Miggy moves to field for pregame BP session

Slugger, V-Mart continue to progress in rehabs

Miggy moves to field for pregame BP session

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera was not in Monday's lineup for the Tigers' unofficial Spring Training opener, a 12-2 victory against Florida Southern. He still managed to steal the show with his swing.

While Tigers players took pregame batting practice Monday morning, out came Cabrera onto the field, bat in hand, ready to join in. He ended up taking batting practice on the field for the first time this spring.

More

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.

Kang's shortstop debut in intrasquad tilt draws big cheers

Korean infielder plays three innings before Grapefruit opener Tuesday

Kang's shortstop debut in intrasquad tilt draws big cheers

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The public unveiling of Jung Ho Kang was a popular hit. It was the only hit for Kang on Monday, as he played the first three innings of his Black team's 2-1 victory over the Gold team in an annual intrasquad game, but he nonetheless considered it a success.

Kang grounded out to short off Deolis Guerra in his only at-bat of the scrimmage, minutes after cleanly fielding a grounder off Justin Sellers' bat with one out in the top of the first.

More

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.

Wainwright throws 41 pitches in bullpen session

Cards' ace has been limited by an abdominal strain

Wainwright throws 41 pitches in bullpen session

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though still limited in running and agility work, Adam Wainwright received the go-ahead from the training staff and returned to the mound on Monday to throw his first bullpen session in 10 days. Wainwright threw 41 pitches in the session, describing it afterward as "exactly what I wanted it to be."

Wainwright had last thrown off the mound on the day of the Cardinals' first official workout. After that, he began limiting his work due to an abdominal strain, an injury sustained while lifting weights during a voluntary workout at the team's complex on Feb. 16. But because Wainwright does not feel discomfort in his abdominal area when throwing, he will continue to build up arm strength while slowing incorporating other exercises back into his workouts.

More

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.

Cespedes, Tigers begin to build long-term relationship

Originally pursued by club, Cuban outfielder seeks championship in Motown

Cespedes, Tigers begin to build long-term relationship

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Yoenis Cespedes believes he probably would've been here a few years ago for his first pro contract if not for a twist of fate. One bad step from Victor Martinez, one shift in priorities for the Tigers toward Prince Fielder to replace him, and Cespedes' journey from Cuba landed him in Oakland instead.

"Detroit was the team that was the most interested," Cespedes said Sunday through translator Aileen Villarreal.

More

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.

Play ball: Five MLB games on tap Tuesday

MadBum to take hill for champion Giants vs. A's; three other contests available on MLB.TV

Major League Baseball games are back.

Madison Bumgarner, who threw the last pitch of the 2014 season 125 days ago for the Giants in Game 7 of an unforgettable World Series against Kansas City, is scheduled to start for the defending champs against Oakland at 3:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday in one of the first five scheduled Spring Training openers between Major League clubs.

More

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. 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.

A-Rod sees time at DH in intrasquad tilt

Yankees play final game before Grapefruit action starts Tuesday

A-Rod sees time at DH in intrasquad tilt

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees closed out the workout portion of Spring Training with a combination intrasquad game/simulated game Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. A pitching machine was used instead of real pitchers and situations were created. For example, both halves of the first inning began with a runner on first.

"It's hard to get the situations you want with the pitchers on the mound. We could throw the ball in the dirt when we wanted. Throw strikes. Guys can make contact. You just get a lot more out of it," manager Joe Girardi said, explaining the decision to go with "Iron Mike."

More

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

Bernard's faith in his work lands him on Tigers' 40-man roster

Bernard's faith in his work lands him on Tigers' 40-man roster

LAKELAND, Fla. -- There's a voracious reader in the Tigers clubhouse. Wynton Bernard has always found books as a way to fill the free time in a Minor League season.

When he thinks of his situation, he thinks of The Alchemist, a bestselling novel about a boy who follows a recurring dream to leave home and travel the desert to the Pyramids in Egypt to seek fortunes.

More

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.

Votto making strides, but won't start in Cactus League opener

Limited to 62 games last year because of quad injury, 1B hopes to play in games soon

Votto making strides, but won't start in Cactus League opener

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When the Reds open their exhibition schedule on Tuesday vs. the Indians, the only regular position player not in the starting lineup will be the one whose status is under the most scrutiny -- first baseman Joey Votto.

Instead of Votto, non-roster invite Josh Satin will start in Votto's place. Last season, Votto was limited to 62 games because of a distal strain of his left quadriceps and didn't play at all after July 5. Votto is thrilled with his camp thus far.

More

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.

Tanaka faces hitters for first time in spring

Right-hander cautious, but feels 'perfectly fine' after throwing to Gardner, others

Tanaka faces hitters for first time in spring

TAMPA, Fla. -- Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, the $155 million starting pitcher who made only two starts after July 8 last season due to a partially torn ligament in his elbow, faced hitters for the first time Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

It was just five pitches each to Brett Gardner, Chris Young, Ramon Flores, Jonathan Galvez and Tyler Austin, plus two pitchouts. Manager Joe Girardi and several of his lieutenants watched intently from behind the mound, and general manager Brian Cashman headed up a front-office delegation behind the batting cage.

More

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

Sharp Harvey focuses on curve in live BP session

Mets batters largely unsuccessful as ace returns to original out pitch

Sharp Harvey focuses on curve in live BP session

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- This early in spring, live batting practice is an exercise inherently stacked against hitters. David Wright calls facing a game-ready pitcher "impossible" at a time when he and his peers are simply trying to rediscover their timing at the plate.

So it was entirely unsurprising to Wright when Matt Harvey unleashed a tumbling curveball Monday and the third baseman not only swung through it, but dropped his shoulder, put his head down and half-whiffed, half-walked out of the batter's box.

More

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.

Rodon prefers to let his game do the talking

Club's top prospect an avid outdoorsman, understated in his approach at White Sox camp

Rodon prefers to let his game do the talking

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It hasn't taken long for left-hander Carlos Rodon to grasp the Chicago bragging-rights battle between the Cubs and White Sox. That point was made evident during a sit-down interview with MLB.com on Monday, when Rodon spoke about a trip to Chicago he made while pitching for Team USA in 2013.

"Unfortunately, we went to Wrigley," said the understated Rodon with a smile.

More

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.

Renovation of Wrigley Field progressing as planned

Renovation of Wrigley Field progressing as planned

CHICAGO -- Phase One of the Wrigley Field 1060 Project remains relatively on target despite a cold winter, Cubs officials said Monday afternoon during a media tour of the construction zone.

The left-field concourse work and plaza development are going smoothly, while the bleachers remain a bit behind schedule, as previously announced at Cubs Convention. The center- and left-field bleachers will be ready May 11, with the right-field bleachers opening in early to mid June.

More

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.

Courageous teenager works out with Wood, Braves

Ritter played with titanium rods in back after removal of foot-long tumor

Courageous teenager works out with Wood, Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As he has undergone multiple surgeries to remove a foot-long tumor from his spine and continued to play high school sports with titanium rods in his back, Thompson Ritter has maintained a passion for baseball that was enriched when he accepted Alex Wood's invitation to work out with the Braves during Monday's practice.

Wood extended the invite on Sunday night after hearing the 17-year-old Ritter tell his inspirational story to a group of individuals who traveled to the Orlando area to participate in Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Birdies and Baseball golf scramble, which was played Monday afternoon.

More

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

Bogaerts finding comfort zone entering second season

Moving, thinking faster could have major impact on Red Sox shortstop's defense

Bogaerts finding comfort zone entering second season

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For all the talk to this point in Spring Training about the improved first-step quickness of Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, the other area he's gotten quicker in is every bit as important.

Bogaerts is now thinking faster entering his second full season, and that could have an immeasurable impact on his defense at the all-important position of shortstop.

More

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

Martinez to start Grapefruit League opener

Candidate for Cardinals' rotation will throw between 30-40 pitches

Martinez to start Grapefruit League opener

JUPITER, Fla. -- In mapping out their spring pitching schedule, the Cardinals have decided to give Carlos Martinez not just a long look, but also the first one, as Martinez pursues a job in the starting rotation.

Manager Mike Matheny announced that Martinez will start the team's Grapefruit League opener against the Marlins on Thursday (12:05 pm CT). Martinez will be capped at around 40 pitches, which the Cardinals hope is sufficient enough for the right-hander to finish two innings.

More

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.

One-time elite prospects set for breakout season in 2015

Young talents like Montero, Moustakas, Myers ready to take next step

One-time elite prospects set for breakout season in 2015

While we salivate at the release of the Top 100 prospect list, the fact is that very few players become superstars. Most slip into careers as relievers, journeymen and Quad-A sluggers.

But a few still manage to surprise you when most have stopped paying attention. After struggling to a .244/.328/.405 mark through 2010, Alex Gordon has become one of the most valuable players in the Majors, with the third baseman-turned-outfielder posting the third-highest Wins Above Replacement among American League position players in 2014.

More

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

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Righetti a quiet constant in Giants' success

Pitching coach entering his 16th season in role with San Francisco

Righetti a quiet constant in Giants' success

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Asked early Monday morning if he ever wonders why he still seems to fly under the national radar as pitching coach of the three-time World Series champion Giants, Dave Righetti grinned, winked and said, "That's the idea."

Bruce Bochy, distinguished manager of the reigning champs, doesn't hesitate in freely praising Righetti. The Giants lost one vital coach to retirement this season with former third-base coach Tim Flannery taking his guitar to the beach, but "Rags," as he's been known in clubhouses for years, is still at Bochy's side.

More

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.

Carpenter plans to be aggressive, but smart

Cardinals' leadoff hitter seeks balanced approach at the plate

Carpenter plans to be aggressive, but smart

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals have shown no indication that they plan to change Matt Carpenter's placement in their lineup. However, if Carpenter accomplishes what he has set as a season goal, he'll take a different look back into the familiar spot atop the batting order.

Calling his 2014 postseason "an awakening," Carpenter hopes to take pieces of who he has been each of the last two seasons and mold himself a little differently in his third full season as a starting infielder. The ambition is lofty given that it's coming from a player on the heels of consecutive All-Star seasons.

More

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.

Zimmermann doesn't ease up during live BP

Nationals right-hander feels he could 'go up against any hitter right now'

Zimmermann doesn't ease up during live BP

VIERA, Fla. -- It was just his first live batting-practice session of Spring Training, and most of the hitters did not even swing the bat, but Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann treated it with increased intensity.

He stepped on the mound focused on finding out how sharp his breaking ball is and how well he can command his fastball. Zimmermann even ran one fastball too far inside and nailed Clint Robinson in the right leg.

More

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

Outfield prospect Hawkins not rushing his progress

White Sox top Draft pick in 2012 letting his development take its course

Outfield prospect Hawkins not rushing his progress

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Courtney Hawkins isn't worried about the Major Leagues.

Sure, it's the ultimate goal for the No. 5 White Sox prospect, and he wants to arrive as quickly as his abundance of talent will allow. But unlike his first year or so with the organization, the confident 21-year-old won't put any extra pressure on the acceleration of his development.

More

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.

Prince says 'everything is smooth' with swing

Rangers slugger missed most of 2014 season due to neck injury

Prince says 'everything is smooth' with swing

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Morning rain canceled the Rangers' planned intrasquad game for Monday, but that didn't impact Prince Fielder. He and Adrian Beltre were among those who were going to pass on the fraternal competition and wait until the Cactus League begins.

That means Wednesday against the Royals is the target date for Fielder to play in his first game since May 16. At that point, the Rangers will start getting a real measure for where Fielder is at offensively in his return from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck.

More

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.

'Eager' prospect Jenkins grabs front office's attention

Acquired in Heyward deal, young righty impresses during live BP session

'Eager' prospect Jenkins grabs front office's attention

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When the Braves acquired Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins in the November trade that sent Jason Heyward to St. Louis, there was reason to wonder if either of these pitchers might become Atlanta's version of Adam Wainwright, who was Atlanta's top pitching prospect before being traded to the Cardinals after the 2003 season.

Miller will have the opportunity to immediately provide some value, as he is projected to be one of Atlanta's top starting pitchers this upcoming season. Given that he has never pitched above the Class A Advanced level, Jenkins will likely need to wait a little longer to make his mark in the Majors.

More

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

Peralta strives to stick around after breakthrough season

Outfielder took remarkable route to Majors, stayed active with winter ball in Venezuela

Peralta strives to stick around after breakthrough season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- David Peralta's journey -- from pitching prospect to out of baseball to trying again as an outfielder in independent ball before finally making to the big leagues with the D-backs last year -- has been well documented.

It deserves mentioning again, because it helps explain why after a successful rookie season in 2014, Peralta was not about to rest on his laurels, not about to take anything for granted.

More

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Out of options, Hand keeping it simple

Lefty, who could be traded if he doesn't crack rotation, stays focused, opens with perfect frame

Out of options, Hand keeping it simple

JUPITER, Fla. -- By choice, Brad Hand didn't give himself much of a honeymoon period. In fact, the Marlins' left-hander is literally going to take his honeymoon sometime in the offseason.

For now, it's all business for the 24-year-old. On Monday, two days after getting married, Hand started Miami's spring season off by throwing a scoreless first inning at Roger Dean Stadium in a 7-2 win over Florida International University.

More

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.

Lindor to be given every opportunity to develop

Tribe's top prospect to begin season at Triple-A

Lindor to be given every opportunity to develop

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The expectations are high for Francisco Lindor, and there is a chance that the Indians' elite shortstop prospect could hold his own in the big leagues right now. However, Cleveland is not caving into that kind of temptation when it comes to Lindor's path to the Majors.

"I don't think that's developing a player," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "If you [promote] a guy too quick and you get him beat up, that's not development. They've got to go through a progression, for the most part."

More

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.

Soler comes to camp prepared for big league pitching

Rookie outfielder added weight in offseason to better handle hurlers

Soler comes to camp prepared for big league pitching

MESA, Ariz. -- Jorge Soler arrived in Spring Training 25 pounds heavier and with a better understanding of what big league pitchers are trying to do to him.

The Cubs outfielder, who batted .292 in 24 games last season, now checks in at 240 pounds. He looks large enough to play middle linebacker on an NFL team.

More

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.

Rolen to bring expertise to Nay at Blue Jays camp

Former All-Star will help Toronto's No. 7 prospect progress at third base

Rolen to bring expertise to Nay at Blue Jays camp

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays are planning to bring in Scott Rolen later this week to work with prized prospect Mitch Nay.

Rolen's arrival date hasn't been confirmed, but he's expected to arrive within the next few days. The former All-Star is set to work with Nay on his fielding at third base and possibly his hitting as well.

More

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

Colon sets lofty goal for offense in 2015

|
Colon sets lofty goal for offense in 2015

Bartolo Colon has been a very productive pitcher in Major League Baseball for nearly two decades now. He's maintained a 3.95 lifetime ERA, struck out 2,101 batters, earned 204 wins, made three All-Star teams and won the 2005 AL Cy Young over the course of his 17-year career with the Indians, Expos, White Sox, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics and Mets.

Most of those teams are American League clubs, meaning Colon has rarely had to hit in his career. He's made exactly 48 appearances for National League clubs in those 17 years and accumulated merely 158 at-bats. He's scored a total four runs. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

The Week Ahead: Spring games to get underway

College exhibitions precede beginning of Grapefruit, Cactus action on Tuesday

The Week Ahead: Spring games to get underway

It's been a long offseason and a long February, but baseball is back, and we'll finally be hearing "Play ball" again this week.

After two exhibitions against college teams on Monday, the Grapefruit League and Cactus League seasons officially begin Tuesday, with games in Florida and Arizona highlighted by the return of the World Series champion Giants (they'll play the A's, who debut in their new home of HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz.) and a matchup between last year's American League East and AL Central champions, the Orioles and Tigers, at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.

More

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.

Spring pitching order offers hint at Braves' rotation plan

With Teheran likely set for Opening Day, potential starters fall into place

Spring pitching order offers hint at Braves' rotation plan

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Less than a year after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy suffered season-ending elbow injuries approximately 24 hours apart, the Braves are not going to announce their rotation plans during the first week of March.

But the club indicated their plans when they announced who will serve as starters through the first five days of the Grapefruit League season.

More

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