Giants hoping for Cueto's arrival this week

Pitcher waiting on ailing father's visa to travel from Dominican Republic

Giants hoping for Cueto's arrival this week

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants general manager Bobby Evans indicated Monday that the delay in obtaining a visa for Johnny Cueto's father could be resolved soon, meaning that the All-Star right-hander could report to Spring Training within a few days.

"Later this week is our hope," Evans said.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tebow's spring journey begins with 9 BP HRs

Former pro QB focused on process of improving baseball skills in STEP program at Mets camp

Tebow's spring journey begins with 9 BP HRs

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The final tally was nine batting practice home runs for Tim Tebow, each one of them the subject of admiration. A small but devoted group of fans clustered around Monday to watch the show at the Mets' Spring Training complex. Photographers hovered nearby, documenting Tebow's every move.

Tebow's mere presence here was divisive; some fans wondered why they should care, given his status as a 29-year-old prospect who went more than a decade without playing organized baseball. Others craned their necks to see if he's still got it.

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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.

Arenado to realize dream of representing Team USA

Colorado slugger turned childhood disappointment into motivation to don his country's colors

Arenado to realize dream of representing Team USA

This time, Team USA called Nolan Arenado's name.

Being selected to represent the United States in the World Baseball Classic allows Arenado, the Colorado Rockies' star third baseman, to finally realize a dream that was sparked when he was 13. Then a budding shortstop from Southern California, he enjoyed what he thought was a strong performance in a Junior Olympics tournament in Arizona. Afterward, organizers would choose an all-tournament team that carried with it an invitation to represent the U.S. in an international competition.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve contributes to cause in first spring action

Altuve contributes to cause in first spring action

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets infielder Wilmer Flores outshined countryman Jose Altuve on Monday, hitting a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning, but the Astros came from behind to score a 5-2 win over the Mets at First Data Field.

Facing Astros right-hander Michael Feliz, Flores temporarily reclaimed the lead for a Mets team that had lost it on Altuve's RBI single in the third. The reigning American League batting champion and starting second baseman for Venezuela in next month's World Baseball Classic, Altuve finished 1-for-2 with a walk in his spring debut.

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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.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moncada flashes defense in first spring start

'He's a pretty special kid,' McEwing says of No. 2 prospect in MLB

Moncada flashes defense in first spring start

MESA, Ariz. -- The comparisons between Seattle's Robinson Cano and the White Sox Yoan Moncada seem easy to make.

They have similar physical builds, high levels of athleticism and both are power-packed second basemen. Cano even had indirect influence on the name of Moncada's young son and bat-flip specialist, Robinson.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After missing '16, Lynn returns to mound

Cards counting on righty to regain workhorse form

After missing '16, Lynn returns to mound

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though it had been more than 15 months since Lance Lynn last faced big league hitters, the Cardinals' right-hander described Monday's spring debut as much more a necessity than an occasion.

But whether or not Lynn acknowledged it publicly, his return to the mound was significant to the Cardinals, who need Lynn to reassert himself as a workhorse. Lynn had made three Minor League rehab appearances late last season, but Monday felt like his official return.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, 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.

Stroman in midseason form in first spring start

Stroman in midseason form in first spring start

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman will pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic this spring. And he began working out shortly after last season ended. So, yeah, maybe that helps explain why he looked as though he was in midseason form in his first Grapefruit League outing.

Still, the way he dominated against the Pirates on Monday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium was both impressive and encouraging for Toronto.

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

Brantley hits milestone with first BP session

Brantley hits milestone with first BP session

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Michael Brantley took his spot in the batting cage on Monday morning and showed off a swing that is more than familiar to Indians fans. After each ball that he put in play on Field 3 at the Tribe's training complex, the outfielder kept his head down.

If any baseballs hit by Brantley cleared the fence in his first on-field batting practice session of the spring, he didn't know about it.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Russell, Contreras go deep; Anderson debuts

Windy City matchup ends in 4-4 tie

Russell, Contreras go deep; Anderson debuts

MESA, Ariz. -- Addison Russell and Willson Contreras each hit solo homers and Chesny Young added a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh for the Cubs, who battled the White Sox to a 4-4 tie on Monday at Sloan Park.

Young was at the plate with two outs in the ninth and a runner on third, but Omar Minaya struck him out for the final out.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout happy for live game action on Monday

Reigning AL MVP sets 40-steal goal for upcoming regular season

Trout happy for live game action on Monday

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Trout made his spring debut for the Angels on Monday, drawing a pair of walks in the Halos' 5-3 win over the Padres at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

"It was good," said Trout, who also played five innings in center field and batted third. "Finally, it's good to be out there, seeing live pitching and just being out there with your guys. It was obviously a long offseason. I come into spring ready to play."

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farms that should crack the 2018 Top 10 list

Farms that should crack the 2018 Top 10 list

With Spring Training underway, MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo have not only been rolling out their 2017 Top 30 Prospects lists for each of the Major League teams, they've also been busy ranking their Top 10 farm systems in baseball. The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's episode of their Pipeline podcast with Tim McMaster, in which they discuss which teams look to be on the cusp of breaking into next year's Top 10.

To hear more from the MLBPipeline.com experts, subscribe to the podcast by clicking here.

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Felix set for early spring debut vs. White Sox

Felix set for early spring debut vs. White Sox

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners ace Felix Hernandez normally gears up his Spring Training camps later than most, but things are different this year. And that new approach for the right-hander will be on display on Tuesday when he makes his Cactus League debut against the White Sox (live on Gameday Audio at 12:10 p.m. PT) at Camelback Ranch.

Hernandez has pushed his schedule up in part because of the impending World Baseball Classic, but manager Scott Servais said there is more to his starter's amped up early spring.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Adrian Beltre is getting a new bobbleleg statue to commemorate his on-base dancing skills

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Adrian Beltre is getting a new bobbleleg statue to commemorate his on-base dancing skills

Adrian Beltre is a being of pure joy and the Rangers have done well to to honor that. Beyond giving him a constant foil in shortstop Elvis Andrus, the team has made sure to create the greatest bobbleheads in his honor. 

Last year, the team gave out a Beltre bobblehead with a removable cap, so that every fan at home could have the joy of rubbing his head

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Ballpark of the Palm Beaches ready for debut

Nationals and Astros, who share the facility, to face off on Tuesday

Ballpark of the Palm Beaches ready for debut

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Commissioner Rob Manfred will help usher in a new era of Grapefruit League baseball at 1:05 p.m. ET Tuesday afternoon when the Astros and Nationals meet in the inaugural game at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the jewel of the new Spring Training facility the clubs began sharing this year.

Construction crews have been working around the clock for weeks to finish the 6,500-seat stadium, while the Astros and Nationals practiced in separate complexes on each side of the venue. Crews will be putting the finishing touches on the stadium throughout the spring, but much of that construction won't be visible to the teams or fans.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Polanco eyeing membership to 30-30 club

Polanco eyeing membership to 30-30 club

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Gregory Polanco started working out in November and hitting in December. When he reported to Spring Training, he came with a number in mind: 30.

After an encouraging start to last season, Polanco wants to join the 30-30 club with 30 home runs and 30 steals. He's approached both marks, swiping 27 bases in 2015 and hitting 22 homers last year, but he wants to put it all together this season.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Give him a (pitching) hand: Ramirez back on mound

Give him a (pitching) hand: Ramirez back on mound

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A year ago, Nick Ramirez was a 26-year-old preparing to grind through a third straight season as a Double-A first baseman. Now, he's bidding to be the second coming of Brooks Kieschnick, the power-hitting relief pitcher who found a niche with the Brewers during their last rebuilding phase.

Ramirez, a left-handed hitter and pitcher, has been perfect in a pair of appearances for the big league Brewers. He struck out the side in an exhibition against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Friday, then struck out the first two Texas Rangers he faced Monday before inducing a game-ending flyout to center field in a 5-0 win.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rosenthal stretching out, possibly to start

Cards righty pitches two innings with expanded arsenal

Rosenthal stretching out, possibly to start

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though Trevor Rosenthal ended his scoreless appearance Monday with seven straight pitches registering at least 97 mph on the radar gun, it was the mix of pitches he showed ahead of that strong finish that justified the Cardinals' decision to handle Rosenthal a bit differently this spring.

As promised, the Cardinals offered Rosenthal an extended appearance. He pitched two innings and did so efficiently (34 pitches) while allowing one hit and no runs. Whether Rosenthal will be given the leash to cover three innings in his next outing hasn't been announced, but he looked ready for the challenge.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, 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.

Hamilton has left knee surgery, out 2-3 months

Five-time All-Star outfielder is with Rangers on Minor League deal

Hamilton has left knee surgery, out 2-3 months

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in Houston on Monday and will be sidelined for at least 2-3 months.

The surgery was performed in Houston by Dr. Walt Lowe, who did reconstruction surgery on the same knee last June. This time, Lowe repaired torn cartilage that was causing discomfort. He said Hamilton's reconstructed ACL was still intact.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franco's new approach paying off

Slugger has belted three home runs for fast start in Spring Training

Franco's new approach paying off

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies right fielder Michael Saunders is going to have a good look at Maikel Franco this season.

He is expected to hit just behind him in the Phillies' lineup, or perhaps even in front of him, which he did in Monday's 7-2 loss to the Rays in a Grapefruit League game at Spectrum Field. Franco singled to right field in the first inning before he crushed 1-2 pitch to left field for a solo home run in the fourth.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swanson feeling 'comfortable' in camp

Swanson feeling 'comfortable' in camp

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Having had the opportunity to experience his first big league Spring Training last year and then spend the regular season's final six weeks at the Major League level, Dansby Swanson returned to this year's Braves camp with a better understanding of what to expect.

"Each year you learn a little bit of something," Swanson said after the Braves' 10-7 loss to the Tigers on Monday. "Everywhere you go, you learn a little bit of something. Being able to experience big league camp for the amount of time I did last year helped me grow and become more comfortable with what I needed to do to be ready for this time of year."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giolito: 'A lot to work on' after White Sox debut

Young righty pitches 2 innings in 4-4 tie with Cubs

Giolito: 'A lot to work on' after White Sox debut

MESA, Ariz. -- Prior to Monday's 4-4 tie between the White Sox and Cubs, White Sox manager Rick Renteria mentioned how Lucas Giolito was coming off an exceptional bullpen session.

Giolito then threw two innings, allowing an Addison Russell solo home run, while striking out two. He didn't really feel as if he translated the work done in his bullpens.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Judge shows off arm, plates run vs. O's

Judge shows off arm, plates run vs. O's

SARASOTA, Fla. -- In his final game before leaving Orioles camp to join the Netherlands for the World Baseball Classic, Jonathan Schoop hit a long third-inning home run as the O's fell to the Yankees, 4-1, on Monday afternoon.

Schoop is 3-for-8 in three spring games. He also has two doubles.

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Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gonzalez likely won't return until Classic

Dealing with elbow tendinitis, Dodgers star hasn't been cleared to hit

Gonzalez likely won't return until Classic

PHOENIX -- Adrian Gonzalez's first at-bat in a game could come next week for Team Mexico.

Gonzalez, who has been nursing right elbow tendinitis and has yet to be cleared by team doctor Neal ElAttrache to start hitting, is on track to begin hitting off a tee and participate in soft-toss hitting drills, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. Gonzalez is also working out in the gym and participating in conditioning drills, but he has not started taking ground balls.

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Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Breaking down the D-backs' Top 30 list

Void of Top 100 Prospects, D-backs' system needs a couple more years

Breaking down the D-backs' Top 30 list

New general manager Mike Hazen and his staff have some work to do.

Not long ago, the D-backs had a solid, albeit not elite-level, farm system. It usually had a nice smattering of Top 100 prospects to help lead it. A year ago, top prospect Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair were sent to the Braves and then Braden Shipley and Archie Bradley graduated off of the list. With no one stepping up to fill in the void, Arizona has no Top 100 prospects for the first time in the seven years Prospect Watch rankings started appearing (2011).

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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.

Salvy sparks Royals' bats in slugfest with M's

Salvy sparks Royals' bats in slugfest with M's

PEORIA, Ariz. -- An early start time didn't slow the Royals, as catcher Salvador Perez led an offensive onslaught against several of the Mariners' new pitching acquisitions in a 14-3 runaway on Monday at Peoria Stadium that was called after seven innings.

With rain in the afternoon forecast, the contest was moved up one hour, but that didn't help Mariners pitchers as the Royals ripped three homers and scored 11 runs in the first three innings.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bogaerts set for long journey to South Korea

Red Sox shortstop will shift to third for Team Netherlands in Classic

Bogaerts set for long journey to South Korea

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is now ready for liftoff to the World Baseball Classic.

After belting two hits in a 7-2 loss to the Cardinals on Monday, Bogaerts geared up for Tuesday's all-day flight to South Korea, where he will join his Netherlands teammates.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray builds confidence from first spring start

Potential ace overcomes two hits, hit batter to toss two scoreless frames

Gray builds confidence from first spring start

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For potential Rockies ace Jon Gray, his first inning was akin to choking down bitter medicine. Seeing the first two hitters of the spring reach on a hit and a hit batsman on Monday against the Dodgers wasn't good, but he figured it was good for him.

"At first I thought it was a bad thing," Gray said. "But I was thinking, 'This is good for me. I'm here to make pitches, anyway. Why not bring it to the next level?"

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manaea sharp in spring debut, whiffs Posey

A's lefty pleased with early command of changeup, slider

Manaea sharp in spring debut, whiffs Posey

MESA, Ariz. -- First impressions are a thing of the past for A's lefty Sean Manaea, who is now able to hone his craft during the spring season rather than prove it.

Fresh off a strong rookie season, Manaea took the mound in relief of rotation mate Kendall Graveman on Monday afternoon and put together two scoreless innings in the A's 5-4 victory over the Giants. Manaea used his changeup to record both strikeouts, whiffing Giants catcher Buster Posey for his final out to strand his lone baserunner of the day, Denard Span, who drew a one-out walk.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hedges shows hitting prowess early in spring

Catcher is set for prominent role with Padres after trade of Norris

Hedges shows hitting prowess early in spring

TEMPE, Ariz. -- In the third inning of Monday's game against the Angels, Austin Hedges dropped to a knee and fired a laser to first base, catching Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun napping.

That's the aspect of Hedges' game the Padres have come to expect by now.

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