to confound

MESA, Ariz. -- Should Pat Venditte finally get a tour of the big leagues one day, after toiling in the Minors for years with his ambidextrous glove and switch-pitching ways, the unfamiliarity and sheer disbelief and wonder with which opponents greet him will gradually dissipate.

For now, the A's pitcher will continue to perplex -- and sometimes confuse -- them.

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

Scherzer strikes out two in debut with Nationals

Right-hander allows one run, a solo shot, over two innings against the Mets

Scherzer strikes out two in debut with Nationals

VIERA, Fla. -- Max Scherzer was the first player to jog onto the field on Thursday, greeted with warm applause by the crowd at Space Coast Stadium as he hopped over the first-base line ready to make his much-anticipated Nationals debut.

It was only Spring Training, and there are games to come that will carry more importance in the regular season and, the Nationals hope, the postseason. In his first appearance since signing a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nats during the offseason, Scherzer completed two innings, allowed a pair of hits -- including a solo home run to John Mayberry Jr. -- and struck out two in Washington's 5-4 victory against the Mets.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Nationals' wealth of arms could be key to October success

Washington opens season with six proven starting pitchers

Nationals' wealth of arms could be key to October success

VIERA, Fla. -- Max Scherzer got the ball first. His manager, Matt Williams, cautioned against reading too much into it. After all, the Washington Nationals have potential No. 1 starters here, there and everywhere. As problems go, it's the kind every manager would love to have.

So rather than sweating the small stuff, let's sit back and enjoy what could be an amazing little ride.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners' offense shows potential for breakout season

Cruz, Cano anchor new 'culture' at plate

Mariners' offense shows potential for breakout season

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Nelson Cruz is new to the Mariners, but the club is learning quickly about the big slugger. Turns out its new designated hitter takes requests, at least from teammate Felix Hernandez.

"Felix asked me for a homer," Cruz said after launching a two-run blast in Thursday's 9-4 victory over the Padres, his first game with the Mariners. "I was like, 'Normally I don't hit homers in the spring, but I will try today.'"

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kennedy allows home run to Cruz ... or did he?

Padres starter says 'odd' to make spring debut from bullpen

Kennedy allows home run to Cruz ... or did he?

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Let the record show that while statistics in Spring Training carry as much weight as a 10-day weather forecast, Ian Kennedy left the Padres' training facility late Thursday afternoon with a 9.00 ERA, thanks in large part to the long two-run home run he allowed to Seattle's Nelson Cruz.

Or was it a home run?

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nearly one year later, Chapman showing no signs of trauma

Reds closer didn't let scary incident impact his dominant season

Nearly one year later, Chapman showing no signs of trauma

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nearly one year after being hit in the head by a line drive that could have killed him, almost all signs of the trauma are gone from Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. The scar from the surgical staples that dotted the top of Chapman's head is covered by hair. Only a small bump remains above his left eyebrow that indicates anything might have happened at all.

"Even though you guys can't see, I'm still feeling it," Chapman said of the scar though the translation of catcher Brayan Pena.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Darvish not concerned after exiting spring debut

Rangers ace leaves game with right triceps tightness after throwing 12 pitches

Darvish not concerned after exiting spring debut

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish felt some tightness in his right triceps muscle warming up in the bullpen before Thursday's start against the Royals.

He still went out and pitched, but the muscle never loosened up. Darvish exited his first start of the Cactus League after just one inning and 12 pitches with tightness in his triceps. Darvish threw 10 fastballs but the highest was 92 and they averaged 89 miles per hour.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Springer singles in first game action since July

Springer singles in first game action since July

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- With his family watching in the stands, Astros right fielder George Springer went 1-for-3 with a single in a 6-3 win over the Phillies on Thursday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

The Connecticut native, who smashed 20 homers with 51 RBIs in 78 games in his first Major League season last year, started in right field Thursday and played five innings before being replaced by L.J. Hoes. Springer blooped a single down the right-field line in the first inning, grounded out to third in the third and struck out swinging in the fifth.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tweet fantasy baseball questions to MLB.com guru

Zinkie hosting live Twitter chat @Fantasy411 Friday at 3 p.m. ET; submit now using #Fantasy411

Tweet fantasy baseball questions to MLB.com guru

You've prepared all winter for this day. Draft Day, the most important several-hour span for your upcoming fantasy season.

Sure, you've read through MLB.com's Player Preview. You've followed MLB.com/fantasy's Twitter handle, @Fantasy411, for years. But you still need that edge over your competition. What do you do?

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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.

Stanton comeback 'right on track'

Reigning NL home run champ plays first game since getting hit by pitch last September

Stanton comeback 'right on track'

JUPITER, Fla. -- Fill in another check box on Giancarlo Stanton's comeback list. On Thursday, the two-time All-Star played four innings and had two at-bats in his first game action since being struck by a pitch in the face last September.

Stanton flied out twice, and made a few nice plays to run balls down in right field in Miami's 4-1 loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kershaw: Spring debut was 'good first day'

Kershaw: Spring debut was 'good first day'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw is fine. His 2015 debut looked a lot like his 2014 National League Most Valuable Player/Cy Young Award-winning season. Starting against the unfortunate Chicago White Sox on Thursday, Kershaw pitched two perfect innings in the 6-1 win. He struck out three without allowing a ball hit out of the infield.

Kershaw needed only 20 pitches and then went to the bullpen to get more work in before sounding pretty pleased, which he almost never does, even when he pitches well.

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

In much-hyped return, Harvey to oppose Price

Mets right-hander set to make first start since August 2013

In much-hyped return, Harvey to oppose Price

VIERA, Fla. -- Take Matt Harvey, one of the most competitive pitchers in baseball, and place him in a game after 16 tiresome months of rehab. Throw a former Cy Young Award winner on the other side, then toss them both into the carnival-like atmosphere of Tradition Field. Home opener, mid-70s, packed house -- that sort of thing.

Understand, then, that Harvey can say and do all the right things leading up to the Mets' 1:10 p.m. ET Grapefruit League game against the Tigers on Friday (watch on MLB.TV), his first game action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2013. He can swear a dozen times over that he's "just looking at it as another day" and that he's "getting ready for the season like anybody else."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After nearly giving up, Moss rejuvenated career

Outfielder considered joining fire department as career was stuck in rut

After nearly giving up, Moss rejuvenated career

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nine days. That is all Brandon Moss had to get through before he could opt out of his contract with the A's and pursue an opportunity playing baseball in Japan. He was mentally ready to head overseas and his family was prepared to make the dramatic move with him.

When Moss was done earning some money with a Japanese team -- more than he was making in 2012, his third straight year in Triple-A -- the outfielder was planning on leaving baseball completely. With a young son and a wife to support, Moss had talked things over with a close friend, who was a firefighter back in their Georgia hometown and was willing to put in a good word.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jack White spends time with Tigers greats in Florida

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Jack White spends time with Tigers greats in Florida

Jack White remembers only one thing about Spring Training when he was a kid growing up in Detroit -- he always wanted to go, but his family couldn't afford to attend.

Now, as an adult and Grammy-award winning musician, not only can White afford to attend Spring Training, but he's also kind of the center of attention when he's there.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top 15 fantasy rookies led by pair of Cubs

Bryant, Soler have most potential for big league production in 2015

Top 15 fantasy rookies led by pair of Cubs

Good news, Cubs fans. The last three times your favorite team has featured the National League Rookie of the Year Award winner (Geovany Soto in 2008, Kerry Wood in 1998 and Jerome Walton in '89), it has advanced to the postseason. And Chicago has the top two rookie candidates for 2015.

Third baseman Kris Bryant and outfielder Jorge Soler have the power to help the Cubs back to the playoffs for the first time in seven years. They're not only the strongest candidates for Rookie of the Year Award honors, they're also the best fantasy prospects.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bogaerts, Pedroia get off to powerful starts

Shortstop belts two-run homer; second baseman hits slam, goes 3-for-3

Bogaerts, Pedroia get off to powerful starts

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Xander Bogaerts could tell that Dustin Pedroia was back to full strength in January, when he watched his double-play partner hit and listened to him chirp. So count the shortstop among the least surprised when Pedroia belted a grand slam on Thursday night in his Grapefruit League debut.

"I went out to Arizona. I saw him firsthand," said Bogaerts. "I saw he was kind of the same guy he was back then. A lot of backspin on the ball, a lot of bat speed. It showed today."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes scratched with lower back tightness

Cespedes scratched with lower back tightness

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Yoenis Cespedes was scratched from the starting lineup with lower back tightness as the Tigers lost, 6-4, to the Braves on Thursday.

Cespedes, who hit a grand slam in his first Grapefruit League game as a Tiger on Tuesday, was not on the travel roster for Wednesday's game against the Orioles in Sarasota. He was slated to start in left field and bat third Thursday.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Watch Parachute Team descend for Rays home opener

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Watch Parachute Team descend for Rays home opener

Have you ever worried about getting to the game -- spending time calculating the best route to incorporate traffic, parking and that weird intersection on Maple where people forget they have a stop sign? Well, if you were a paratrooper, you wouldn't have to worry -- you could just drop in from above. 

Of course, if you're terrified of heights. this may not be an option for you. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Rangers see prospects as key to rebound season

Youngsters like Gallo are poised for big league success

Rangers see prospects as key to rebound season

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Sitting in the front row of the stands at Surprise Stadium, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels glances out at third base during an exhibition game against the Royals on Thursday afternoon, shakes his head in approval.

"Look at him," Daniels said of third-base prospect Joey Gallo. "How many guys in the big leagues are built like that? [Miguel] Cabrera? [Giancarlo] Stanton?"

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

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Cash's first walk to dugout a huge step forward

Rays skipper manages first game of career in Grapefruit opener vs. O's

Cash's first walk to dugout a huge step forward

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Kevin Cash had been thinking about the walk for some time. "What will it be like?" he kept asking himself. "That's when it will hit me."

A half-hour before the first pitch Thursday afternoon, Cash walked out of the Rays' clubhouse in right field and started the 100-yard jaunt to the dugout. Charlotte Sports Park on the sunny day was beginning to fill, and for the young manager, this was more than a walk to his "office." He was walking to begin a new career.

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All walks of life come together for annual RBI program

ORLANDO, Fla. -- They came from all areas of the continental United States and beyond, bound by their passion and desire to grow baseball in urban communities. The RBI program -- short for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities -- kicked off its annual RBI Institute on Thursday, a three-day program that allows administrators from several different places to compare notes on their common experience.

Some groups came from the West Coast and others from the East, and there were even leagues represented from such faraway locales as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. David James, senior director of the RBI program, held court over the Institute at the Hyatt Regency in the Orlando airport, and he said the leagues gain invaluable experience from convening with their peers.

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

Arbitrator reportedly to decide if Hamilton goes to rehab

Angels outfielder also might face a year's suspension as fourth-time offender

Arbitrator reportedly to decide if Hamilton goes to rehab

TEMPE, Ariz. -- An arbitrator will decide whether Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton should enter a substance-abuse rehabilitation program after a four-member advisory board deadlocked on a decision, the Los Angeles Times reported late Wednesday.

There's still no clarity on when a decision will be reached, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday morning that he's confident there will be a resolution of Hamilton's situation before his team leaves Spring Training in less than four weeks.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bradley comes out swinging against Twins

Red Sox center fielder collects two hits, including RBI double

Bradley comes out swinging against Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jackie Bradley Jr., who is on a quest to prove he can hit in the Major Leagues, got off to a good start in Thursday's Grapefruit League opener, banging out two hits in his three at-bats.

"Just trying to focus on making good habits and continuously working," said Bradley. "Work in progress."

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmerman looks comfortable at 1B in spring opener

Williams impressed with how Nationals slugger handled himself at new position

Zimmerman looks comfortable at 1B in spring opener

VIERA, Fla. -- In a 5-4 victory over the Mets on Thursday night, Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman played first base as if he had manned the position for years.

A third baseman by trade, Zimmerman prevented throwing errors from shortstop Ian Desmond and third baseman Anthony Rendon by scooping up balls in the dirt in the first and second innings, respectively. Manager Matt Williams came away impressed by what he saw from Zimmerman.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Round Rock Express unveil six new jerseys for 2015

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Round Rock Express unveil six new jerseys for 2015

The Round Rock Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Rangers, know that there's nothing wrong with spicing up your wardrobe a little. So on Thursday, the team unveiled six of the seven themed jerseys that it'll be wearing. With each uniform helping raise money for a charitable cause, it's a good idea, too. 

In addition to the amazing Christmas in July ugly sweaters (sadly not made out of acrylic and wool) and their "Weekend at Bernies"-cosplay ready "Beach Night" top: 

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'Normal' is watchword in Lee's first game back

Phillies lefty said elbow is in good shape after two-inning outing

'Normal' is watchword in Lee's first game back

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The important number wasn't the 22 pitches, or the 16 strikes. The important number wasn't a fastball that sat in the high 80s or the zero runs allowed on two hits with no walks or strikeouts. The important number wasn't even the 17 scouts who sat behind home plate, carefully watching his two innings.

The most important result for veteran Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee after his start in Thursday's 6-3 Grapefruit League loss to the Astros at Osceola County Stadium wasn't even a number at all. It was this: "It feels normal," the 36-year-old said.

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

Myers set on proving doubters wrong in center field

Black says first start at position 'all good'

Myers set on proving doubters wrong in center field

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Wil Myers got his first start in center field on Thursday, a sun-kissed afternoon in Peoria, which presented no problems and even fewer challenges for the new Padres' outfielder.

Myers went 1-for-3 with a walk, caught a fly ball in the second inning and nearly made a nice diving grab of a Mike Zunino soft liner into shallow right field in the fifth inning, as the ball skipped off the end of his glove after a long run and diving attempt. He played six innings in the field.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.