White Sox legend Minoso passes away

White Sox legend Minoso passes away

Native Cubans could move to the big leagues without dealing much in politics, secrecy and defection six decades ago. Cuban baseball talent was highly regarded and increasingly desirable. Not coincidentally, Minnie Minoso was at the forefront of the international game then. His baseball skills caught the eye. His distinctive name caught the ear. And his warm and engaging personality made him an uncommonly popular figure anywhere he played -- no, anywhere he went -- and helped forge a legacy that, to this day, prompts baseball folks to smile.

"Our organization and our city have suffered a heart-breaking loss today," said Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the White Sox. "We have lost our dear friend and a great man. Many tears are falling."

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

Fernandez throws first session since Tommy John surgery

Fernandez throws first session since Tommy John surgery

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins ace Jose Fernandez took another step Sunday in his rehab from Tommy John surgery when the right-hander threw a short bullpen session off the mound for the first time since last May.

Fernandez, who was diagnosed with a torn UCL after his eighth start last season and had surgery May 16, warmed up on flat ground for several minutes Sunday morning before he headed to the mound at the Roger Dean Stadium Complex. He threw 10 warmup pitches, then fired 15 fastballs to bullpen coordinator Jeff Urgelles as pitching coach Chuck Hernandez watched from the side.

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

One-time elite prospects set for breakout season in 2015

Young talents like Montero, Moustakas, Myers ready to take next step

One-time elite prospects set for breakout season in 2015

While we salivate at the release of the Top 100 prospect list, the fact is that very few players become superstars. Most slip into careers as relievers, journeymen and Quad-A sluggers.

But a few still manage to surprise you when most have stopped paying attention. After struggling to a .244/.328/.405 mark through 2010, Alex Gordon has become one of the most valuable players in the Majors, with the third baseman-turned-outfielder posting the third-highest Wins Above Replacement among American League position players in 2014.

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

Holland scratched from intrasquad game

Rangers not alarmed at lefty's 'normal spring soreness'

Holland scratched from intrasquad game

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland has been scratched from Sunday's intrasquad game because of what the Rangers said was normal Spring Training soreness in his left shoulder.

"There are no alarm bells," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He had it a couple of years ago. It's normal spring soreness for a pitcher. He wants to throw, but we took it away from him. We're going to push him back a day or two."

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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.

Sale fractures right foot in accident at home

Left-hander to be sidelined for three weeks before resuming activities

Sale fractures right foot in accident at home

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Sale sustained an avulsion fracture on the lateral side of his right foot as the result of an accident at his Arizona home Friday. The left-hander is expected to be sidelined three weeks before resuming baseball activities.

Sale, 25, underwent X-rays this morning at Banner Estrella Hospital in Glendale. He will undergo further tests once the swelling in his foot has subsided. At that point, his status for Opening Day will be better determined.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Didi given opportunity to improve, thrive in New York

Girardi encourages new shortstop not to try to mimic departed Jeter

Didi given opportunity to improve, thrive in New York

TAMPA, Fla. -- Upon arriving in Yankees camp for the first time this spring, new shortstop Didi Gregorius received these words of wisdom from manager Joe Girardi: Try to be the best Didi Grigorius you can be. Don't try to be like Derek Jeter, the retired icon he's replacing on the left side of the Yanks' infield.

"That's my choice if I want to let all that get into my head or not," Gregorius told a gaggle of reporters in the Yankees clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field during a rainy Saturday. "I'm just going to relax and be the best that I can be when I go out there."

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cuban pitcher Lopez draws crowd for first BP session

D-backs' righty 'anxious' to see game action

Cuban pitcher Lopez draws crowd for first BP session

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs right-hander Yoan Lopez stepped on the mound at Quail Field, better known as Field No. 3, at the Salt River Fields complex on Saturday morning and a crowd of the most important decision-makers in the organization immediately gathered around the batting cage.

There stood general manager Dave Stewart, senior vice president of baseball operations De Jon Watson, D-backs pitching coach Mike Harkey, Dave Duncan, a special assistant to the general manager, and Lopez's right-hand man, Hatuey Mendoza, the club's coordinator of Latin American operations, with their eyes focused on the 22-year-old pitcher.

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

Tomas to split time between third base, outfield in Spring Training

Hale wants Cuban slugger to see a lot of at-bats

Tomas to split time between third base, outfield in Spring Training

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Yasmany Tomas, who has worked out almost exclusively at third base, has started to shag balls from the outfield during batting practice and will see action there when games start next week.

"We've talked amongst everybody on the staff and in the front office, and what we're going to do for games is we have these at-bats, especially early on, where guys are only going to get two or three at-bats and then be out of the game," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "We've told Tomas that if there's a day when he is not going to play third, we're going to put him in the outfield just to get at-bats.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Duquette

Six players who could be traded before Opening Day

Six players who could be traded before Opening Day

As we inch closer to Spring Training games, the number of quality players available on the trade market could make the month of March as active as this past winter. Here are my top candidates to garner a lot of attention and even potentially be traded by Opening Day:

Cliff Lee, LHP, age 36
He will need to show interested teams that he has overcome an elbow injury that limited him to 13 starts last year, but when he does, he will likely be dealt before teammate Cole Hamels, who has been the subject of more rumors recently.

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Jim Duquette is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton hit by pitch in sim game, continues to play

Marlins ace Alvarez plunks slugger in left hip during first spring contest

Stanton hit by pitch in sim game, continues to play

JUPITER, Fla. -- It was bound to happen sometime. For Giancarlo Stanton, it happened to be on his third plate appearance in the Marlins' first simulated game.

The two-time All-Star was plunked on the left hip by a Henderson Alvarez two-seam fastball on Saturday morning on field 4 of the Roger Dean Stadium complex. The pitch caused no damage, nor did it spoil an otherwise productive day that featured game action.

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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.

Baez is keeping count of spring selfies

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Baez is keeping count of spring selfies

It is a simple inevitability that there will be hundreds upon hundreds of selfies taken at Spring Training this year. As such, it's nearly impossible to keep track of the deluge of faces that flows in with the force of a non-frozen Niagara Falls.  

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Statcast wins prestigious Alpha Award for innovation

Player tracking system due for significant expansion this season

Statcast wins prestigious Alpha Award for innovation

BOSTON -- As its full rollout at all 30 Major League parks approaches, MLB.com's Statcast player tracking system won a prestigious award Saturday.

Statcast won an Alpha Award for Best Analytics Innovation/Technology at the annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. The Alpha Awards are presented at the end of the conference in a variety of categories, including Best Analytics Organization (San Antonio Spurs) and Lifetime Achievement (R.C. Buford, Spurs general manager).

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

Length of Hamilton's potential suspension unclear

Any suspension for outfielder would likely start at beginning of regular season

Length of Hamilton's potential suspension unclear

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton's potential suspension for a drug of abuse would not hinge on his recovery from shoulder surgery. The Angels' outfielder would begin serving a suspension at the beginning of the regular season, regardless of whether he would've started the year on the disabled list, according to people familiar with the process.

That means there's a chance Hamilton's rehab could last longer than his suspension, though the Angels still have no gauge on what the suspension will be or how long his rehab could take. The team has declined comment on the matter, confirming only that Hamilton met with Major League Baseball regarding a disciplinary issue on Wednesday.

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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.

With concussion behind him, Mauer ready to bounce back

Six-time All-Star excited for Twins' new-look roster in 2015

With concussion behind him, Mauer ready to bounce back

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As Joe Mauer looks out from his usual locker in the middle of the clubhouse at renovated Hammond Stadium, he can't help but notice the new faces in Twins camp.

There's his former teammate and free-agent addition Torii Hunter situated in the back corner of the locker room to his left, while fellow free-agent signee Ervin Santana's locker is just across the room from Mauer. Beyond that, there's the manager's office for Hall of Famer Paul Molitor as well as the coaches' dressing room for new hires such as Neil Allen and Eddie Guardado.

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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.

The 11 'best' pictures from Photo Day

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The 11 'best' pictures from Photo Day

The three best days during a Major League season are, in order: 

1. Opening Day

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Blue Jays sign Viciedo to Minor League deal

Outfielder had been released by White Sox in February

Blue Jays sign Viciedo to Minor League deal

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays officially signed free agent Dayan Viciedo to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Sunday morning.

Viciedo will earn $2.5 million if he makes the roster out of camp, but there have been no guarantees about his role within the organization. The contract doesn't include an opt-out clause, however there's an understanding that Viciedo will be moved if he doesn't make the Opening Day roster.

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

Rockies 'very encouraged' by Tulowitzki, Gonzalez in camp

Weiss says pair won't be rushed to see game action in return from injuries

Rockies 'very encouraged' by Tulowitzki, Gonzalez in camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's just two days, but any two with Rockies stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez on the field without pain are good ones.

Manager Walt Weiss said Tulowitzki, who had a torn hip labrum repaired last August, and Gonzalez, who had left knee surgery in the same month, will begin running the bases next week -- earlier than later, if all goes well.

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

Melvin impressed by defense in intrasquad game

Venditte among five A's pitchers to see action; club also mindful of pace-of-play rules

Melvin impressed by defense in intrasquad game

MESA, Ariz. -- The threat of rain didn't stop the A's from gathering for a four-inning intrasquad game at Fitch Park on Saturday morning. The defense greatly impressed manager Bob Melvin, but it was the umpire who stole the show.

Bullpen catcher Casey Chavez, brother of six-time A's Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez, didn't just play the part. He dressed it, too.

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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.

Kimbrel prints T-shirts for his Braves teammates

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Kimbrel prints T-shirts for his Braves teammates

Is there anything worse than showing up to a party or social gathering where there's no one you know? Sure, your friend may have invited you, but he's nowhere to be found. What do you do -- break into the separate mingle groups and introduce yourself? Hang out in the corner and wait for someone to approach you? 

With the Braves welcoming in a number of new faces including Jonny Gomes, Nick Markakis and Mike Foltynewicz among others, closer Craig Kimbrel decided he didn't want his teammates to have to worry about awkward introductions. Instead, he decided to give everyone a helpful T-shirt with their name tag already on it. 

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Johan looks to complete comeback in Toronto

Two-time Cy Young Award winner will compete for fifth spot in rotation

Johan looks to complete comeback in Toronto

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Despite everything two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana has been through over the years, he hasn't given up the dream of returning to Major League Baseball.

Santana has been forced to deal with a seemingly endless list of injuries and surgeries dating all the way back to 2010. There have been issues with his left shoulder, ankle, Achilles' and he hasn't even pitched in the big leagues since 2012. But there has never been any questioning his desire.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Matthew Leach

Fleisig: Fatigue key factor in Tommy John injuries

Expert discusses causes, prevention for TJ at Sloan conference

Fleisig: Fatigue key factor in Tommy John injuries

BOSTON -- Glenn S. Fleisig, a leading expert in pitcher injuries, made a couple of simple but forceful points on Saturday morning: Too much pitching leads to injury. And pitching when you are fatigued does as well -- even more so.

Fleisig addressed the annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in a presentation called "Analytics of the Tommy John Injury Epidemic." He discussed some of the causes and risk factors, as well as some potential preventative measures, for the major elbow injury that leads to "Tommy John" reconstructive surgery.

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Matthew Leach is an editor and reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Proof that these MLB stars tore it up in college, too

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Proof that these MLB stars tore it up in college, too

Dearest friends, it is time for celebration: Real, live baseball has finally returned. Sunday afternoon features the first exhibition game of Spring Training as the Phillies match up against the University of Tampa Spartans, and we are so very ready.

So in honor of Sunday's pro-college face-off, we present a blast-from-the-past of 13 MLB stars during their college days. Bright-eyed, baby-faced and crushing it. 

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Rehabbing V-Mart to run on anti-gravity treadmill

Avila misses second straight workout, but feeling better; Outfielders practice in rain

Rehabbing V-Mart to run on anti-gravity treadmill

LAKELAND, Fla. -- For the second time in three days, Victor Martinez made an early appearance at Tigers Spring Training without doing much activity. He won't have to wait long to come back and do something.

Martinez made the drive down Interstate 4 from his Orlando-area home Saturday morning for Photo Day. He hasn't yet been cleared for any baseball activities while he rehabs his surgically repaired left knee, working with a physical therapist near home.

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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.

Bumgarner slated for Giants Cactus League opener

Bochy announces Opening Day starter will pitch one inning vs. A's in Mesa

Bumgarner slated for Giants Cactus League opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Madison Bumgarner, already named the Giants' Opening Night starter, also will begin San Francisco's Cactus League schedule by facing the Oakland A's on Tuesday in Mesa.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday that Bumgarner, who worked 270 innings last year including the postseason, will pitch only one inning against the A's.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quartet vying to fill in for Upton in center field

Quartet vying to fill in for Upton in center field

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As Eury Perez spent the past two seasons blocked by Denard Span in the Nationals organization, he established himself as one of those productive Triple-A players who might be just an opportunity away from proving they belong at the Major League level.

With Braves center fielder Melvin Upton Jr. set to miss at least the first month of the upcoming regular season with a left foot injury, Perez now has a chance to take advantage of the opportunity he has been seeking. He stands with Todd Cunningham, Eric Young Jr. and Zolio Almonte as the top candidates to fill Upton's spot in Atlanta's lineup.

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Now reporting for Spring Training: At Bat

Top sports mobile app launches massive update to add multiple new features

Now reporting to camp: MLB.com At Bat.

The seventh-year veteran and highest-grossing sports app a record six straight years made its 2015 debut on Friday as an update on millions of smartphones and tablets everywhere. At Bat already is making some more history, too: It offers the most comprehensive bilingual accessibility of any U.S. professional sports app, as part of one of the single largest updates Major League Baseball Advanced Media has made to its flagship product.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. 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.

Swisher faces pitching for first time since August

Unclear if Indians veteran will be fully healthy by Opening Day

Swisher faces pitching for first time since August

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nick Swisher had not faced live pitching since last August until stepping to the plate for a live batting practice session Saturday morning. The veteran was welcomed back by hard-throwing Indians right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.

"Two flamethrowers right out of the gate," Swisher said with a laugh. "The first few days, we get used to tracking and taking a swing every now and then. Just for me, to get back on the field, it's nice."

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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.

Saunders moving forward after knee surgery

Outfielder says "it was in my best interest" to remove 60% of his meniscus

Saunders moving forward after knee surgery

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders wants to make one thing clear: He was the one who decided the best course of action was to remove 60 percent of the meniscus from his left knee.

Saunders underwent surgery on Friday afternoon, and the fact that his meniscus was removed instead of repaired means he'll return in approximately five-to-six weeks. If the doctor had fixed the cartilage, Saunders would have been out until the All-Star break.

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

Bauer taking nothing for granted as he refines repertoire

Tribe righty pleased with first spring batting practice session

Bauer taking nothing for granted as he refines repertoire

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Over the winter, pitchers often retreat to indoor batting tunnels to run through their mound workouts. In the early stages of Spring Training, they advance to bullpen sessions at their team's training complex. Live batting practice is the next step in the annual march to the regular season.

On Saturday morning, Trevor Bauer was among the Indians pitchers who went through live BP sessions for the first time this year, giving them their first testing ground with batters standing at the plate. At this time of year, the pitchers are always ahead of the hitters, but that does not make things any less strange out on the mound.

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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.

Davis gets in right-field reps

Davis gets in right-field reps

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Friday afternoon that Chris Davis would see some time in right field this spring. Sure enough, Davis spent Saturday's workout with the outfielders.

While most of the Orioles were warming up Saturday morning, Davis split off with first-base coach Wayne Kirby to field ground balls in right field and work on throwing from right to home plate. He rejoined the rest of the team to stretch before going through the rest of the day's drills with Baltimore's outfielders.

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