Kershaw, Wood look sharp throwing live BP

Both Dodgers left-handers battled injuries in 2016

Kershaw, Wood look sharp throwing live BP

PHOENIX -- Dodgers Nation breathed another sigh of relief Monday when Clayton Kershaw threw to hitters for the first time this spring and afterward said he felt fine.

Alternating on the mound with Kershaw on Monday was Alex Wood, who also returned from injury (elbow surgery) last season and is determined to earn back a spot in the starting rotation after being limited to 60 1/3 innings in 2016.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lagares gets pic with Yo's latest crazy car

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Lagares gets pic with Yo's latest crazy car

Mets Spring Training was just a few days old last year when Yoenis Cespedes showed up in what appeared to be an actual Transformer. The next week, he drove another one. And then there was a tricycle. (This isn't even touching on that time he literally rode in on horseback.)

The Mets are now back in Port St. Lucie, and Cespedes is back filming his Fate of the Furious audition tape in real time. This time around, though, fellow New York outfielder Juan Lagares was determined to snag a photo.

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Stroman expecting a dominant year on mound

Stroman expecting a dominant year on mound

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman has been an Opening Day starter. He's also started five postseason games, including the win-or-go-home American League Wild Card match-up against the Orioles last October. Toronto won.

Still, the 25-year-old -- now two years removed from surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee -- indicated after Monday's workout that he believes the best is yet to come.

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

Red Sox savor Sale's skills in first live BP of spring

Young: 'It's a lot more fun facing him knowing he's your teammate'

Red Sox savor Sale's skills in first live BP of spring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox who stepped in against Chris Sale for Monday's live batting practice session got a glimpse of what American League East hitters are going to have to deal with regularly this season.

The most apt word? Nasty.

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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.

Darvish breaking bats in first outing

Darvish breaking bats in first outing

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish threw five minutes of live batting practice Monday, the first time he has faced hitters this spring.

Hanser Alberto and Nomar Mazara were among the hitters facing Darvish. Alberto had his bat broken by Darvish on one pitch.

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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.

Prince previews new show 'Fielder's Choice'

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Prince previews new show 'Fielder's Choice'

Recently, retired slugger Prince Fielder announced that he has a new project on his plate -- literally -- in the form of the perfectly named cooking program "Fielder's Choice." It will be premiering shortly on Netflix and Hulu.

Well, after keeping us all salivating with anticipation, wondering just what an entire show with a premise of "Prince Fielder plus food" might look like, he shared an official Season 1 trailer. 

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Bourn gets one-year deal, invite to spring camp

Bourn gets one-year deal, invite to spring camp

Michael Bourn is returning to the Orioles' outfield.

Baltimore and the veteran have agreed to a one-year deal with an invite to Spring Training; the deal will be worth $2 million if Bourn makes the Major League club.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCullers' new gloves honor friend Fernandez

McCullers' new gloves honor friend Fernandez

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. took the opportunity to get some new gloves for the start of Spring Training to pay tribute to his close friend, Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident last year.

McCullers picked up a specially ordered glove early Monday, the day in which representatives from Wilson came to Astros camp to deliver gloves. McCullers picked up an A2K model, which is what Fernandez used, that was Astros orange with a small pinch of blue.

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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.

Fowler reaffirms comments regarding travel ban

New Cardinals center fielder's wife was born in Iran

Fowler reaffirms comments regarding travel ban

JUPITER, Fla. -- Dexter Fowler said on Monday that he stands by the statement he made to ESPN.com two days ago in which he discussed the effect on his family of President Donald Trump's executive order limiting travel to and from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Fowler's wife, Darya, was born in Iran, one of seven countries named in the executive order before it was blocked by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Fowler told ESPN.com that such restrictions could preclude his family from traveling to visit relatives in Iran and that it has delayed his sister-in-law's return from a business trip to Qatar.

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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.

Cubs notes: Spot in rotation up for grabs

Anderson, Montgomery battling for final spot in starting rotation

Cubs notes: Spot in rotation up for grabs

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs and the city of Mesa will host a championship rally on Friday from noon to 4 p.m. MT/11 a.m-3 p.m. CT at Sloan Park, one day before the defending World Series champs open Cactus League play.

During the rally, fans will hear from Mesa mayor John Giles, Cubs manager Joe Maddon and several Cubs players, and have the opportunity to take photos with the 2016 World Series trophy. Gates will open at 10 a.m. MT/9 CT with live music, food and beverages starting at 11 a.m. MT/10 CT.

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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.

Miller's first live BP draws respect from Tribe

Miller's first live BP draws respect from Tribe

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brandon Guyer headed over to introduce himself to left-hander Andrew Miller last August. Both players had just been traded to the Indians, so Cleveland's new outfielder -- best known for his ability to hit left-handed pitching -- had a message for his new Tribe teammate.

Spring: Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear

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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.

Vote for your favorite Presidential first pitch

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Vote for your favorite Presidential first pitch

Since William Howard Taft threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day in 1910, 18 presidents have carried on the tradition. And with the advent of modern audio/visual technology, there is video of every president since John F. Kennedy showing off his arm.

Now we have a new president who has experience with first pitches, but has not yet thrown out one as POTUS. On President's Day, you should let him know which one of his predecessors' first pitches you think is the best. This time next year, we might have another to add to the poll. 

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Reed looking to seize Astros' first-base opportunity

After 1st taste of Majors, 23-year-old spent offseason working on swing, agility

Reed looking to seize Astros' first-base opportunity

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- He was named Indiana high school player of the year and won the Golden Spikes Award in 2014 as the top amateur player in the country. He led all the Minor Leagues in home runs, RBIs and OPS in 2015 en route to being named the Astros' Minor League Player of the Year.

With all of those honors on his resume, AJ Reed showed up at spring camp last year ranked as the club's top prospect and bursting with potential. His arrival in Kissimmee, Fla., made news, and fans immediately clamored to see what he could do in the big leagues.

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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.

Hamilton harnessing thunder once again

Hamilton harnessing thunder once again

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The storms moved east from the Phoenix area and the White Tank Mountains on Monday, and blue skies soared over the Texas' training complex to greet the Rangers.

But there was still some thunder in the area, and it came from Field No. 1 behind the main stadium. Josh Hamilton, who missed last season because of left knee surgery, was taking batting practice.

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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.

Youth is served in fantasy SS rankings

Seager, Correa, Lindor in top tier; Bogaerts, Story, Villar not far behind

Youth is served in fantasy SS rankings

A position with few elite fantasy options not long ago, shortstop has been rejuvenated by a deluge of talented youngsters.

Said influx is evident in the first two tiers, which contain six players who are 25 or younger. Fantasy owners, though, will find quite a drop-off after that. Those who miss out on one of the top six players at this position will not be able to count on their shortstop as a fantasy-lineup linchpin.

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Jason Catania is a fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia driven to reclaim White Sox outfield spot

Garcia driven to reclaim White Sox outfield spot

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There was very little offseason for Avisail Garcia after a disappointing 2016 campaign came to a close.

The White Sox right fielder worked hard at his craft, picking up 113 at-bats while playing for Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. He also got into better shape, dropping from 268 pounds to 258 at the start of Spring Training, and has a goal weight of 248 by the time the team breaks camp.

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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.

Clemens slated to start Cactus opener

29-year-old right-hander trying to nab rotation spot

Clemens slated to start Cactus opener

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Paul Clemens will get the first chance to state his case in the Padres' wide-open race for starting rotation spots.

The 29-year-old right-hander -- one of about 11 starting pitchers fighting for a roster spot -- has been tabbed for San Diego's Cactus League opener Saturday against Seattle.

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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.

A-Rod visiting Yanks camp as special instructor

A-Rod visiting Yanks camp as special instructor

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees believe that Alex Rodriguez has a wealth of information to pass on to their young players, and that can begin on Tuesday, when he'll put the pinstripes back on as one of the team's special guest instructors.

Rodriguez played his final game for the Yankees on August 12, announcing that he had accepted a role serving as an advisor under managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. He was released from a contract that will pay him $21 million not to play this season.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jimenez's stuff, demeanor impress V-Mart

Righty prospect faces five-time All-Star catcher in live BP session

Jimenez's stuff, demeanor impress V-Mart

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Joe Jimenez has been waiting to face Major League competition since last summer. The Tigers' closer of the future's first look Monday included Victor Martinez, who made his big league debut in 2002 -- when Jimenez was seven years old.

It wasn't a game setting, just pitchers throwing to hitters in Spring Training

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No timetable for when Cueto might report

Right-hander still tending to family matter in Dominican Republic

No timetable for when Cueto might report

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A week has gone by since pitchers and catchers reported to Giants camp and there's still no sign of right-hander Johnny Cueto.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Cueto is still at home in the Dominican Republic dealing with a personal issue involving his father, and there's still no timetable for him to join the club.

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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.

Bird out to prove he's healthy, ready to play

Yanks 1B more focused on returning strong than position battle

Bird out to prove he's healthy, ready to play

TAMPA, Fla. -- Greg Bird isn't concerned about an upcoming battle for playing time with Chris Carter. After missing all of last season while recovering from right labrum surgery, the Yankees first baseman just wants to prove that his swing is back to normal.

"I'm fighting to prove that I'm healthy and can play," Bird said. "I'm not fighting against anyone in particular. I'm just trying to play and play at a high level again and get better and become the best possible player that I can be."

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers sign Gutierrez to one-year deal

Team expects to use veteran outfielder as 'lefty-killer' off bench

Dodgers sign Gutierrez to one-year deal

LOS ANGELES -- On Monday, the Dodgers announced the signing of former Gold Glove outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year contract.

Gutierrez adds a proven right-handed bat to the bench and offers protection with right-handed-hitting outfielders Scott Van Slyke and Trayce Thompson coming off injuries.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baez brings new glove to Spring Training

Infielder preparing for World Baseball Classic, new season with Cubs

Baez brings new glove to Spring Training

MESA, Ariz. -- Javier Baez has a new glove, designed specifically for the World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico's colors of red, white and blue. Cubs manager Joe Maddon probably wouldn't be surprised to see some chrome on it, too.

Maddon emphasizes having players "make the routine plays routinely" without any "chrome." Anyone who has seen Baez play knows that if he was a sports car, he'd have plenty of bright and shiny chrome.

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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.

On and off field, home elusive for Machado

Forced to spend offseason away from Venezuela, prospect enters camp without obvious role

On and off field, home elusive for Machado

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Dixon Machado is restless.

"I'm excited," he said. "I just want to play. I want the games to start already."

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado prepares for bout at the plate

Arenado prepares for bout at the plate

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado wants to come out ahead in more best vs. best matchups.

Arenado is recognized as one of the game's best players. He ranked 12th in MLB Network's recent ranking of baseball's Top 100 players. But he sees the next step as performing better against some of the best opposing pitchers, especially in the National League West.

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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.

Nathan confident in another comeback bid

After second Tommy John, reliever looking to make Nats' bullpen

Nathan confident in another comeback bid

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Non-roster invitee Joe Nathan is hoping to make a second comeback late in his career following Tommy John surgery. He did it once before, and the 42-year-old right-hander, a 16-year veteran, hopes to pitch at least another season, which would make the Nationals his sixth Major League club.

Nathan threw what he described as an "easy" bullpen on Monday -- about 20 pitches -- and came away feeling great.

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

Icebreaker opens first full-squad workout

Icebreaker opens first full-squad workout

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After a rainy weekend slowed the start of Mariners camp, the team took the field for its first full-squad workout on Monday under mostly sunny skies as the action heated up quickly at the club's Peoria Sports Complex.

"It felt good to put the cleats back on and get out there and move around a little bit and get the blood flowing again," infielder Shawn O'Malley said. "Baseball season is here. Another year. The sun was out, and it's good."

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Zobrist enjoys spoils, eyes repeat World Series

Super-utility star understands incredible effect title had on Cubs fans

Zobrist enjoys spoils, eyes repeat World Series

MESA, Ariz. -- Somewhere amid the celebrations and parades and sheer joy of helping the Chicago Cubs win a World Series for the first time in 108 years, Ben Zobrist was struck by something that may stay with him forever.

"You realize it's not really about us," the World Series Most Valuable Player Award winner said Sunday morning.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Raburn could be strong option off the bench

Veteran aims to prove he can still provide offense in a pinch

Raburn could be strong option off the bench

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As he got comfortable on his first day in Reds camp as a non-roster player since signing a Minor League contract, Ryan Raburn had a firm grasp on why he was brought in to compete for a spot.

Raburn, who will be 36 next month and has been in the Major Leagues since 2004, is vying for one of the four open bench spots.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recovering Wright, Pomeranz throw off mound

Pair of 2016 All-Stars competing for spots in crowded Red Sox rotation

Recovering Wright, Pomeranz throw off mound

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For two Red Sox starting pitchers coming off injuries and hoping to win spots in the rotation, Monday was a good day.

Side by side, Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz threw off the mound for the first time this spring. And they both did so with no pain.

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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.