31 times WWE and MLB universes collided

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31 times WWE and MLB universes collided

When I ventured down to Florida for the first annual Cut4 Spring Training Road Trip a-paloozafest Extravaganza earlier this month, I had the pleasure of spending some time in Clearwater -- home to Phillies Spring Training and the Hulk Hogan-themed retail capital of the world.

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Red Sox taking look at NFL linebacker

Originally drafted in 2012, outfielder reports to Spring Training

Red Sox taking look at NFL linebacker

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Brandon Magee has already played 17 games over two seasons in the National Football League. At some point this year, he might play his first baseball game professionally at one of the Minor League affiliates for the Boston Red Sox.

It all depends on what happens with football. The Tampa Bay Bucs released Magee on Tuesday, and he was at Spring Training the next day with the team that still has his baseball rights after taking him in the 23rd round in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

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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.

Phanatic rats out Miggy for missing keys

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Phanatic rats out Miggy for missing keys

Losing your keys might be one of the most frustrating experiences in the world, which might be what two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera had in mind when he decided to troll the Phanatic down at Spring Training on Sunday.

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Revere breaks promise with leaping catch to rob Davis

Left fielder steals home run in Sunday's Grapefruit League game

Revere breaks promise with leaping catch to rob Davis

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Tigers center fielder Rajai Davis asked Phillies left fielder Ben Revere for a favor before Sunday afternoon's Grapefruit League game at Bright House Field.

"Take it easy," he said. "I need some hits."

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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.

Digging in: 5 unheralded relievers to watch

Phillies' Giles joined by A's duo, Rays' Boxberger, Pirates' Holdzkom

Digging in: 5 unheralded relievers to watch

Relievers are a strange lot. Ostensibly the pitchers without the stamina, pitch repertoire or command to handle a starting role, they've taken on added importance. With runs coming at a premium, GMs have decided to load up on flame-throwing relievers and simply raze the opposition from the seventh inning on.

Though "Just look at the Royals" has become a common refrain this offseason -- for everything from speedy defenders to small-market principles -- the team's playoff push largely came on the backs of Greg Holland, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera.

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

Maddon to keep giving Bryant work in outfield

Skipper hopes to have all prospects work at more than one position

Maddon to keep giving Bryant work in outfield

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Kris Bryant made his second start in left field on Sunday and manager Joe Maddon wants the Cubs' top prospect to get more time there.

The Cubs are emphasizing versatility among their position players, and trying to get all Minor Leaguers to play at least two positions.

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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.

A-Rod makes first appearance at 1B

Appearance goes smoothly; Girardi will consider alignment during season

A-Rod makes first appearance at 1B

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- At this stage of Alex Rodriguez's career, there are not many new experiences to be found between the white lines. Standing at first base, charging a ground ball and feeding it to a moving target qualified as one of them.

Making his first career appearance at first base, Rodriguez handled three chances in three innings at the position, grabbing that grounder and accepting two throws in the Yankees' 7-0 Grapefruit League victory over the Astros at Osceola County Stadium.

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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.

Verlander resumes throwing; status uncertain

Right-hander scheduled to make final spring start Thursday vs. Yankees

Verlander resumes throwing; status uncertain

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Justin Verlander resumed throwing Sunday morning, but the Tigers still aren't sure if he'll make his scheduled start Thursday.

Verlander did some "light tossing" at Joker Marchant Stadium, manager Brad Ausmus said. The right-hander still felt some tightness in his arm, but he came through the throwing session feeling OK.

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

With Uehara hurting, Mujica could step up as Red Sox closer

Farrell may also opt for bullpen-by-committee

With Uehara hurting, Mujica could step up as Red Sox closer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Time is running out for closer Koji Uehara to be ready for the start of the season. It now seems likely that Edward Mujica will be the primary closer on Opening Day, with others (Junichi Tazawa, Alexei Ogando, perhaps even Tommy Layne) chipping in when matchups present themselves.

Uehara has been battling a left hamstring strain for the last couple of weeks. Everything had to go just perfectly for the righty to be ready for the start of the season.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Duquette

5 trades that make sense before Opening Day

5 trades that make sense before Opening Day

It's not often that you see major trades made in the week before Opening Day, which is a shame, because this should be a time when teams should be trying to fill holes that have appeared during Spring Training.

In hopes of spurring some action, here are five trades I'd love to see happen before Opening Day. These are not trades I expect to happen, mind you, but deals that I think make sense for the parties involved.

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Jim Duquette is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Janssen getting MRI on right shoulder

Setup man having trouble loosening up, scheduled for test on Monday

Janssen getting MRI on right shoulder

VIERA, Fla. -- After watching his team defeat the Marlins, 11-7, on Sunday afternoon, manager Matt Williams announced that reliever Casey Janssen will have an MRI on his right shoulder on Monday.

Janssen was scheduled to pitch against the Mets this past Saturday, but he had a tough time getting loose, according to the skipper, so he was scratched.

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

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.

Reynolds has inside track on Opening Day start at second

Regular starter Murphy's lingering hamstring strain likely to keep him out

Reynolds has inside track on Opening Day start at second

JUPITER, Fla. -- At the dawn of Spring Training, it seemed near-impossible that Matt Reynolds would make the Mets. Though Reynolds broke out a year ago at Triple-A Las Vegas, the Mets already had their starting middle infield set with Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy. Giving Reynolds a bit more seasoning in the desert seemed apt.

But Reynolds' strong spring, combined with Murphy's lingering right hamstring strain, has cast uncertainty over the situation. With each passing day, it appears less and less likely that Murphy will heal in time for Opening Day, meaning the Mets must choose amongst Reynolds, Danny Muno or Ruben Tejada at second base.

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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.

Robertson throws sharp inning in return to mound

White Sox taking cautious approach with reliever Petricka

Robertson throws sharp inning in return to mound

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- David Robertson threw a scoreless inning of relief during the White Sox 4-1 victory over the Indians Sunday at Goodyear Ballpark. It was the first game for Robertson since March 21 against the Royals, as he has been working through soreness near his right forearm.

Robertson threw 10 of his 17 pitches for strikes in the fourth, inducing three ground balls to second baseman Micah Johnson, sandwiched around a Brandon Moss double. The White Sox closer is not scheduled yet for back-to-back games during this final week of Spring Training, but said Sunday that he could pitch one day and face one batter or throw a bullpen session the next.

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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.

Miller hopes to take recent success into regular season

Right-hander's six-inning outing vs. Pirates strongest this spring

Miller hopes to take recent success into regular season

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Since brushing off the brief frustration he felt during his ugly Grapefruit League season debut, Shelby Miller has shown why the Braves are looking forward to having him in their rotation for at least the next four seasons.

Miller produced his most dominant outing of the spring as he limited the Pirates to one hit over six innings on Sunday afternoon at Champion Stadium. The 24-year-old right-hander retired 18 of the 20 batters he faced and surrendered just one run, which was tallied when Austin Meadows tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

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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.

Prospect Meadows excels in full nine innings vs. Braves

Outfielder triples, scores run in Bucs' Grapefruit League win

Prospect Meadows excels in full nine innings vs. Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It isn't even your proverbial big league cup of coffee. A sip of decaf, maybe. To future Pirates, however, it is the nectar of their nascent careers.

Austin Meadows received the treat Sunday, starting in right field and playing the entirety of the Bucs' 4-2 Grapefruit League victory over the Braves.

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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

Graveman's hot spring providing unexpected return from big deal

Acquired as part of Donaldson deal, righty forces way into rotation

Graveman's hot spring providing unexpected return from big deal

MESA -- This may be one of those Billy Beane deals in which at first you go: "Oh, no!" And then later, calmed down and corrected you go: "Oh, I see."

How could the vice president/general manager of the Oakland Athletics possibly trade a player of the caliber of Josh Donaldson? One very good answer to that question was on the mound at Hohokam Stadium Sunday, pitching for the A's and building a big league future.

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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.

Wil Myers hits homer, trips out of the batter's box

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Wil Myers hits homer, trips out of the batter's box

There are few things in this mortal world as cool as hitting a home run, let alone a leadoff home run.

In contrast, there are few things less cool than tripping over your own feet.

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Kang proving himself after time in Pirate City

Bucs impressed with infielder's last eight at-bats

Kang proving himself after time in Pirate City

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Whether contractually or just congenially, the Pirates have been committed from Day 1 to having Jung Ho Kang on their season-opening 25-man roster. Korean Baseball Organization position players, as a whole, may be on trial through him. But Kang himself hasn't been on trial in Spring Training.

However, the Bucs have to be both delighted and relieved to have Kang dot some I's and cross some T's of their arrangement. And Kang put a big-time dot on a Michael Kohn pitch in the ninth inning Sunday, sending it far over Champion Stadium's left field fence for a two-run homer that gave the Bucs a 4-2 win.

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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.

Lough in jeopardy of starting season on DL

Lingering hamstring/back injury progressing slowly; Paredes could be roster candidate

Lough in jeopardy of starting season on DL

SARASOTA, Fla. -- David Lough is not progressing as quickly as the Orioles would have hoped, with the outfielder -- who is dealing with a hamstring/back injury -- now a possibility to start the season on the disabled list.

"It's beginning to look like [a DL situation] more than it did," manager Buck Showalter said Sunday. "I was hoping we'd get him out there playing today or tomorrow and not have a problem. He wants to get out there. Talking to him and getting him to be real frank with us, I think he's actually pushing it a little bit where he shouldn't. He knows some of the decisions going on."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans at Spring Training pick World Series winner

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Fans at Spring Training pick World Series winner

Ah, Spring Training: When all 30 teams have a shot at 90 wins, the division title, the pennant and a World Series championship. It's the time when hope springs eternal … or for the next week or so, at least.

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Gee reinforces grip on rotation

Right-hander gives up just two runs over seven innings Sunday vs. Cards

Gee reinforces grip on rotation

JUPITER, Fla. -- Publicly, the Mets have still not deemed Dillon Gee their fifth starter. But Gee continued to make that little more than a formality on Sunday, actually raising his ERA to 2.49 by giving up two runs over seven innings against the Cardinals.

"He was patented Dillon Gee," manager Terry Collins said. "He was working on stuff. For the first few innings, he didn't throw a lot of breaking stuff because he was trying to locate the fastball, work on the cutter and the change. He doesn't get caught up in anything except trying to go out and make sure he's ready to start the year. You look up and that's what you get: seven innings and quality work."

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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.

Teixeira 'fine' after bruising knee in Minors game

Yankees expect first baseman to play Wednesday after getting hit by pitch

Teixeira 'fine' after bruising knee in Minors game

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira was diagnosed with a right knee contusion after being hit by a pitch in a Minor League game on Sunday morning, the Yankees announced.

Teixeira immediately left the game at the Yankees' Himes Avenue complex and appeared to be limping, but he told reporters that he was "fine." The club said Teixeira is receiving ice treatment and that no tests are scheduled.

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

Herrera to start in center field, Revere in left on Opening Day

Herrera to start in center field, Revere in left on Opening Day

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg telegraphed his thought process March 21, when he first played Ben Revere in left field and Odubel Herrera in center field.

He confirmed Sunday that he plans to use Revere and Herrera in those spots on Opening Day.

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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.

Gonzales, Heyward set pace for Cardinals

Starter continues stellar spring with strong 4 2/3 innings

Gonzales, Heyward set pace for Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. -- Infielder Matt Reynolds, who is making a final push for a spot on the Mets' bench, singled and scored the go-ahead run during the sixth inning of New York's 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

Reynolds opened the inning with a hit off Cardinals reliever Seth Maness and moved to third on an Anthony Recker double. He then scored on a fielder's choice to push the Mets toward their Grapefruit League-best 16th win.

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

Hamels named Phillies' Opening Day starter

Harang to follow left-hander in rotation

Hamels named Phillies' Opening Day starter

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg smirked Thursday when asked about his Opening Day starter.

"It's a secret," he said.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Tito trusts young arms in Indians' rotation

AL Cy Young winner Kluber only pitcher in starting five with 200-inning season

Tito trusts young arms in Indians' rotation

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Every good starting pitcher grows up some time. He might be 22 and hitting the ground running, 25 and well prepared after a step-by-step climb through the Minor Leagues or 28 and ready to prove an organization or two wrong.

No matter how long it takes, the goal is to reach the point where he is ready to throw 200-plus innings on a contending team. The Indians hope that they have assembled that kind of rotation behind American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. But, at this point, all the Indians are doing is believing and hoping because they haven't yet seen a strong, complete Major League season from Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, Zach McAllister or TJ House.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

A-Gon shines outside the Hollywood spotlight

Soft-spoken first baseman has been model of consistent production for a decade

A-Gon shines outside the Hollywood spotlight

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In the case of Adrian Gonzalez, understated evidently equates to underrated.

Gonzalez led the Majors in RBIs last season with 116 and is widely regarded as the game's premier defensive first baseman. He rarely misses a game and does his best work under pressure. Add it all up and this is what you get: Major League Baseball's most underappreciated superstar.

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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.

Will Ferrell responds to John Madden's ST #HotTake

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Will Ferrell responds to John Madden's ST #HotTake

National treasure Will Ferrell is still applying full-court pressure on his publicity tour for "Get Hard," his new movie with comedian Kevin Hart, which means he's got plenty of opportunities to discuss his recent tour de Cactus League.

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Arm fatigue to keep Garcia off Opening Day roster

Visit with team physician reveals no new injury

Arm fatigue to keep Garcia off Opening Day roster

JUPITER, Fla. -- A Sunday morning visit with a team physician revealed no new injury for Jaime Garcia, but rather confirmed that the left-hander had trouble recovering from an 80-pitch simulated game on Tuesday.

Garcia, speaking a day after the club announced he'd be scratched from his next scheduled spring start, said he has been feeling left arm soreness and fatigue over the last few days, including during a side session on Thursday. When the discomfort didn't subside, Garcia alerted the Cardinals' medical staff.

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