Spring exhibitions shift to MLB parks on .TV

Cubs play Astros in Houston; Freeway Series begins

Spring exhibitions shift to MLB parks on .TV

It's the time in Spring Training when exhibitions begin to shift to Major League parks, and today's MLB.TV lineup features four of seven games in big league venues.

The Cubs play the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Indians face the D-backs at Chase Field. The Dodgers and Angels begin the Freeway Series at Angel Stadium. And the A's and Giants open the Bay Bridge Series at AT&T Park.

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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.

Heads up! Opening Day dress code: #CapsOn

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Heads up! Opening Day dress code: #CapsOn

April 3 is Opening Day. There are two things you should do then: 1) Watch baseball all day and 2) wear your ballcap to school or work and share a photo of yourself with the hashtag #CapsOn. But maybe you're looking for a new cap. Or a lot of new ones. Let's say ... 30? 

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Nats tab Treinen for Opening Day closer

Nats tab Treinen for Opening Day closer

Blake Treinen will be the Nationals' Opening Day closer, manager Dusty Baker announced Thursday.

"It's exciting. I think a lot of us came into spring just willing to put our heads down and compete and do the best that we can knowing that we're all going to have valuable innings," Treinen said.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

R.B.I. Baseball 17 is out now, and you can win a team-themed Xbox One S to go along with it

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R.B.I. Baseball 17 is out now, and you can win a team-themed Xbox One S to go along with it

MLB's season opener may still be five days away, but if you've waited long enough and really just cannot wait any longer, fear not: R.B.I. Baseball 2017 is here, and it can be yours today.

The Corey Seager-adorned game (or Kevin Pillar  if you're in Canada) is available to purchase in North America at GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and MLB.com, among other participating outlets. Globally, it's accessible as a digital download on the Xbox Marketplace, PlayStation Store and the App Store on iPhone and iPad.

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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Elevator pitch: HR hitters share power points

Batters hit 701 more homers in 2016 than in '15

Elevator pitch: HR hitters share power points

"I started to think to myself," said San Diego's Wil Myers this spring about the changes he's made, "[that] if I want to hit home runs, I might as well practice them."

Other than the Cubs finally snapping their century-plus streak without a title, there's been no bigger story in baseball over the past year than the increase in home runs. In 2015, batters hit 723 more homers than they had in '14. In '16, they hit 701 more homers than they had in '15. That's more than 1,400 additional dingers in just two seasons, with the 5,610 home runs in '16 representing the second-highest total on record, behind only the height of the homer-happy era in 2000.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wheeler earns rotation spot; Matz to DL

Wheeler earns rotation spot; Matz to DL

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Zack Wheeler's two-year rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery is at an end. The Mets announced Thursday that Wheeler has made their Opening Day roster, while Steven Matz will begin the year on the 10-day disabled list due to inflammation in his left elbow.

Though the MRI that Matz underwent Wednesday revealed no structural damage, he received a platelet-rich plasma injection, and doctors instructed him to refrain from throwing for three weeks. That opened up a rotation spot for Wheeler, who has not pitched in a regular-season game since before undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2015..

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge named Yanks' Opening Day right fielder

Severino claims No. 4 spot in rotation; bullpen takes shape

Judge named Yanks' Opening Day right fielder

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The heavy door to the George M. Steinbrenner Field manager's office swung open at 10:07 a.m. ET on Thursday, and with that, the Yankees were finally prepared to announce the 25-man roster that they will submit in advance of Sunday's season opener against the Rays.

Aaron Judge, who is ranked No. 4 on the Yankees' Top 30 Prospects list, was selected as the Opening Day right fielder and Luis Severino has grabbed the No. 4 rotation spot, according to manager Joe Girardi, who said the high level of competition made it difficult for team brass to hammer out the final calls of the spring.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Inbox: Future Top 100 prospect candidates

Inbox: Future Top 100 prospect candidates

Greetings from the National High School Invitational at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Even though I'm in the middle of this terrific high school tournament with a ton of good 2017 Draft prospects competing, there's always time for a Pipeline Inbox.

With Spring Training coming to an end, many of you wanted to talk about prospect performances this spring. More specifically, there were questions about those prospects and their futures as potential Top 100-type guys. It was an easy theme to pick out. Happy MLB Opening Day to all.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers, Odor to announce 6-year deal

Watch news conference live on MLB.com and texasrangers.com

Rangers, Odor to announce 6-year deal

The Rangers will hold a news conference today at 3 p.m. ET. at Globe Life Park to announce their agreement on a six-year contract extension with second baseman Rougned Odor. Fans can watch a live stream on MLB.com and texasrangers.com.

The deal, which according to Major League sources and multiple media outlets is worth $49.5 million, covers the 2017-22 seasons and includes a club option for '23.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Six deep sleepers you should get excited about

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Six deep sleepers you should get excited about

A superstar having another great year? Ho hum. Mike Trout hitting 30-plus home runs with a .300 batting average --- yeah, we've seen that. Instead of hyping the superstars, let's look at the sleepers -- including some of the deepest sleepers out there -- that could find themselves atop the leaderboards at the end of the year. 

After all, it's the sleepers that win fantasy drafts and make you look like a baseball genius.

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MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

What a relief! Tribe boasts game's best 'pen

Orioles, Dodgers, Cubs and Yankees round out top 5

What a relief! Tribe boasts game's best 'pen

All week, in an effort to both stoke debate and get stoked for the 2017 season, we're ranking the top five clubs in a few key categories. We've gone over the rotations and lineups, and we'll continue today with the bullpens.

Baseball is increasingly a bullpen-oriented game (witness the contracts doled out to Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon over the offseason), which makes the well-established variance of reliever performance from year to year all the more meaningful. You can build the perfect 'pen or, quite often, you can simply stumble upon it, and so these 'pen power rankings will be especially open to adaptation as the year evolves.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Got a draft? Get an edge with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

Got a draft? Get an edge with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

Baseball, both real and fantasy, is more a marathon than a sprint. As a fantasy owner, you work 162 games across 180-plus days.

But the thing is, your full-time job isn't to run a fantasy team. And that championship trophy on your mantel isn't paying the phone bill, shiny as it is.

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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.

Be a GM with Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball

Be a GM with Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball

Since the final out of the 2016 World Series settled in Anthony Rizzo's glove, giving the Cubs a championship 108 years in the making, baseball's general managers have been preparing their clubs for success in '17.

And now, with Opening Day quickly approaching, you can join in on the excitement.

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

Ichiro, baseball wizard, wants to play 'til 50

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Ichiro, baseball wizard, wants to play 'til 50

We've noted that Ichiro Suzuki may be a wizard before on this blog. He provided an all-time MLB highlight just days after his MLB debut, racked up 3,000-plus hits in 16 years and, at the age of 42 last season, slashed at an incredible .291/.354/.376 line. He stole 10 bases and had five triples!

So, it's hardly a surprise that the 10-time Gold Glove winner told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that he wants to play until he's 50.

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Indians, Mets receive Bobby Murcer Award

Honor given to teams with largest contributions to B.A.T.

Indians, Mets receive Bobby Murcer Award

The Baseball Assistance Team presented its annual Bobby Murcer Award amid the gradual closing of Spring Training to Cleveland in the American League and New York in the National League.

The Indians and Mets are your 2017 league champions.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. 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.

Twins reassign Park, name Mejia fifth starter

Twins reassign Park, name Mejia fifth starter

The Twins took another step toward rounding out their roster with a series of moves Thursday, reassigning ByungHo Park to Minor League camp.

The club also named Adalberto Mejia as its fifth starter.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Holy Cow! Cubs should be even better in 2017

Unfortunately for the rest of the NL, the North Siders are still on the rise

Holy Cow! Cubs should be even better in 2017

Can it get any better for the Cubs? Socially, probably not. Their 2016 World Series championship ride was a once-every-108-years style of celebration.

But can they be better in 2017 than they were in '16? Absolutely.

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

Duvall leaves Arizona on powerful note

Slugging outfielder hits homer high up on scoreboard in Goodyear

Duvall leaves Arizona on powerful note

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There was no estimated distance on Adam Duvall's first-inning home run for the Reds vs. the Indians in a 9-6 loss on Wednesday. Had it not careened off the left-field scoreboard, it certainly would have landed outside of Goodyear Ballpark.

All that mattered to Duvall was that he got all of it against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Price points: 10 undervalued fantasy options

Lindor, Cespedes among players whose production should outweigh draft cost

Price points: 10 undervalued fantasy options

Fantasy drafts are all about value.

When selecting a team, the focus should be squarely set on getting the most productive player with each pick. Based on the ADP (Average Draft Position) data, the following 10 players should offer production that exceeds their acquisition costs.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

D-backs surpass $50 million mark in donations

Spring Training ends with 'Evening on the Diamond' fundraiser

D-backs surpass $50 million mark in donations

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It was a perfectly balmy evening Wednesday at Salt River Fields for the D-backs to stage their annual "Evening on the Diamond" fundraiser.

The food -- eclectic barbeque prepared by a local chief -- was good. The country music -- headlined by Dustin Lynch -- was rowdy and enjoyed by all.

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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.

Clock 'still running' on Yadi's contract situation

Cardinals working to ensure catcher stays with organization beyond 2017 season

Clock 'still running' on Yadi's contract situation

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals cleared out their Spring Training complex and departed for Memphis late Wednesday afternoon with Yadier Molina's contract situation still unresolved.

This past weekend, Molina said that he would be open to negotiating an extension with the Cardinals up until the start of the regular season. That stated timetable reignited talks between general manager John Mozeliak and Molina's agent, Melvin Roman, but those have not resulted in an agreement.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For game's top talent, awards contention awaits

For game's top talent, awards contention awaits

Opening Day is nearly upon us, which means it's Prediction Season, and what's more fun to predict than which players will take home baseball's most prestigious awards?

The 162-game season is filled with twists and turns, and much still needs to be determined before anyone is crowned.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Astros unveil dramatic center-field makeover

$18 million renovation aimed at improving fan experience

Astros unveil dramatic center-field makeover

HOUSTON -- When Jim Crane took over more than five years ago as the owner of the Astros, he had his sights set on two long-term goals: Make the Astros a contender, and improve the gameday experience for the fans in the ballpark as the on-field transformation was unfolding.

Crane is pleased with the progress of both. The Astros will begin the 2017 season as legitimate contenders to win the American League West, and Minute Maid Park has undergone another dramatic transformation, with a rebuilt center-field section offering a more comfortable, spacious area and improved food and drink options for fans.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Terence Moore

Latest statue hammers home Aaron's legacy

Braves unveil monument to Hall of Famer at SunTrust Park

Latest statue hammers home Aaron's legacy

SMYRNA, Ga. -- Another Hank Aaron statue? This is getting wonderfully old.

OK, there is that one of Aaron in downtown Atlanta, where the Braves played at Turner Field from 1997 until last season. The statue sits near the permanently sealed-off area that highlights the landing spot at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium of his 715th career home run, which passed Babe Ruth's supposedly insurmountable record. As much as Aaron means to Georgia, which is along the lines of peaches and peanuts, he is a Wisconsin icon. He began his Major League career 63 years ago in Milwaukee with those other Braves, and he finished with the Brewers. Even though he never played at Miller Park, he is so beloved by Cheeseheads that they built a statue for Aaron outside of their current place.

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Terence Moore has covered a variety of sports for more than three decades and contributes columns to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grichuk requests extra AB, is hit by a pitch

Outfielder doubtful for Cards' two exhibition games; Fryer will serve as Molina's backup

Grichuk requests extra AB, is hit by a pitch

JUPITER, Fla. -- The extra plate appearance Randal Grichuk requested on Wednesday was one he regretted afterward.

Grichuk's Grapefruit League season ended not on a high note, but rather with him taking a pitch from Nationals reliever Phillips Valdez off his right middle knuckle. The Cardinals don't believe the impact broke any bones, but it will keep Grichuk sidelined for the team's exhibition game in Memphis on Thursday. He may sit Friday as well.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Preseason picks for 2017 awards winners

Poll weighs opinions of MLB.com, MLB Network experts

Preseason picks for 2017 awards winners

The players of Major League Baseball are almost ready to take the field and start making history. The 2017 season looms, with the Chicago Cubs eager to defend their long-awaited and unforgettable World Series championship and the other 29 clubs fired up to unseat them in October.

Each team's questions from the offseason will be answered over the next 162 games and the postseason, but before we get to Opening Day, it's always fun to make some predictions.

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

Miggy shoots segment for 'Diesel Brothers'

Miggy shoots segment for 'Diesel Brothers'

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera played his final home game of this Spring Training under the Florida sun Wednesday afternoon. He cleaned up, donned some of his branded clothes for street gear, and got back into the batter's box at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium to play some ball with a couple of guys who consider themselves fans.

Both efforts were under the camera. One was an 8-2 Tigers loss to the Phillies; the other was a segment for an episode of Discovery Channel's "Diesel Brothers." The show teamed up with MLB Network for a baseball-themed episode in which Cabrera orders a custom diesel truck to drive around Detroit.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bat Girl Contest judges have star power

Actresses Song, Aduba helping MLB in fight vs. cancer

Bat Girl Contest judges have star power

As entries continue through April 12 for the 2017 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, there is a formidable cast of guest judges charged with poring over submissions at HonoraryBatGirl.com and somehow choosing 30 winners -- one for each Major League Baseball club -- from among stories that are all powerful studies of courage in the face of breast cancer.

Brenda Song and Uzo Aduba, stars of popular TV series and Stand Up To Cancer ambassadors, are honored to take up that challenge. Song's mother is fighting for a fourth time since first being diagnosed 13 years ago. Aduba lost a close family friend two years ago, lost a cousin just four months ago and has an aunt who is battling the disease. The two actresses bring an utmost appreciation for their role as guest judges, touched by so many who share their personal stories of strength on this eighth annual platform for hope, solidarity and awareness.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. 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.

Matz won't be ready to start season

Left-hander awaiting results of MRI on sore left elbow

Matz won't be ready to start season

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets starter Steven Matz's last chance at a roster spot evaporated Wednesday, when he went for an MRI on his sore left elbow. Manager Terry Collins said he does not expect Matz, who has been nursing a tender elbow for the past week, to make the Opening Day roster.

"He still feels it," Collins said. "We thought it would be important to get it looked at."

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.