Several scouts on hand for Hamels' first start

Lefty, who's been subject of trade rumors, holds Yanks to one hit over two innings

Several scouts on hand for Hamels' first start

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels is well aware of the trade speculation that has swirled around him since the start of the offseason. And if it slipped his mind, all he had to do was look behind the plate at Bright House Field on Friday afternoon where 24 scouts assembled to watch his first start of the Grapefruit League.

Hamels didn't disappoint against a Yankees split-squad lineup that included Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius. He sailed through two shutout innings, allowing one single while striking out two in a 4-1 Phillies loss.

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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.

Rodon pleased with fastball command in first outing

White Sox prospect fans 4 in 2 scoreless innings of Spring Training debut

Rodon pleased with fastball command in first outing

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It was just one Cactus League start; just one two-inning effort against the Padres at Peoria Sports Complex under sunny Arizona skies.

But via the 31 pitches thrown by Carlos Rodon Friday afternoon, it was easy to see why the White Sox were thrilled that he dropped to No. 3 in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. It's just as easy to understand why the 22-year-old southpaw is in play to break camp with the team after just 24 1/3 innings of Minor League experience.

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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.

Harvey dazzles in perfect return to mound

Right-hander strikes out three in retiring all six Detroit batters he faces

Harvey dazzles in perfect return to mound

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- For the first time in forever on Friday morning, Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud showed up nervous to a Spring Training game. A reporter asked him why.

"Harvey Day," d'Arnaud replied, as if it were the most natural answer in the world.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Mets thrilled with Harvey's form after long road back

'Special' talent tosses two perfect innings in Spring Training debut

Mets thrilled with Harvey's form after long road back

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It had the look and feel of a big event. Isn't it always going to be that way with Matt Harvey?

Eighteen months ago, Harvey was arguably baseball's best pitcher, at least in terms of pure stuff and probably in terms of attitude as well. His swagger is the kind that can lead a franchise and rally a clubhouse. His starts are must-see games.

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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.

Pence hopes to heal quickly, as he has in the past

Broken forearm likely to end outfielder's consecutive-games streak

Pence hopes to heal quickly, as he has in the past

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When the San Francisco Giants open the 2015 season, the lineup will likely have a glaring omission.

Hunter Pence has played in 383 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors, and in every game with the Giants since the team acquired him in the middle of the 2012 seasons, but that may come to an end on April 6 in Arizona.

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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.

Lester sharp in Cubs debut

Opening Night starter strikes out three in two scoreless innings vs. Reds

Lester sharp in Cubs debut

MESA, Ariz. -- Jon Lester admitted he had a few jitters in his Cubs and Cactus League debut, but didn't show it.

In his first spring start since joining the Cubs, the left-hander struck out three of the first four batters he faced, then served up a broken-bat single to the Reds' Chris Dominguez before getting Kristopher Negron to ground into an inning-ending double play. He finished with two scoreless 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weaver, Angels arms shut down Rockies

Cowgill leads strong defensive showing, drives in run

Weaver, Angels arms shut down Rockies

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Seven pitchers held the Rockies to four hits and no runs in nine innings at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Friday, leading the Angels to a 3-0 victory that gave them back-to-back wins to start their Cactus League schedule.

Grant Green made a sprawling play to his right at second base, Collin Cowgill made a perfect throw home to complete a double play and Drew Butera threw out another runner trying to steal to highlight a strong defensive showing by the Angels.

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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. 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.

Tulowitzki trying to simulate game action

Shortstop testing surgically repaired hip with extensive workouts

Tulowitzki trying to simulate game action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The days on the practice diamonds at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick are packed for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. While teammates are playing Cactus League games in front of sunning fans, Tulowitzki is manufacturing game situations at the plate, on the field and on the bases to test the left hip labrum that was surgically repaired in August.

"I'm trying to put myself in game situations with all the things that I'm doing so that something doesn't sneak up on me that I haven't done before," Tulowitzki said Friday morning. "There are a lot of situations in a game that happen, and there are only so many days to work on those. I can't just throw them into one big session."

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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.

Indians embrace Bauer's scientific approach to pitching

Cleveland alters throwing programs based on right-hander's methods

Indians embrace Bauer's scientific approach to pitching

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians have raved about the strides Trevor Bauer has made in keeping the club looped in on the things he is researching in order to improve his pitching. The give and take with Bauer over the past three years has even led to changes within Cleveland's own programs for its young arms.

Since Bauer joined the organization via trade prior to the 2013 season, the Indians have implemented a long-toss program and introduced weighted-ball drills for its Minor League pitchers. Bauer's teammate, Danny Salazar, is among the pitchers who have also bought in to using a shoulder tube, which is a long, flexible pole used for muscle strengthening.

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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.

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.

Masterson, Hanley get back in groove in loss to Marlins

Masterson, Hanley get back in groove in loss to Marlins

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Hanley Ramirez, playing his first Grapefruit League game for the Red Sox in 10 years, belted a double to the triangle in right-center to help spark a fifth-inning rally in Friday afternoon's game against one of his former teams, the Marlins. But it wasn't enough in a 5-3 loss to Miami at JetBlue Park.

Ramirez, who is transitioning to left field after playing shortstop his whole career, batted cleanup behind David Ortiz.

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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.

Best of Fantasy411 Twitter chat with Fred Zinkie

Best of Fantasy411 Twitter chat with Fred Zinkie

MLB.com fantasy guru Fred Zinkie fielded questions from fans during a live Twitter chat at @Fantasy411 today. To learn from someone who has been there and won that, check out the chat transcript below and check out the @Fantasy411 Twitter handle, MLB.com's Player Preview and MLB.com's fantasy home. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.

Q: @BrianPakett22: Who do you take at pick No. 2 in a 12-team mixed league?

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Fred Zinkie is a Fantasy writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey sharp in spring debut; Colabello homers

Dickey sharp in spring debut; Colabello homers

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Chris Colabello homered and Ryan Goins added an RBI triple to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-4 victory over the Orioles on Friday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Field.

After the game was delayed approximately one hour and 40 minutes because of rain, Colabello put the Blue Jays on the board with a two-run homer to right field. Toronto added to that lead in the third when Caleb Gindl was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

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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.

Matt Moore's dog Griffin gets a haircut for charity

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Matt Moore's dog Griffin gets a haircut for charity

Matt Moore holds his dog Griffin, a chocolate golden doodle, in high esteem: "He's as smart as some humans," the Rays pitcher has said. So naturally, when the team had their heads shaved for charity, Griffin would get in on the action, too.

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Zimmermann has grasp on what's ahead this year

Zimmermann has grasp on what's ahead this year

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Even this early on in Spring Training, Jordan Zimmermann already has a grasp on how important this season will be for him personally.

He is set to become a free agent at the end of the year, and the Nationals hope he can lead them to the World Series.

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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.

Urias wins admiration of Valenzuela in Cactus debut

Urias wins admiration of Valenzuela in Cactus debut

PHOENIX -- Facing proven Major League hitters -- including two-time National League All-Star center fielder Carlos Gomez -- in his Cactus League debut on Friday against the Brewers, 18-year-old left-hander Julio Urias showed why he is one of the game's most heralded prospects.

With his father, grandfather and brother in the crowd at Maryvale Baseball Park, the kid from Culiacan, Mexico, struck out two of the first four hitters he faced, and departed after issuing his third walk. He did not allow a hit or a run. He retired three Brewers regulars -- Scooter Gennett, Jean Segura and Gomez -- in succession to end the third inning and open the fourth.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hunter offers mentorship to Twins youngsters

Back with Minnesota, veteran outfielder enjoys giving back

Hunter offers mentorship to Twins youngsters

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The scene in the far back-left corner of the Twins' clubhouse at Hammond Stadium is nearly the same every morning.

There's 18-year big league veteran Torii Hunter sitting forward in his chair, fully engaged with Twins youngsters Aaron Hicks and Byron Buxton, giving the two of them advice and answering any and all questions the two of them have.

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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.

Phillies have Ruiz on program to keep him fresh

Veteran backstop won't catch many games early in Spring Training

Phillies have Ruiz on program to keep him fresh

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The last few springs catcher Darren Daulton spent with the Phillies, when the wear and tear had begun to accumulate, he was on a unique program. He usually didn't play behind the plate until around St. Patrick's Day.

The Phillies are taking a similar approach with Carlos Ruiz this year. Even though he caught Cole Hamels in Friday's 4-1 loss to the Yankees split-squad at Bright House Field, he's not likely to start at catcher often in the early days of Grapefruit League play.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Price in typical ace form on 'Harvey Day'

Tigers' ace dominates in brief Spring Training debut

Price in typical ace form on 'Harvey Day'

PORT St. LUCIE, Fla. -- It was billed as "Matt Harvey Day" at Tradition Field on Friday, but David Price certainly provided ample fodder as his understudy. The young Mets right-hander came blazing back from an 18-month absence because of Tommy John surgery to retire all six batters he faced.

But Price matched him pitch for pitch in the first inning -- throwing 11 -- nine of them for strikes, freezing lefty-swinging Curtis Granderson with a newly adapted curveball for a called third strike that was as nasty as it looked.

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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.

Minute Maid Park hosts Houston College Classic

Hawaii tops Baylor in Game 1, Texas A&M edges Nebraska in Game 2

HOUSTON -- The tandem of Alex Sawelson and Alan Baldwin was effective for the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Friday afternoon. Sawelson singled in Baldwin in the second and fourth innings to lift Hawaii past Baylor, 2-1, in the first game of three-day Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.

Sawelson's three-hit game was one more hit than Baylor (6-6) collected. The Bears managed a third-inning single from Matt Menard and a sixth-inning double from Adam Toth off four Hawaii pitchers.

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

Uggla hoping to make most of opportunity with Nationals

Former All-Star looks to make the Opening Day roster as backup infielder

Uggla hoping to make most of opportunity with Nationals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Dan Uggla had never actually been inside the visitors clubhouse at Champions Stadium before Friday, even during his four seasons playing for the Braves.

He arrived wearing a Nationals jersey on Friday, where he is trying to win a spot on the team's Opening Day roster. On the first pitch of his first at-bat of Spring Training, he roped a single into right-center field.

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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.

Cecil scratched with left shoulder soreness

Cecil scratched with left shoulder soreness

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Toronto left-hander Brett Cecil is dealing with a sore shoulder, and likely won't pitch for at least a few more days.

Cecil was originally scheduled to throw during Friday afternoon's game against the Orioles, but never made it into the game. He does not appear on the Blue Jays' list of probable pitchers until Monday's game against the Astros.

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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.

Aoki's versatility gives him shot at right field

Discussions are underway to decide on Pence's replacement

Aoki's versatility gives him shot at right field

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy doesn't have to decide who will replace Hunter Pence in right field for another month, but discussions are already underway.

"I've talked to [Nori] Aoki," Bochy said. "We're going to take a look at him for some games there. That doesn't mean it's going to be that way, but I did talk to him. He's got more experience playing in right field, but with our right field, it's a lot of ground there. But he's got the speed to do it. He says he's comfortable anywhere, but he did say he's more comfortable in right field."

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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.

McGee visits Cardinals camp as guest instructor

Cards Hall of Fame member has worked with base runners, outfielders in past

McGee visits Cardinals camp as guest instructor

JUPITER, Fla. -- Willie McGee dressed in uniform for workouts on Friday, hoping to go to work inconspicuously as a Spring Training guest instructor. The Cardinals had other plans.

"Like I told the guys this morning, too bad, because we're going to make a big deal of him," manager Mike Matheny said. "When you go about drawing up how to be a pro, McGee is a really good one to model yourself after."

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Avila to return from paternity leave Saturday

Avila to return from paternity leave Saturday

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Alex Avila will return from paternity leave on Saturday when the Tigers face the Braves in Lake Buena Vista.

Avila, whose wife, Kristina, gave birth to their second child, Zoey, on Wednesday afternoon in South Florida, will catch Justin Verlander's first spring start.

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

De Aza homers for O's in Wright's spring debut

De Aza homers for O's in Wright's spring debut

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Chris Colabello homered and Ryan Goins added an RBI triple to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-4 victory over the Orioles on Friday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Field.

After the game was delayed approximately one hour and 40 minutes because of rain, Colabello put the Blue Jays on the board with a two-run homer to right field. Toronto added to that lead in the third when Caleb Gindl was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

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Despaigne, Morrow effective in bid for rotation spot

Right-handers vying for final starter's job, collect 2 scoreless innings against White Sox

Despaigne, Morrow effective in bid for rotation spot

PEORIA, Ariz. -- One of the Padres' few unanswered questions this spring got some fodder to pick over on Friday, as two prime candidates for the fifth starter spot had their first chance to pitch.

Odrisamer Despaigne and Brandon Morrow each looked good in two-inning stints against the White Sox at Peoria Sports Complex.

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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.

Cingrani makes statement, Reds offense comes alive late in win

Boesch's three-run homer caps five-run seventh

Cingrani makes statement, Reds offense comes alive late in win

MESA, Ariz. -- Brennan Boesch hit a three-run homer to highlight a five-run seventh inning and lead the Reds to a 5-2 victory over the Cubs Friday in front of 15,331 at Sloan Park, the biggest crowd ever for a Spring Training game in either the Cactus League or Grapefruit League.

Jon Lester, who will start Opening Night April 5 for the Cubs, struck out three of the first four batters he faced, allowing just one hit in two scoreless 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Key arms impress for Cubs in front of record crowd

Lester, late-inning relievers shine for largest Spring Training crowd ever

Key arms impress for Cubs in front of record crowd

MESA, Ariz. -- Brennan Boesch hit a three-run homer to highlight a five-run seventh inning and lead the Reds to a 5-2 victory over the Cubs Friday in front of 15,331 at Sloan Park, the biggest crowd ever for a Spring Training game in either the Cactus League or Grapefruit League.

Jon Lester, who will start Opening Night April 5 for the Cubs, struck out three of the first four batters he faced, allowing just one hit in two scoreless 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pham ends spring drought with 4-hit game

After nine seasons in Minors, Pham has chance to break camp with Cards

JUPITER, Fla. -- It took nine seasons of toiling in the Minors and dealing with various injuries before Tommy Pham finally cracked a Major League roster. That occurred last September.

And yet, it took even longer for Pham to record his first Spring Training hit.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.