White Sox legend Minoso passes away

Club's first black ballplayer was 9-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glover

White Sox legend Minoso passes away

Native Cubans could move to the big leagues without dealing much in politics, secrecy and defection six decades ago. Cuban baseball talent was highly regarded and increasingly desirable. Not coincidentally, Minnie Minoso was at the forefront of the international game then. His baseball skills caught the eye. His distinctive name caught the ear. And his warm and engaging personality made him an uncommonly popular figure anywhere he played -- no, anywhere he went -- and helped forge a legacy that, to this day, prompts baseball folks to smile.

Minoso died Sunday at age 90 -- 34 years after his final at-bat in the big leagues, the one that made him the second player in Major League history to appear in games in five decades. Had Bill Veeck, baseball's ultimate showman, lived into the summer of 1990, Minoso probably would have played in six, and perhaps ended his 14-year slump at three at-bats.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Beloved Minnie was a Chicago treasure

Mr. White Sox was a great player on the field and a great man off of it

Beloved Minnie was a Chicago treasure

Minnie Minoso is gone, and it is silly to say he'll be missed. That's a huge understatement.

His death on Sunday leaves holes everywhere. No one alive knew better what it was like for Latin-American players to come to the Major Leagues, Cuban players, in particular. But that's just the very tip of a legacy that includes tremendous love of family, love of the American way and a devotion to the White Sox organization that Jerry Reinsdorf lovingly returned, in keeping an eye out for him all these years.

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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.

Harper says he has to 'step up' for Nationals

Slugging outfielder looks to leave thumb injury in past

Harper says he has to 'step up' for Nationals

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper wants to improve his numbers from last year. He made it clear Sunday that he wants to stay injury-free and he would like to get better at the plate.

Although he missed 62 games because of a thumb injury, Harper put up respectable numbers, hitting .273 with 13 home runs, 32 RBIs and a .344 on-base percentage. He also was the team's best player in the National League Division Series, hitting three home runs in the four games against the Giants. However, after returning from his injury on June 30, Harper struck out 83 times in 269 at-bats. He acknowledged that he was overzealous after coming off the disabled list.

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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.

Wieters gets behind plate for first time since surgery

Major milestone in Tommy John recovery comes in O's intrasquad game

Wieters gets behind plate for first time since surgery

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Matt Wieters crouched behind home plate at Ed Smith Stadium for the first two innings of the Orioles' intrasquad game Sunday afternoon, the first time he's caught a game since May 4. It was, without a doubt, a major moment in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

But Monday might bring an even bigger test.

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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.

Red Sox impressed with Panda's leadership qualities

Sandoval can help mentor young players such as Bogaerts, Betts and Castillo

Red Sox impressed with Panda's leadership qualities

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though the Red Sox mainly signed Pablo Sandoval for his bat and glove, they are quickly learning that leadership is another thing he can provide.

"He takes pride in that," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It's been refreshing in a way that he asks ... is it OK for him to impart some of the things he's been taught to younger guys. You only get reports on an individual before they get to you, but once you interact with a guy, in Pablo's case daily, you recognize he cares about his teammates and the way the game is played in addition to being a very talented guy. So that has been above and beyond what we anticipated."

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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.

Bryant continues to impress Maddon in camp

Skipper recognizes talent and humility in Cubs' top prospect

Bryant continues to impress Maddon in camp

MESA, Ariz. -- Kris Bryant has impressed Cubs manager Joe Maddon so far this spring.

"He's solid, he's motivated," Maddon said Sunday of the Cubs' top prospect. "He's got a really nice way about him. He's really good, he knows he's really good, but he carries that very well. I like that. False humility doesn't do anything. It's kind of a worthless quality. I think his humility is sincere, but he also knows that he's good."

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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.

Fernandez throws first session since Tommy John surgery

'Just like riding a bike,' Marlins ace pleased with latest step in rehab from May operation

Fernandez throws first session since Tommy John surgery

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins ace Jose Fernandez took another step in his rehab from Tommy John surgery on Sunday, when the right-hander threw a short bullpen session off the mound for the first time since last May.

Fernandez, who was diagnosed with a torn UCL after his eighth start last season and had surgery May 16, warmed up on flat ground for several minutes Sunday morning before heading to the mound at the Roger Dean Stadium complex. He threw 10 warmup pitches, then fired 15 fastballs to bullpen coordinator Jeff Urgelles as pitching coach Chuck Hernandez watched from the side.

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Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.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.

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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.

Scherzer sharp in first session facing hitters

Scherzer sharp in first session facing hitters

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer threw his first live batting-practice session Sunday at the club's Spring Training complex, and he looked like he was in midseason form.

Scherzer's fastball was crisp, and he had a slider that was going down in the zone effectively.

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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.

Darvish on 2014 season: 'I never quit the team'

Right-hander was shut down in August last year due to inflammation in elbow

Darvish on 2014 season: 'I never quit the team'

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Yu Darvish pitched one scoreless inning during the Rangers' intrasquad game on Sunday.

After retiring three straight hitters, two on strikeouts, Darvish held a rare news conference in English. He addressed a question about accusations that he quit on the team last season by missing the final seven weeks with mild inflammation in his right elbow.

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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.

'He's the man': Kluber brings Cy Young stuff to first BP session

Indians won't hold back ace after reaching career high in innings

'He's the man': Kluber brings Cy Young stuff to first BP session

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Corey Kluber fired a breaking ball that ran hard over the inside part of the plate, forcing Michael Bourn to swiftly move out of the way. The Indians center fielder shook his head, let out a slight laugh and shifted back into his stance as the pitcher grinned on the mound.

"I wasn't ready for that one," Bourn said.

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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.

Dickey, Buehrle get nod for Monday intrasquad game

Dickey, Buehrle get nod for Monday intrasquad game

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle will take the mound when the Blue Jays hold an intrasquad game on Monday morning in advance of the Grapefruit League season.

Dickey will start for Team Blue while Buehrle suits up for Team Gray. Each starter is expected to throw one inning and the Blue Jays will use the seven-inning exhibition to ease their pitchers into game situations. First pitch is scheduled for approximately 11:30 a.m. ET and will be open to the public.

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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.

Urias impresses Dodgers in live batting practice

Young left-hander shows off impressive skills against Pederson, Heisey

Urias impresses Dodgers in live batting practice

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire, general manager Farhan Zaidi, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and special advisor Sandy Koufax all gathered on the field behind a batting cage at Camelback Ranch to watch a teenage phenom throw live batting practice Sunday afternoon.

A crowd of fans, cameras in hand, hovered nearby on the other side of the backstop and in the bleachers to watch the show.

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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.

Hanley Ramirez learned to Gronk spike

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Hanley Ramirez learned to Gronk spike

As if the Patriots' big win in Super Bowl XLIX and Rob Gronkowski's cameo in the forthcoming Entourage movie weren't enough to look forward to, Boston fans have an exciting baseball season on the horizon thanks to the new-look Red Sox. 

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Utley won't play in Grapefruit League opener

Phillies second baseman not fully recovered from sprained right ankle

Utley won't play in Grapefruit League opener

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will not be in the lineup for Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener against the Yankees at Bright House Field.

Utley sprained his right ankle in January and has not fully recovered.

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

Verlander lets pitches do talking, righty impressive throwing BP

Verlander lets pitches do talking, righty impressive throwing BP

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Justin Verlander's live batting practice sessions often include enough four-letter words to require at least a PG rating. He tends to be tough on himself, even in the early days of Spring Training.

That's what made his second live BP session so unusual Sunday afternoon. It was eerily quiet, at least from him. Except for an apology when he threw up-and-in on Anthony Gose, Verlander had barely a word of frustration. He'd get feedback on pitches, but he didn't blurt out much on his own.

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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.

Rodon will take Sale's spot in Cactus rotation

Pitching coach Cooper says top prospect should start vs. Padres

Rodon will take Sale's spot in Cactus rotation

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper paused for a moment when asked about the Cactus League rotation replacement for Chris Sale beginning this Friday against the Padres in Peoria. He originally listed the starter as to be determined, but then quickly changed his mind.

"I'll tell you what," Cooper said. "Expect to see Carlos Rodon in that spot."

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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.

Cepeda: Minoso a pacesetter for Latin American ballplayers

Giants Hall of Famer remembers friend, icon

Cepeda: Minoso a pacesetter for Latin American ballplayers

SCOTTSDALE, Fla. -- Orlando Cepeda spoke in a voice thick with emotion as he eulogized his close friend, Chicago White Sox legend Minnie Minoso, who died Sunday.

Cepeda, who excelled in the Major Leagues for 17 years, called the Cuban-born Minoso the pacesetter for Latin American ballplayers such as himself.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Mets want to turn talk into results

Mets want to turn talk into results

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Some of the old-timers have told these Mets how special it can be.

For instance, Wally Backman and Tim Teufel.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rehabbing Ryu, Peralta on track to throw off mound

Rehabbing Ryu, Peralta on track to throw off mound

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Rehabbing Dodgers pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Joel Peralta remained on track to throw off a bullpen mound on Monday, manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday.

Ryu skipped two days of workouts after developing mid-back stiffness from a Tuesday bullpen session. He has played catch three straight days with no problems.

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

Scioscia isn't banking on Richards for Opening Day

Scioscia isn't banking on Richards for Opening Day

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Garrett Richards' recovery from knee surgery continues to progress steadily, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted what has become increasingly clear on Sunday morning:

Richards will not be ready by Opening Day.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No one meant more to White Sox than Minoso

Chicago's front office reflects on legend's immense impact

No one meant more to White Sox than Minoso

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Nobody is immortal.

It's a concept White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and pretty much everyone else fully understands. But when it came to Minnie Minoso, known as the Cuban Comet and, more appropriately, Mr. White Sox, Reinsdorf thought he might have met the one exception.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

A's reconfigure infield after roster overhaul

Club looks to newcomers to fill significant roles

A's reconfigure infield after roster overhaul

MESA, Ariz. -- The Dodgers had an infield in the 1970s and early '80s -- Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey -- that spent eight celebrated seasons together.

The infield of the 2014 Athletics didn't last eight months. Gone are Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson, the team's best player. The primary second baseman, Eric Sogard, remains in camp in an anticipated utility role.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peralta comfortable after proving himself in 2014

Shortstop says 'it was tough for me' in beginning of first year with Cardinals

Peralta comfortable after proving himself in 2014

JUPITER, Fla. -- From an outsider's view, not much seems different about Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta this spring. He remains reserved inside the clubhouse but also mentors Spanish-speaking players. He goes about his work with a businesslike approach but also with a smile.

And yet, Peralta insists that so much has changed from last year to this one.

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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.

Blue Jays sign Viciedo to Minor League deal

Outfielder had been released by White Sox in February

Blue Jays sign Viciedo to Minor League deal

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays officially signed free agent Dayan Viciedo to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Sunday morning.

Viciedo will earn $2.5 million if he makes the roster out of camp, but there have been no guarantees about his role within the organization. The contract doesn't include an opt-out clause, however there's an understanding that Viciedo will be moved if he doesn't make the Opening Day roster.

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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.

Rotation stars take it slow as Girardi sets early matchups

Eovaldi lone staff hopeful to start in first three games with no live BP yet for CC, Tanaka

Rotation stars take it slow as Girardi sets early matchups

TAMPA, Fla. -- It's nothing earthshattering, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi named two relievers and a prospective member of the rotation to start his club's first three Grapefruit League games: Adam Warren, Nathan Eovaldi and Esmil Rogers.

Warren is slated to start the Grapefruit League opener on Tuesday against the Phillies in nearby Clearwater, Fla., Eovaldi in the home opener here at Steinbrenner Field, also against the Phillies on Wednesday, and Rogers in Bradenton vs. the Pirates on Thursday.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod's status for early games uncertain

Girardi to talk to veteran before determining if he'll play intrasquad game Monday, opener Tuesday

A-Rod's status for early games uncertain

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees will play an intrasquad game on Monday at Steinbrenner Field and then open their Grapefruit League schedule on Tuesday against the Phillies in nearby Clearwater, Fla. Whether Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup both days is still a matter of conjecture.

"I haven't talked to Joe," said Rodriguez, referring to Yankees manager Joe Girardi after a spirited workout on Sunday. "If I'm in the lineup, I'll play."

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Melvin, A's to ease Crisp into game action

Veteran outfielder has dealt with multiple injuries over past seasons

Melvin, A's to ease Crisp into game action

MESA, Ariz. -- The oft-injured Coco Crisp will be eased into Cactus League games, according to A's manager Bob Melvin.

"I'll probably hold him out the first few because I'm going to cut down on his workload," Melvin said Sunday.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Miller hopes charmed career continues in Bronx

Warm welcome with O's one of indelible moments for lefty, who could close for Yanks

Miller hopes charmed career continues in Bronx

TAMPA, Fla. -- For Andrew Miller, the moment is suspended in time.

Just prior to his first appearance for the Orioles last August after the Red Sox traded him to Baltimore, Miller ran in from the bullpen to a rousing ovation from the 39,487 fans at Camden Yards, an experience that is indelibly etched in his memory, the newest Yankees left-hander said.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers sign veteran reliever Adams

Dodgers sign veteran reliever Adams

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers added veteran right-hander Mike Adams to their list of non-roster invitees on Sunday.

Adams, 36, was 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 22 games for Philadelphia last year.

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