After final tuneup, Bumgarner turns attention to opener

Southpaw fanned four batters over four innings in last spring start

After final tuneup, Bumgarner turns attention to opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Madison Bumgarner had an easy final Spring Training tuneup Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium in the Giants' 5-2 victory over the Indians.

The Giants lefty threw only four innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four. The short outing was planned, and Bumgarner said he feels good -- even though he swung so hard at the first pitch he saw as a batter he fell to a knee after the swing.

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

'I feel really ready': Cueto pleased with progress as spring ends

Reds ace ends camp with 3.86 ERA, 13 K's in 4 big league games

'I feel really ready': Cueto pleased with progress as spring ends

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds ace Johnny Cueto got one final tuneup before he pitches on Opening Day and he was pleased how he felt overall. In a 3-0 loss to the D-backs on Wednesday, Cueto gave up three earned runs and three hits over five innings with two walks, seven strikeouts and a wild pitch.

"I felt really well. I felt really loose. I feel ready," Cueto said via translator Tomas Vera. "Actually, I feel like I'm throwing harder. I surprised myself by how hard I threw because I feel more loose. I feel really ready."

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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.

Bid on Will Ferrell game-used gear for charity

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Bid on Will Ferrell game-used gear for charity

When Will Ferrell suited up for 10 different Cactus League teams during a single day in March, he wasn't just playing every position for his own personal entertainment. He was playing for our entertainment -- and to raise money for charity.

The extravaganza that was #FerrellTakesTheField, a partnership between MLB, Funny Or Die and HBO, raised roughly $1 million for Cancer for College. And now, Ferrell's day is being auctioned off piece by piece to raise even more money for charity, with funds going to Stand Up 2 Cancer and Umpires Care.

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Kershaw doesn't pay attention to spring numbers

Kershaw doesn't pay attention to spring numbers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Clayton Kershaw has an idea what his final Cactus League numbers were this spring, but once again, he's not going to invest too much into them.

On Wednesday, Kershaw gave up one hit and one unearned run in three innings against the Royals in his final tuneup before Monday's season opener against the Padres. The left-hander walked two batters and struck out two.

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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.

Axford sleeps better as son's condition improves from bite

Rockies reliever returns to baseball activities

Axford sleeps better as son's condition improves from bite

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies right-hander John Axford's heart was a little lighter because his son slept through the night Tuesday, for the first time since suffering two rattlesnake bites on his right foot last Wednesday. Now Axford has a plan that could have him ready when the regular season starts Monday at Milwaukee.

Axford hasn't pitched since last Wednesday -- the incident at his rental home occurred as Axford was leaving the Rockies' complex. But he did baseball activities Wednesday, plans to throw in a Minor League game Thursday and is scheduled to pitch in the Rockies' Spring Training finale against the Mariners on Saturday.

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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.

Tulo homers twice, CarGo hits one, too, in win over Texas

Opening Day starter Kendrick allows three earned runs in five innings

Tulo homers twice, CarGo hits one, too, in win over Texas

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Troy Tulowitzki hit two home runs to carry the Rockies to a 10-4 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday. Minor League outfielder Nomar Mazara hit his first spring home run for the Rangers.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis went three innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, a walk and two strikeouts. Lewis gave up three home runs and threw 57 pitches in his final outing of the spring.

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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.

Kluber strikes out five in final spring outing

Swisher tallies two hits, RBI in first Cactus League appearance

Kluber strikes out five in final spring outing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- San Francisco's Matt Duffy continued to make his case to make the Major League club on Wednesday, launching a two-run home run to lead the Giants to a 5-2 victory over the Indians at Scottsdale Stadium.

Indians right-hander Corey Kluber took the loss despite facing the minimum through the first three innings. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner allowed three runs on five hits and struck out five in 4 2/3 innings in his final spring tuneup before Opening Day.

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

April Fools! 10 times hidden-ball trick worked

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April Fools! 10 times hidden-ball trick worked

Happy April Fools' Day, everybody! We thought about orchestrating a hoax to convince you that Derek Jeter signed with the Mets, but that just didn't seem nice. Instead, we've rounded up 10 classic instances of one of our favorite MLB pranks: 

The hidden-ball trick.

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Sale remains on track for April 12 season debut

White Sox ace dominant in Minor League outing, feels 'really good'

Sale remains on track for April 12 season debut

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was not exactly a comfortable afternoon for the Reds' Class A Minor Leaguers, who had to face Chris Sale and his full arsenal of pitching weapons Wednesday on a back field at Camelback Ranch. And that lack of comfort is a good sign for the left-handed ace and everyone throughout the White Sox organization.

Sale threw 90 pitches over six-plus innings, 67 for strikes. He yielded one run on an opposite-field homer, didn't walk a batter and struck out 13. An April 12 return to the mound at U.S. Cellular Field looks more and more likely, with the best-case scenario coming out of the worst-case scenario involving the right foot avulsion fracture Sale suffered Feb. 27 at his Arizona home.

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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.

Rendon gets latest opinion, will open on DL

Rendon gets latest opinion, will open on DL

JUPITER, Fla. -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon received a third opinion on his left knee Tuesday in Vail, Colo., and Dr. Steven Singleton had the same opinion as the previous two doctors: Rendon has a sprained MCL in his left knee.

There is no timetable as to when Rendon will be back on the field. He will start the season on the disabled list. Rendon injured the knee making a diving play against the Braves on March 9.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Don't laugh: Comic called Holdzkom's debut

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Don't laugh: Comic called Holdzkom's debut

Two and a half years ago, John Holdzkom was a former fourth-round draft pick and Minor League pitcher with time on his hands. So he did what any 20-something would do: He called into a podcast recording.

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Get an edge in your league with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

Get an edge in your league with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

With fantasy-baseball-draft season in full swing, MLB.com put together a cheat sheet for fans in need of expert advice. Make sure to have the one-stop information shop on hand during your auctions or snake drafts.

For comprehensive coverage of the player pool, check out MLB.com/preview. And follow @Fantasy411 for daily- and annual-league tips all season long.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

10 bold fantasy predictions for 2015

10 bold fantasy predictions for 2015

Today may be April Fools' Day, but the following 10 fantasy predictions are not jokes. Sure, some of them may seem a bit outlandish right now, but no one will be laughing by the end of September. And remember: You heard it here first.

Mookie Betts will lead the Majors in runs scored

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Fred Zinkie is a senior 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.

Stanton, Morse homer to back stellar Cosart

Stanton, Morse homer to back stellar Cosart

JUPITER, Fla. -- Before Wednesday's game, Marlins manager Mike Redmond claimed there is not a "bigger" three-four lineup combination than Giancarlo Stanton and Michael Morse. The two sluggers showed their clout in an 8-0 win over the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Morse connected on a three-run homer off Jordan Zimmermann in the first inning, and Stanton blasted a two-run shot in the second.

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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.

Shields sharp in short tuneup for Opening Day

Padres ace tosses three scoreless frames; Gyorko, Solarte go deep

Shields sharp in short tuneup for Opening Day

PHOENIX -- Jedd Gyorko drilled a three-run home run, Yangervis Solarte added a two-run shot and James Shields was sharp in his final tuneup for Opening Day as the Padres defeated the White Sox, 8-2, on Wednesday at Camelback Ranch.

Gyorko's home run came as part of a five-run first inning off White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who like Shields will also start Opening Day.

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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.

Rizzo leads Cubs' power barrage

Three-run shot one of four home runs

Rizzo leads Cubs' power barrage

MESA, Ariz. -- Anthony Rizzo smacked a three-run homer, Jorge Soler belted a two-run shot, and Dexter Fowler and Tommy La Stella each added solo home runs to power the Cubs to an 11-7 victory Wednesday over the Brewers in Chicago's final Cactus League game.

Kyle Lohse, who had a 1.80 ERA coming into the game, served up three of the Cubs' four home runs, and was charged with seven runs on eight hits over four 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. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swisher knocks a pair of hits in return to game action

Veteran outfielder to start season on DL, will be with team on Opening Day

Swisher knocks a pair of hits in return to game action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nick Swisher had trouble falling asleep on Tuesday night. After a spring spent on back fields and in Minor League games, the veteran was given the go-ahead to suit up with Cleveland for its Cactus League game against the Giants on Wednesday afternoon.

That news made for a restless night.

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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.

Royals focused on improving number of HRs

Additions of Morales, Rios should help add more power to lineup

Royals focused on improving number of HRs

In the days leading up to Opening Day, MLB.com is examining various aspects of each team's roster. Today, the time has come to focus on a key number for the upcoming season. For the Royals, it's 95: Major League-worst home run total in 2014.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Back in 2013, former Royals hitting coach Jack Maloof infamously conceded that the Royals likely would "lead the league in fewest home runs" that season.

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

Shark roughed up early in final Cactus start

White Sox Opening Day starter allows five Padres runs in first

Shark roughed up early in final Cactus start

PHOENIX -- Jedd Gyorko drilled a three-run home run, Yangervis Solarte added a two-run shot and James Shields was sharp in his final tuneup for Opening Day as the Padres defeated the White Sox, 8-2, on Wednesday at Camelback Ranch.

Gyorko's home run came as part of a five-run first inning off White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who like Shields will also start Opening Day.

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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.

Vazquez to undergo Tommy John surgery

Red Sox catcher hopes to be ready for Spring Training next season after Thursday's procedure

Vazquez to undergo Tommy John surgery

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Christian Vazquez will miss the entire 2015 season, as the Red Sox officially announced that the catcher will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Thursday.

The procedure will be performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., which is where Vazquez went to get a second opinion on Wednesday.

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

Hammel excited to see Wrigley renovations

Right-hander anticipates new look of ballpark

Hammel excited to see Wrigley renovations

MESA, Ariz. -- The new video scoreboard at Wrigley Field was installed above the left-field bleachers in Chicago on Wednesday, and Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel has seen the photos of the renovation work being done at the 100-year-old ballpark.

"I'm excited," Hammel said. "It [doesn't look very good right now], but you know there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow there. It is what it is right now, and we're going to deal with it, but it's exciting. It's a long time coming and fun to be a part of, even if it will be a little sketchy to get around.

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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.

Craig hits inside-the-parker past Joey Bats

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Craig hits inside-the-parker past Joey Bats

Allen Craig is not known for his speed. In nearly 500 games, he has 11 stolen bases, so Barry Allen comparisons don't immediately jump to mind. But Craig's got hustle, and he showed it off during Wednesday's Spring Training game against the Blue Jays.

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MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Pagan's friendship with Mays a source of confidence

Since joining Giants in 2012, outfielder has found legend's presence a guide

Pagan's friendship with Mays a source of confidence

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Angel Pagan has had a little ritual involving Willie Mays at San Francisco's AT&T Park since coming to the Giants from the Mets in 2012.

"Before I go out on the field to play," Pagan said, "I go in his office and get my blessing. I shake his hand. It gives me a sense of confidence going out on the field. I have a blessing to be with the best player in history, to me.

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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.

Mets, Lagares nearing contract extension

Deal would buy out Gold Glover's arbitration years

Mets, Lagares nearing contract extension

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets are closing in on a contract extension with Gold Glove outfielder Juan Lagares, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Yahoo Sports first reported that the deal would be worth $23 million over four seasons after 2015, with a $9.5 million fifth-year option potentially keeping Lagares in New York through the 2020 season.

The Mets have not commented on the deal because it is not final. Lagares confirmed late Wednesday morning that he has not put pen to paper, but that talks are ongoing.

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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.

Utley launches two in four-homer game for Phils

Second baseman has hit four home runs in last two games

Utley launches two in four-homer game for Phils

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Chase Utley and the Phillies powered their way to a 9-2 victory over the Braves on Wednesday afternoon at Bright House Field.

Utley hit a three-run home run in the first inning and a solo home run in the third inning, while Freddy Galvis and Rene Garcia hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies ponder 'Utley Plan' to keep second baseman fresh

Past blueprints to rest veteran have usually been scrapped by May

Phillies ponder 'Utley Plan' to keep second baseman fresh

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Every spring for the past few years, Charlie Manuel and Ryne Sandberg established The Chase Utley Plan.

The former and current Phillies managers promised they would reduce the second baseman's playing time to keep him strong late into the season. But once the season started, the temptation to play their best hitter became too strong. They wanted to win. Utley wanted to play.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mazara belts first homer of spring in loss to Colorado

Lewis, Gallardo combine to allow six runs in six innings

Mazara belts first homer of spring in loss to Colorado

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Troy Tulowitzki hit two home runs to carry the Rockies to a 10-4 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday. Minor League outfielder Nomar Mazara hit his first spring home run for the Rangers.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis went three innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, a walk and two strikeouts. Lewis gave up three home runs and threw 57 pitches in his final outing of the spring.

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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.

Sox split squad racks up 22 hits, routs Mariners

Farrell, Sanchez have four hits apiece, while Garcia homers, drives in four

Sox split squad racks up 22 hits, routs Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Designated hitter Jeremy Farrell and second baseman Carlos Sanchez each racked up four hits as a White Sox split-squad team hammered Seattle, 12-4, in Cactus League play Wednesday afternoon at Peoria Stadium.

Farrell, a Minor League callup playing his first Cactus League game of the spring, had a home run and double along with three runs and two RBIs, while Sanchez laced four singles with a walk on a 22-hit day for the White Sox. Right fielder Avisail Garcia went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, while first baseman Jose Abreu continued his spring tear by going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

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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.

Walker this way: Taijuan makes Opening Day roster

Righty lined up for Seattle's fifth-starter job; rookie Olson set for bullpen

Walker this way: Taijuan makes Opening Day roster

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Lloyd McClendon didn't want to make an official pronouncement about his final 25-man roster on Wednesday. But after the Mariners traded right-hander Erasmo Ramirez to the Rays for left-hander Mike Montgomery on Tuesday night, the pieces of the puzzle were all in place.

"Look at the board," the second-year skipper said, nodding toward an office wall showing Taijuan Walker among his five starters and rookie Tyler Olson as the last name in the bullpen.

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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.

Verlander's opening series availability in doubt

Right triceps soreness may lead to first career stint on disabled list

Verlander's opening series availability in doubt

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Justin Verlander resumed throwing on Wednesday at Joker Marchant Stadium, but his scheduled regular-season debut next Wednesday in Detroit is in serious question.

"It's a little bit of a stretch right now," manager Brad Ausmus said of Verlander's chances, "but I wouldn't wave it off."

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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.