Cespedes launches slam in Tigers' Grapefruit opener

Cespedes launches slam in Tigers' Grapefruit opener

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Seven years after Miguel Cabrera marked his Tigers debut in Spring Training with a home run, Yoenis Cespedes' first hit in a Detroit uniform also had a similar impact. He drove a grand slam down the left-field line in the fourth inning of the Tigers' 15-2 victory against the Orioles on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

"He's a strong man, so he will do that once in a while," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Hopefully he does it often. It was a good first day."

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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.

Urias reminds Kershaw of early days with Dodgers

Cy Young winner familiar with experience of having attention at young age

Urias reminds Kershaw of early days with Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Early hysteria over 18-year-old lefty Julio Urias reminds Clayton Kershaw of early hysteria over a 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw said he has already talked to Urias about dealing with it all.

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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.

Kang goes deep in first spring game for Bucs

New shortstop connects on solo shot against Blue Jays in third inning

Kang goes deep in first spring game for Bucs

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jung Ho Kang did not wait long to flash his power -- or his first "Z."

The sensation from Korea slugged his first home run in a Pirates uniform in his second at-bat of Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener, and it was impressive.

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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.

Syndergaard gets some tough love from Wright

Syndergaard gets some tough love from Wright

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Noah Syndergaard learned a rookie lesson the hard way during the Mets' intrasquad game Tuesday at Tradition Field.

As the middle innings played out on the main stadium field, Syndergaard, who was not scheduled to pitch, ducked inside to grab lunch. David Wright, who started at third base and was already out of the game, approached Syndergaard at the table and scolded him, according to multiple reports, telling the rookie that he should be on the bench supporting his teammates. Closer Bobby Parnell then grabbed Syndergaard's plate of food and threw it into the trash.

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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.

Missed out on Trout? 5 options for No. 2 fantasy pick

Stanton, McCutchen, Goldschmidt, Kershaw and Miggy each have strong cases

Missed out on Trout? 5 options for No. 2 fantasy pick

Mike Trout is dominating the fantasy baseball landscape as much as any player has in recent years. The Angels' center fielder will be selected first overall in nearly every 2015 draft, so the real debate begins once Trout is taken. The second-overall selection is full of intrigue, as five players have a legitimate claim to be pick No. 2.

History has taught us that approximately 40 percent of top-five selections do not produce first-round value in the upcoming season. Owners who pick from the two-hole will be among the last to make their second-round pick, so choosing wisely when picking the centerpiece of their rosters is essential. Here's a look at all five options for the second overall pick:

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Fred Zinkie is a 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.

Samardzija finds comfort in intrasquad outing

Right-hander works two innings against teammates

Samardzija finds comfort in intrasquad outing

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was business as usual for right-hander Jeff Samardzija in Tuesday's intrasquad game at Camelback Ranch, his first game action in a White Sox uniform.

The veteran walked off the mound after the 33-pitch outing feeling good about his fastball.

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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

Paul Hagen

Pace of play impacts more than just ballplayers

In-game entertainment, broadcasters also adjusting to new regulations

Pace of play impacts more than just ballplayers

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- One of the reliable old standbys during Grapefruit League games at Bright House Field mimics the classic television game show "Let's Make A Deal." A contestant standing on the dugout is allowed to choose between a nominal amount of cash or the contents of one of three boxes, two of which contain gag gifts.

The twist is that if the fan gets the harmonica or the rubber ducky instead of the gift certificates and autographed baseball, the ballpark emcee encourages the crowd to applaud. If they make enough noise, they're told, the fan will get the grand prize.

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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.

Ellsbury-Gardner tandem could top Yanks' lineup often

Manager Girardi intrigued by potential of maximizing speed atop batting order

Ellsbury-Gardner tandem could top Yanks' lineup often

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Yankees are intrigued by the speedy combination of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner atop their lineup, and manager Joe Girardi said that it could be seen often this season.

"It's definitely a possibility," Girardi said. "I think that both of them are capable of leading off. Ells has done it a little more in his career than Gardy, but I just kind of like the combination of those two guys together."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kemp, Upton to start in Padres' Cactus opener

Kemp, Upton to start in Padres' Cactus opener

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres manager Bud Black certainly isn't wasting any time when it comes to unveiling any of the new acquisitions general manager A.J. Preller assembled this past offseason.

When the Padres face the Mariners at 12:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday (live on MLB.TV) in their annual charity game, which marks the Cactus League kickoff for both teams, new outfielders Matt Kemp and Justin Upton will be in the team's starting lineup.

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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.

Cuban slugger's super slow home run trot

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Cuban slugger's super slow home run trot

Cuban outfielder Alfredo Despaigne is largely considered one of the greatest international sluggers of his era. And if you weren't on board with that categorization before Monday, you should be now.

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MadBum not disappointed by shaky spring debut

MadBum not disappointed by shaky spring debut

MESA, Ariz. -- Admitting that he concentrated on preparation rather than results, Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner allowed four runs and five hits in 1 2/3 innings as the reigning World Series champions opened their Cactus League season Tuesday against the A's.

"I'm not wanting to give up hits and runs, but that's not my main concern right now," said Bumgarner, the Most Valuable Player of last year's National League Championship Series and World Series. "If I could go through everything and be feeling good and getting outs, that would be much better. But right now it's about getting ready."

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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.

Twins tab Berrios, Gibson for spring openers

Twins tab Berrios, Gibson for spring openers

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins announced their probable pitchers for early Spring Training action, including No. 5 prospect Jose Berrios getting the nod against the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, along with right-hander Kyle Gibson starting the Grapefruit League opener against the Red Sox on Thursday.

Left-hander Tommy Milone will start against the Rays in Port Charlotte on Friday, right-hander Phil Hughes will take the mound against the Red Sox at JetBlue Park on Sunday, while right-hander Ervin Santana will make his Twins debut against the Orioles on Sunday. Right-hander Ricky Nolasco will start on Monday against the Pirates in Bradenton.

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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.

Versatile Warren an asset to Yanks regardless of role

Season after rotation's lack of depth showed, righty may earn key starts

Versatile Warren an asset to Yanks regardless of role

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Though the Yankees are considering Adam Warren for their starting rotation this spring, it has been suggested that he could be at a disadvantage because of his ability to pitch effectively out in the bullpen. The right-hander doesn't see it that way at all.

"I think it helps me more," Warren said on Tuesday. "If they like what they see out of me as a starter, then they can throw me there. I always feel like versatility helps me more than hurts me. I'm just trying to go out there and prove that I can start, and that way I can add that versatility that I can do any role."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Visitation, services for Minoso announced

Friday's public viewing and Saturday's funeral to be held at Chicago's Holy Family Church

Visitation, services for Minoso announced

Funeral services for White Sox legend Minnie Minoso, who died on Sunday, will be held in Chicago this weekend.

The family has announced that a public visitation will be held on Friday, with a memorial service Saturday.

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

Source: Twins, Dozier to discuss extension

Source: Twins, Dozier to discuss extension

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins are set to meet with second baseman Brian Dozier's agent on Wednesday and could discuss a possible extension, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday.

The Twins, however, have not commented on the situation and a team official said nothing is imminent.

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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.

Scioscia starts sorting through options at second

Rutledge, Giavotella, Green and Featherston hope to win starting job

Scioscia starts sorting through options at second

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Second base is as wide open a Spring Training competition as the Angels have had for an everyday role in quite a while, with Josh Rutledge, Johnny Giavotella, Grant Green and Taylor Featherston all having a legitimate opportunity to act as Howie Kendrick's replacement.

They're all right-handed hitters between ages 25 and 27, with between zero and 266 games of Major League experience. None of the candidates have done much in the big leagues, but each has hit well in the Minors.

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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.

Parker focusing on command as activity ramps up

A's right-hander approaching second Tommy John rehab differently

MESA, Ariz. -- Jarrod Parker isn't just going through the motions his second time through Tommy John rehab. The A's right-hander is putting into practice lessons he learned the first go-around -- and from former teammate and master commander Bartolo Colon.

"I'm worrying about my delivery and hitting my spots," said Parker, who underwent the surgery a first time in October 2009 and again last March. "I think the first time through, I was a little lax on the command and it was the last thing to come back, so I want to make sure this time I have it right away and there's no hiccup and I can just go in with a solid heater.

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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.

Ryu, Peralta in line for next steps of rehabs

Ryu, Peralta in line for next steps of rehabs

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Recovering pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Joel Peralta came out of their Monday bullpen sessions in good shape on Tuesday and were in line for the next steps in their rehabs.

Ryu, who missed two days with mid-back stiffness, said he wasn't sure if his next assignment would be another bullpen session or pitching batting practice, but he said he had no back discomfort.

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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.

White Sox agree to terms with 24

All members of 40-man roster under contract

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox agreed to terms on contracts with 24 players for the 2015 season on Tuesday.

The club agreed to terms with pitchers Maikel Cleto, Raul Fernandez, Onelki Garcia, Dan Jennings, Erik Johnson, Francelis Montas, Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, Eric Surkamp, Daniel Webb and Michael Ynoa along with catchers Rob Brantly, Adrian Nieto and Kevan Smith.

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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.

Mind back on baseball, Almora emphasizing mental approach

Father's health a constant concern a year ago

Mind back on baseball, Almora emphasizing mental approach

MESA, Ariz. -- Immediately after the final out of Class A Daytona's games last season, Cubs prospect Albert Almora would rush into the clubhouse to check his phone to see if his father was still alive.

"People can't imagine what I went through in games," Almora said. "I'd finish a game and check my phone to see if something happened. People don't understand that. People just look at the box scores and they don't understand what happens off the field."

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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.

Yanks of future make big statements in spring opener

Severino fans first two batters; Judge knocks game-tying homer in ninth

Yanks of future make big statements in spring opener

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Perfect weather at Bright House Field on Tuesday afternoon complemented the start of the Grapefruit League season for the Yankees and Phillies, who played to a 5-5 tie. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Yankees No. 5 prospect Aaron Judge knotted the score with a three-run homer.

Yankees starter Adam Warren worked two scoreless innings and was followed on the mound by Luis Severino, the top prospect in New York's farm system and the No. 23 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com. Severino worked a scoreless third inning, striking out a pair, but he surrendered four singles in a span of five batters in the fourth, letting in two runs.

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

Twins agree to terms with 25 players for 2015

Twins agree to terms with 25 players for 2015

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins agreed to terms with 25 players for the 2015 season, the club announced on Tuesday. All 40 players on the active roster are now under contract for this season.

Minnesota agreed to terms with 13 pitchers: A.J. Achter, Logan Darnell, Kyle Gibson, J.R. Graham, Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Lester Oliveros, Ryan Pressly, Stephen Pryor, Caleb Thielbar, Aaron Thompson, Michael Tonkin and Jason Wheeler; two catchers: Josmil Pinto and Chris Herrmann; six infielders: Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar, Jorge Polanco, Miguel Sano, Danny Santana and Kennys Vargas; and four outfielders: Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario.

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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.

Walker: Alvarez 'what you want in a teammate'

Though slugger not generally vocal, friend is happy to sing his praises

Walker: Alvarez 'what you want in a teammate'

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Pedro Alvarez has all kinds of power. He can crush a baseball, as he did Tuesday on his first swing in the first inning of the first game of the spring, sending an Aaron Sanchez offering over the left-field fence to give the Pirates a 3-0 jump toward an 8-7 exhibition win over Toronto.

Alvarez can also crush media folk hoping for an incisive comment or an insightful interview. That has never been his bag. So he can also powerfully polarize, because outsiders get a view of him startlingly different than how he is regarded in the clubhouse, where the Bucs to a man embrace him as a wonderful teammate and an inspiration.

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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

Mike Bauman

There's an air of excitement in Nationals' camp

Club has plenty of talent in all phases of the game, but rotation in a category by itself

There's an air of excitement in Nationals' camp

VIERA, Fla. -- The key word here is "excited" or "exciting" or "excitement."

But this is not child-at-Christmas-jumping-for-joy-right-now excitement. This is more like the healthy anticipation of down-the-road achievement, on the part of highly competitive adults.

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

Mattingly slots Rollins at top of batting order

Dodgers skipper believes new shortstop will be staple as leadoff man

Mattingly slots Rollins at top of batting order

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly put shortstop Jimmy Rollins atop his batting order posted a day ahead of Wednesday's Cactus League opener, and said that's where he'll stay for the season.

Mattingly wouldn't go further than that when pressed for a regular-season lineup, but the exhibition opener looked like a pretty good tipoff.

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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.

Marlins opt to hold Stanton out of UM exhibition

Slugger gets at-bats in sim game, should be 'ready to roll' for Grapefruit opener

Marlins opt to hold Stanton out of UM exhibition

JUPITER, Fla. -- After consideration, the Marlins decided to keep Giancarlo Stanton out of the lineup on Tuesday against the University of Miami. Instead, the 25-year-old slugger participated in simulated games on the back fields at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

The initial plan was for Stanton to be the designated hitter and get one at-bat against the Hurricanes on the main field.

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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.

Lewis excited to make Cactus League debut

Now healthy, right-hander is looking to stay course with Rangers

Lewis excited to make Cactus League debut

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis may be one of those guys they have to drag off the field when his time is up. He doesn't expect that to happen anytime soon.

"I don't have that many innings compared to other pitchers because I have been hurt so much," Lewis said. "So I haven't shot as many bullets as others. I'm still having fun doing this. If they say I'm not able to perform, I'll go home. But until then, I'll stay around and have fun. I've made it clear where I want to be."

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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.

In Grapefruit opener, Tigers show offensive might

Kinsler, Cespedes, Westlake each homer against Orioles

In Grapefruit opener, Tigers show offensive might

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Yoenis Cespedes' first hit as a Tiger, a fourth-inning grand slam, was one of three Detroit home runs amidst a flurry of walks and four hit batters during a wild Grapefruit League opener for Orioles pitching in a 15-2 Detroit win on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

The Tigers scored more runs in eight innings Tuesday than they scored in last October's three-game American League Division Series sweep by the Orioles. None of them count toward Detroit's end goal, of course, but it provided at least a glimpse of the offensive energy the team added in the offseason in an effort to rebound in 2015.

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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.

Hultzen feels good after throwing first live BP

Mariners taking things slowly with former first-round Draft pick

Hultzen feels good after throwing first live BP

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Danny Hultzen took another step on the long road back from shoulder surgery Tuesday as the Mariners' 2011 first-round Draft pick threw his first live batting practice of the spring and pronounced everything good.

The Mariners are looking at this season as a build-up year for Hultzen, focused on getting him ready to compete for a Major League role in 2016 after missing nearly two full seasons with significant shoulder issues. But the 25-year-old appears strong and healthy as he progresses through the early spring work.

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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.

Wilson to visit Rangers camp at end of March

Seahawks quarterback will dress for game vs. Padres, meet with Minor Leaguers

Wilson to visit Rangers camp at end of March

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who has led his team to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, will make his annual visit to the Rangers' camp on March 28 when they play the Padres.

Wilson will work out with the Rangers in the morning, dress out for the game and have a group session with the Minor League players later in the day. Wilson was in camp last year as well on March 3.

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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.