Report: Crisp needs elbow surgery, out 6-8 weeks

Report: Crisp needs elbow surgery, out 6-8 weeks

The A's may be without outfielder Coco Crisp to start the season, as he will need surgery to remove a bone spur and chips in his right elbow, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.

The report notes that the arthroscopic procedure would sideline Crisp for six to eight weeks.

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

How your favorite team will win the 2015 World Series

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How your favorite team will win the 2015 World Series

Right now, with Opening Day just a few planetary rotations away, MLB fan optimism is at an all-time high: Every team is undefeated, and every team has a chance of winning the World Series. 

But how? What's each club's most likely path to victory in the Fall Classic? We plugged some variables into our high-level formulas and, using the rigorous analytics provided to us by our crack team of researchers, produced what we think is the most scientifically and mathematically accurate outcome for each team's journey to glory in the Fall Classic. 

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Bid on Will Ferrell game-used gear for charity

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Bid on Will Ferrell game-used gear for charity

When Will Ferrell suited up for 10 different Cactus League teams during a single day in March, he wasn't just playing every position for his own personal entertainment. He was playing for our entertainment -- and to raise money for charity.

The extravaganza that was #FerrellTakesTheField, a partnership between MLB, Funny Or Die and HBO, raised roughly $1 million for Cancer for College. And now, Ferrell's day is being auctioned off piece by piece to raise even more money for charity, with funds going to Stand Up 2 Cancer and Umpires Care.

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Talent flowing through entire Cubs pipeline

Bryant garners headlines, but he is far from alone

Talent flowing through entire Cubs pipeline

MESA, Ariz. -- When the Cubs head onto the field behind Jon Lester on Sunday night in Chicago, their third baseman will be a guy who has homered once every 15 at-bats in the Cactus League, putting up a .283/.389/.565 slash line.

No, as you might have heard, it won't be Kris Bryant. Most likely it will be Mike Olt, who is 26 and on his own mission. He's had a terrific Spring Training, not that you would know it by reading headlines or listening to national talk shows.

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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.

What to watch for in today's game action

Opening Night is just around the corner, and the Grapefruit and Cactus League schedules are winding down as several teams return home from Arizona and Florida.

Here's are four things to watch for during today's games (all times in ET):

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

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Who is the top player at each position in the NL Central?

Who is the top player at each position in the NL Central?

Who will be the best player in the National League Central at each position this season? There is no way to know for sure, but here is one man's prediction. Think of it as the preseason All-NL Central team.

Catcher: Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
We come to praise Lucroy, not bury future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina. But this is 2015, not 2013, and Lucroy's overall value has surpassed that of Molina. His improvement, year by year, is rare, as he was not even a ranked prospect. He's worked for his success. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin struck gold when he bought out his arbitration years with a five-year, $11 million contract before the 2012 season. Lucroy can't reach the free-agent market until after 'the 17 campaign, to the dismay of many teams.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

5 factors could determine NL Central race

Heyward's offense, Polanco's maturity, Braun's health among keys to division

5 factors could determine NL Central race

Any number of factors can conspire to decide a division. But at the dawn of a new season, these are the five factors that look like they'll loom largest in the National League Central.

1. Say Hey

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

After final tuneup, Bumgarner turns attention to opener

Southpaw fanned four batters over four innings in last spring start

After final tuneup, Bumgarner turns attention to opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Madison Bumgarner had an easy final Spring Training tuneup Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium in the Giants' 5-2 victory over the Indians.

The Giants lefty threw only four innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four. The short outing was planned, and Bumgarner said he feels good -- even though he swung so hard at the first pitch he saw as a batter he fell to a knee after the swing.

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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.

'I feel really ready': Cueto pleased with progress as spring ends

Reds ace ends camp with 3.86 ERA, 13 K's in 4 big league games

'I feel really ready': Cueto pleased with progress as spring ends

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds ace Johnny Cueto got one final tuneup before he pitches on Opening Day and he was pleased how he felt overall. In a 3-0 loss to the D-backs on Wednesday, Cueto gave up three earned runs and three hits over five innings with two walks, seven strikeouts and a wild pitch.

"I felt really well. I felt really loose. I feel ready," Cueto said via translator Tomas Vera. "Actually, I feel like I'm throwing harder. I surprised myself by how hard I threw because I feel more loose. I feel really ready."

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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.

Kershaw doesn't pay attention to spring numbers

Kershaw doesn't pay attention to spring numbers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw has an idea what his final Cactus League numbers were this spring, but once again, he's not going to invest too much into them.

On Wednesday, Kershaw gave up one hit and one unearned run in three innings against the Royals in his final tuneup before Monday's season opener against the Padres. The left-hander walked two batters and struck out two.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Axford sleeps better as son's condition improves from bite

Rockies reliever returns to baseball activities

Axford sleeps better as son's condition improves from bite

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander John Axford's heart was a little lighter because his son slept through the night Tuesday, for the first time since suffering two rattlesnake bites on his right foot last Wednesday. Now Axford has a plan that could have him ready when the regular season starts Monday at Milwaukee.

Axford hasn't pitched since last Wednesday -- the incident at his rental home occurred as Axford was leaving the Rockies' complex. But he did baseball activities Wednesday, plans to throw in a Minor League game Thursday and is scheduled to pitch in the Rockies' Spring Training finale against the Mariners on Saturday.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Get an edge in your league with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

Get an edge in your league with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

With fantasy-baseball-draft season in full swing, MLB.com put together a cheat sheet for fans in need of expert advice. Make sure to have the one-stop information shop on hand during your auctions or snake drafts.

For comprehensive coverage of the player pool, check out MLB.com/preview. And follow @Fantasy411 for daily- and annual-league tips all season long.

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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.

Sale remains on track for April 12 season debut

White Sox ace dominant in Minor League outing, feels 'really good'

Sale remains on track for April 12 season debut

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was not exactly a comfortable afternoon for the Reds' Class A Minor Leaguers, who had to face Chris Sale and his full arsenal of pitching weapons Wednesday on a back field at Camelback Ranch. And that lack of comfort is a good sign for the left-handed ace and everyone throughout the White Sox organization.

Sale threw 90 pitches over six-plus innings, 67 for strikes. He yielded one run on an opposite-field homer, didn't walk a batter and struck out 13. An April 12 return to the mound at U.S. Cellular Field looks more and more likely, with the best-case scenario coming out of the worst-case scenario involving the right foot avulsion fracture Sale suffered Feb. 27 at his Arizona home.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber strikes out five in final spring outing

Swisher tallies two hits, RBI in first Cactus League appearance

Kluber strikes out five in final spring outing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- San Francisco's Matt Duffy continued to make his case to make the Major League club on Wednesday, launching a two-run home run to lead the Giants to a 5-2 victory over the Indians at Scottsdale Stadium.

Indians right-hander Corey Kluber took the loss despite facing the minimum through the first three innings. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner allowed three runs on five hits and struck out five in 4 2/3 innings in his final spring tuneup before Opening Day.

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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.

April Fools! 10 times hidden-ball trick worked

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April Fools! 10 times hidden-ball trick worked

Happy April Fools' Day, everybody! We thought about orchestrating a hoax to convince you that Derek Jeter signed with the Mets, but that just didn't seem nice. Instead, we've rounded up 10 classic instances of one of our favorite MLB pranks: 

The hidden-ball trick.

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Rendon gets latest opinion, will open on DL

Rendon gets latest opinion, will open on DL

JUPITER, Fla. -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon received a third opinion on his left knee Tuesday in Vail, Colo., and Dr. Steven Singleton had the same opinion as the previous two doctors: Rendon has a sprained MCL in his left knee.

There is no timetable as to when Rendon will be back on the field. He will start the season on the disabled list. Rendon injured the knee making a diving play against the Braves on March 9.

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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.

Tulo homers twice, CarGo hits one, too, in win over Texas

Opening Day starter Kendrick allows three earned runs in five innings

Tulo homers twice, CarGo hits one, too, in win over Texas

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Troy Tulowitzki hit two home runs to carry the Rockies to a 10-4 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday. Minor League outfielder Nomar Mazara hit his first spring home run for the Rangers.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis went three innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, a walk and two strikeouts. Lewis gave up three home runs and threw 57 pitches in his final outing of the spring.

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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.

Yankees make trade, acquire infielder Petit from Astros

Yankees make trade, acquire infielder Petit from Astros

The Yankees acquired infielder Gregorio Petit from the Astros on Wednesday in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Petit hit .278 in 37 games for the Astros last season. He was having a productive spring, batting .310 (9-for-29) through 18 Grapefruit League contests, but was unable to crack the club's crowded infield. He was among several players sent to the Minors on Sunday.

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

Youth ballplayer leaps over catcher to score run

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Youth ballplayer leaps over catcher to score run

Did you know Superman couldn't fly in his early days? It's true. That whole "leap tall buildings in a single bound" thing was because, yeah, zooming about the atmosphere wasn't in the equation yet.

I think we may have just found a very young Superman. 

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Don't laugh: Comic called Holdzkom's debut

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Don't laugh: Comic called Holdzkom's debut

Two and a half years ago, John Holdzkom was a former fourth-round draft pick and Minor League pitcher with time on his hands. So he did what any 20-something would do: He called into a podcast recording.

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Bochy hints roster may almost be finalized

Duffy continues to make case as Ishikawa's health remains up in the air

Bochy hints roster may almost be finalized

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Although not yet official, the Giants' Opening Day roster appears to be close to finalized, hinted manager Bruce Bochy on Wednesday.

The biggest issue is Travis Ishikawa's sore lower back. The first baseman/outfielder hasn't played since leaving Sunday's game, and the idea of Ishikawa opening the season on the 15-day disabled list is a possibility, Bochy said.

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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.

Alvarez continues to show comfort with first base

Alvarez continues to show comfort with first base

SARASOTA, Fla. -- In Wednesday night's 3-3 tie with the Orioles, Pedro Alvarez continued to essentially mock the pre-Spring Training public angst over how he would take to first base. He has put his best footwork forward, has made all the right decisions and routine plays -- and on Wednesday came up with a pair of great ones.

Both saved a run. In the first, with a runner on second, he dove to smother Chris Davis' smash into the hole and tossed to Francisco Liriano covering first for the third out.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

10 bold fantasy predictions for 2015

10 bold fantasy predictions for 2015

Today may be April Fools' Day, but the following 10 fantasy predictions are not jokes. Sure, some of them may seem a bit outlandish right now, but no one will be laughing by the end of September. And remember: You heard it here first.

Mookie Betts will lead the Majors in runs scored

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Fred Zinkie is a senior fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeShields, not Peguero, headed to Arlington with Rangers

Rule 5 Draft pick likely to make team as fifth outfielder

DeShields, not Peguero, headed to Arlington with Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Delino DeShields is going with the Rangers to Arlington. Carlos Peguero is not.

DeShields, a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Astros, was on the travel roster for the two exhibition games against the Mets on Friday and Saturday. Peguero was sent to Triple-A Round Rock.

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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.

Stanton, Morse homer to back stellar Cosart

Stanton, Morse homer to back stellar Cosart

JUPITER, Fla. -- Before Wednesday's game, Marlins manager Mike Redmond claimed there is not a "bigger" three-four lineup combination than Giancarlo Stanton and Michael Morse. The two sluggers showed their clout in an 8-0 win over the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Morse connected on a three-run homer off Jordan Zimmermann in the first inning, and Stanton blasted a two-run shot in the second.

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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.

Shields sharp in short tuneup for Opening Day

Padres ace tosses three scoreless frames; Gyorko, Solarte go deep

Shields sharp in short tuneup for Opening Day

PHOENIX -- Jedd Gyorko drilled a three-run home run, Yangervis Solarte added a two-run shot and James Shields was sharp in his final tuneup for Opening Day as the Padres defeated the White Sox, 8-2, on Wednesday at Camelback Ranch.

Gyorko's home run came as part of a five-run first inning off White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who like Shields will also start Opening Day.

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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.

Liriano happy to be healthy after strong spring

Liriano happy to be healthy after strong spring

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Francisco Liriano came within two outs of a flawless spring. As far as the Pirates' Opening Day starter is concerned, however, his preseason remained perfect.

With one out in his third and final inning of Wednesday night's game, Liriano surrendered a solo home run to the Orioles' Everth Cabrera -- the only run off the left-hander in 12 Grapefruit League innings.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo leads Cubs' power barrage

Three-run shot one of four home runs

Rizzo leads Cubs' power barrage

MESA, Ariz. -- Anthony Rizzo smacked a three-run homer, Jorge Soler and Dexter Fowler belted two-run shots and Tommy La Stella added a solo blast to power the Cubs to an 11-7 victory Wednesday over the Brewers in Chicago's final Cactus League game.

Kyle Lohse, who had a 1.80 ERA coming into the game, served up three of the Cubs' four home runs, and was charged with seven runs on eight hits over four innings.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rotation race reopened? Bradley forces issue with stellar spring

D-backs prospect has 1.61 ERA in Cactus League

Rotation race reopened? Bradley forces issue with stellar spring

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- D-backs manager Chip Hale on Wednesday stressed the importance of looking at the big picture and not getting caught up in the most recent impression.

And then Archie Bradley went out against the Reds and left what could be a lasting impression in his final audition for a spot on the Opening Day roster -- and perhaps more as Hale after the game left open the possibility Bradley could break camp in the rotation.

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Chris Gabel writes for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swisher knocks a pair of hits in return to game action

Veteran outfielder to start season on DL, will be with team on Opening Day

Swisher knocks a pair of hits in return to game action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nick Swisher had trouble falling asleep on Tuesday night. After a spring spent on back fields and in Minor League games, the veteran was given the go-ahead to suit up with Cleveland for its Cactus League game against the Giants on Wednesday afternoon.

That news made for a restless night.

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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.