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. -- This was about as perfect a return as Matt Harvey could have envisioned.

Dialing his fastball as high as 99 mph, Harvey breezed through two perfect innings Friday against the Tigers in his first start back from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander had not appeared in a game since August 2013.

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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.

Greinke on schedule after positive BP session

Dodgers starter comes away with no pain after receiving mid-February injection in right elbow

Greinke on schedule after positive BP session

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke looked sharp Friday, facing hitters for the first time this spring. Perhaps more importantly, he came away from his live batting practice session pain free.

Greinke, who threw 36 pitches and faced 10 Minor League hitters during the session, had an injection in his right elbow in mid-February (the injection was nothing more than annual maintenance, the Dodgers say). He's on track to throw one more bullpen session before starting on Wednesday against the Cubs (1:05 p.m. PT on MLB.TV).

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

Darvish set to have MRI on right triceps

Rangers' ace exited spring debut Thursday after just 12 pitches due to tightness

Darvish set to have MRI on right triceps

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers starter Yu Darvish will have a MRI on his right triceps muscle Friday, followed by an examination by team orthopedist Dr. Keith Meister.

The results of the MRI are not expected until Saturday.

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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.

Reddick optimistic oblique strain is a minor thing

Outfielder expects to be out only four or five days with injury

Reddick optimistic oblique strain is a minor thing

MESA, Ariz. -- A's right fielder Josh Reddick was scratched from a scheduled start against the D-backs on Friday because of a right oblique strain he sustained during morning defensive drills. Reddick believes it's a minor strain, and he said he is "optimistic" he'll only be out four or five days.

The 28-year-old outfielder missed two months of the 2009 season because of a Grade 2 strain in his left oblique, and that injury "felt like I got stabbed with a knife," Reddick said. "I went down to the ground and everything hurt -- coughing, sneezing, breathing. This doesn't feel like that one."

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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.

Iglesias leaves game vs. Mets with bruised right shin

Shortstop had RBI single before injury on slide into second base

Iglesias leaves game vs. Mets with bruised right shin

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias exited Friday's game in the middle of the fourth as a precaution with a bruised right shin.

Iglesias, who drove in a run with an RBI single in the top half of the frame, stole second off Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard. But on his late feet-first slide, he hit the base with his leg. He remained in the game, later scoring on Bryan Holaday's sacrifice fly to center.

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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.

Pence out 6-8 weeks, tweets with pitcher who hit him

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

Pence out 6-8 weeks, tweets with pitcher who hit him

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

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

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

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.

Rangers sign Beimel to one-year deal to beef up bullpen

Rangers sign Beimel to one-year deal to beef up bullpen

The Rangers added to their bullpen mix on Friday, signing veteran left-hander Joe Beimel to a one-year contract, the club announced.

Beimel, 37, went 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 56 relief appearances with the Mariners last year. He limited left-handed batters to a .188 average in 85 plate appearances and put together a 19-inning scoreless streak during the middle of the season.

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

King Felix will make spring debut Wednesday

Mariners' ace starts later than rest of staff due to greater workload during season

King Felix will make spring debut Wednesday

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Felix Hernandez will make his Cactus League debut on Wednesday when the Mariners host the Rockies in a 1:05 p.m. PT game on MLB.TV at Peoria Stadium, manager Lloyd McClendon announced Friday.

Per his usual Spring Training routine, Hernandez will be the last of Seattle's healthy pitchers to make his debut. The Mariners' ace takes a slightly slower approach than most in spring due to the heavy workload he accumulates during the regular season. The 28-year-old is the only active pitcher in the Majors to have totaled 200-plus innings and 200-plus strikeouts in each of the past six seasons.

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

Bean speaks to RBI leaders about supporting kids

MLB's ambassador for inclusion discusses ways to help youngsters in quest for acceptance

Bean speaks to RBI leaders about supporting kids

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Billy Bean's story is unique but universal, a window into the game of baseball and the lives of many people who have been pressured by society to keep their perspectives private.

Bean, a former big league ballplayer who is now Major League Baseball's ambassador for inclusion, told his story at RBI Institute on Friday, passionately speaking about how he feared his sexuality would make him a pariah in baseball clubhouses. Bean, who came out as gay after quitting the game, spoke on Friday as part of his work toward greater acceptance and understanding in his sport and society.

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

Steady progress for Tanaka, CC, but no rush

Yankees content to give both hurlers work in simulated games for now

Steady progress for Tanaka, CC, but no rush

TAMPA, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia are continuing to progress toward game action, and the Yankees believe that both pitchers are on course to be ready for Opening Day.

Sabathia reported no issues following a 20-pitch batting-practice session on Thursday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, and Tanaka was scheduled to face hitters in a simulated game on Friday morning.

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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.

Tweet fantasy baseball questions to MLB.com guru

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

Tweet fantasy baseball questions to MLB.com guru

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

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

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Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Votto likely to make spring debut Saturday

Votto likely to make spring debut Saturday

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Joey Votto is scheduled to be in the Reds' lineup for his spring debut on Saturday, when the club travels to play the Royals at Surprise Stadium at 3:05 p.m. ET.

It will be the first time Votto, who will play first base Saturday, has been in the lineup since July 5. He missed the final three months of last season -- and 100 games total -- because of a distal strain of his left quadriceps.

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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.

Nearly one year later, Chapman showing no signs of trauma

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

Nearly one year later, Chapman showing no signs of trauma

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

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

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Nationals' wealth of arms could be key to October success

Washington opens season with six proven starting pitchers

Nationals' wealth of arms could be key to October success

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

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

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

Scherzer strikes out two in debut with Nationals

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

Scherzer strikes out two in debut with Nationals

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

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

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

Mariners' offense shows potential for breakout season

Cruz, Cano anchor new 'culture' at plate

Mariners' offense shows potential for breakout season

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

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

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

Rangers feel impact of new Venezuela visa regulations

Ability to scout in country challenged by three-month lag time for application

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers, like all other clubs that scout players in Venezuela, will be impacted by new visa restrictions for U.S. citizens traveling to the country.

On Friday, Major League Baseball issued a memo informing all clubs of the new travel guidelines to Venezuela that now require U.S. citizens to apply for and obtain a visa to enter the country. As stated in the memo, the Venezuelan Embassy website advises that U.S. citizens traveling to Venezuela apply for a visa three months before travel. Previously, U.S. citizens were exempt from any visa requirement.

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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.

Ausmus hopeful Miggy will be ready for Opening Day

Ausmus hopeful Miggy will be ready for Opening Day

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

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

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

dMRI reveals ligament damage to Collins' left elbow

Treatment undecided as Royals' medical staff may opt for Tommy John surgery

dMRI reveals ligament damage to Collins' left elbow

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The MRI on Royals southpaw Tim Collins showed damage to his left elbow ligament, and he said he will have a second opinion within a week or so. Manager Ned Yost wouldn't speculate whether surgery would be necessary or when Collins might be able to pitch again.

"It won't be anytime soon," Yost said.

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

Schwarber's slam highlights Cubs' offense vs. Giants

Turner hurls two scoreless innings in Cactus League debut

Schwarber's slam highlights Cubs' offense vs. Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants used some late-inning magic to erase an early deficit and secure their first Cactus League victory, 8-6, over the Cubs on Thursday.

After trailing, 5-0, through five, the Giants scratched across a run in the sixth, scored two in the seventh via a Daniel Carbonell home run and took the lead with a five-run eighth.

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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.

Braves give Moylan a shot with Minor League deal

Attempting comeback, veteran reliever last pitched in Majors in 2013

Braves give Moylan a shot with Minor League deal

LAKE BUENA VISTA , Fla. -- Peter Moylan defied the odds when he used his stint on Team Australia's 2006 World Baseball Classic roster to land a spot in Atlanta's bullpen just a few weeks later. But if possible, the veteran reliever is facing greater odds as he attempts to make a long climb back to the Majors.

Moylan gained the opportunity on Thursday, when the Braves gave him a Minor League contract. The club hasn't confirmed the deal.

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

Coke arrives in Cubs camp for physical

MESA, Ariz. -- Phil Coke arrived in Cubs camp Friday, and the left-handed reliever was to undergo a physical before he could officially sign with the team.

"It's not a big secret we're seeking a left-handed specialist," manager Joe Maddon said Thursday. "It's nice to have that lefty who can also get out the righty. I've seen Phil Coke in the past, and he's been able to get out righties, too."

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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.

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

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

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

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

Or was it a home run?

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

A-Rod slated to play DH, Beltran to make spring debut

Girardi emphasizes importance of at-bats for returning slugger, who will get three

A-Rod slated to play DH, Beltran to make spring debut

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez is expected to play in his second Grapefruit League game of the spring on Friday evening, serving as the Yankees' designated hitter in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest against the Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he anticipates Rodriguez will have three at-bats in the contest. Rodriguez went 1-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances in his spring debut on Wednesday against the Phillies, his first game action since September 2013.

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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.

Springer singles in first game action since July

Springer singles in first game action since July

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

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

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

Stanton comeback 'right on track'

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

Stanton comeback 'right on track'

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

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

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

Kershaw: Spring debut was 'good first day'

Kershaw: Spring debut was 'good first day'

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

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

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

In much-hyped return, Harvey to oppose Price

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

In much-hyped return, Harvey to oppose Price

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

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

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

After nearly giving up, Moss rejuvenated career

Outfielder considered joining fire department as career was stuck in rut

After nearly giving up, Moss rejuvenated career

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

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

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