MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Breaking down the arrival time for top prospects

Rising stars made impact in Spring Training even if they won't be on Opening Day rosters

Breaking down the arrival time for top prospects

Spring Training isn't only about making the 25-man roster that breaks camp for Opening Day. There are countless prospects who, either because they are on the 40-man roster or are there on a non-roster invitation, get the chance to simply show what they can do against a higher level of competition, perhaps making a strong impression with the powers that be.

As the calendar forges toward the start of the regular season, spring rosters are slowly being pared down as clubs begin to figure out who will "head north" to start the year. Many of the game's top prospects have made their presences felt and been optioned or reassigned to Minor League camp. Where will they start the year and, more important, when can we expect to see them in the big leagues on a permanent basis? Here's a look at those in the top half of our Top 100 prospects whose time in big league camp has come and gone.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Fantasy roundtable prepares you to draft

MLB.com experts strategize for daily and season-long fantasy success

Fantasy roundtable prepares you to draft

MLB.com's Fantasy 411 is the most comprehensive resource available for all things fantasy baseball. As draft prep and speculation heated up, four experts -- Fred Zinkie, Zachary Finkelstein, Cory Schwartz and Mike Siano -- discussed their tactics for success. Get comprehensive daily and traditional fantasy coverage at MLB.com/fantasy, and follow @fantasy411 on Twitter.

Tell us about daily fantasy baseball.

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Fred Zinkie is a senior fantasy writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. Zachary Finkelstein is MLB.com's Manager of Fantasy Baseball and Content Initiatives. Follow him on Twitter at @Fantasy411. Cory Schwartz is the VP of Stats for MLB.com and a co-host of the Fantasy 411 podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @schwartzstops. Mike Siano is the VP of Multimedia for MLB.com and founder and co-host of the MLB.com Fantasy 411 podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

15 stars off to fast Spring starts

Some of baseball's best gearing up for fantastic regular season

15 stars off to fast Spring starts

Good news here, good news there. Young players emerging. Yeah, even some not named Kris Bryant. Veteran players reproving themselves. Did you see the home run Miguel Cabrera belted Thursday afternoon? That's the thing about baseball's best players and one of the best things about Spring Training. They amaze us even when the games don't count.

With Opening Day closing in, let's round up 15 bits of good news from these last few weeks.

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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.

Yankees tab Tanaka for Opening Day start

Righty 'honored' to have assignment that had been CC's for six straight seasons

Yankees tab Tanaka for Opening Day start

TAMPA, Fla. -- Masahiro Tanaka has been named as the Yankees' Opening Day starter for the April 6 contest against the Blue Jays, accepting an assignment that had been issued to CC Sabathia for the last six seasons.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced the club's probable pitchers for the first four games of the season on Friday. Tanaka will be followed by Michael Pineda, Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi in the rotation, with the fifth starter yet to be announced.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

R.B.I. Baseball 15 available on next-generation consoles

Cubs All-Star first baseman Rizzo is first-ever cover athlete

R.B.I. Baseball 15 available on next-generation consoles

Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced that R.B.I. Baseball 15, with Cubs All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo as its first cover athlete, will be available on next-generation consoles beginning Tuesday. These editions of the iconic and easy-to-play game also will be available for pre-order via GameStop.

R.B.I. Baseball is developed by MLBAM and officially licensed by MLB and the MLB Players Association. This year's game arrives with a host of all-new features ranging from stat tracking to online multiplayer mode to newly crafted authentic MLB ballpark designs for each club, so here are some questions and answers about what to expect:

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top pick Aiken undergoes Tommy John surgery

Left-hander went unsigned after Astros selected him in 2014 Draft

Top pick Aiken undergoes Tommy John surgery

The Brady Aiken saga has taken another turn. Aiken, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and a top prospect for this year's Draft, underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.

Aiken made the announcement himself today, via the website theplayerstribune.com, which was founded by fellow Excel Sports Management client Derek Jeter. Aiken said he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and had it repaired by Dr. David Altcheck at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

The best at helping themselves

Greinke, Leake, Wood top list of most proficient hitting pitchers

The best at helping themselves

Yovani Gallardo, new to the Rangers and the American League this spring after eight seasons with the Brewers, shrugged when it was pointed out that he is losing one of his best weapons having to play in the designated-hitter league: his bat.

"I like to hit," he said, grinning. "But I'm paid to pitch. That's what I'm here to do, pitch like I can."

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

What to watch for in today's games

What to watch for in today's games

The Spring Training action continues today with two returning Chicago pitchers squaring off.

Here are a couple things to watch for:

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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.

Bryant passes all tests in first start in left

Top prospect shows off arm, nabbing runner at second base

Bryant passes all tests in first start in left

MESA, Ariz. -- Kris Bryant passed all the tests Thursday his first game in left field for the Cubs, but the move didn't help his hitting.

Bryant has played third base since he was drafted second overall in 2013 by the Cubs, and manager Joe Maddon wanted him to consider playing the outfield. Being versatile can sometimes give a player a better chance on a big league squad. Bryant enthusiastically agreed. The only concern was with his arm because Bryant had missed time at third base with fatigue in his right shoulder.

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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.

Schierholtz looking for fresh start

Schierholtz looking for fresh start

Nate Schierholtz is ready for a fresh start after a disappointing 2014.

The 31-year-old outfielder hit a career-high 21 home runs for the Cubs in 2013, but he struggled last season, going deep only seven times and slumping to a .195 average with Chicago and Washington.

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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.

Now at SS: Jose Ramirez's car

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Now at SS: Jose Ramirez's car

It was a typical day at the Indians' spring complex on Thursday morning. The sun was shining. Palm trees swayed in the breeze. And Jose Ramirez's car was parked on the infield at shortstop on Field 1 at Cleveland's practice facility.

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Get an edge in your league with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

Get an edge in your league with Fantasy 411's Cheat Sheet

With fantasy-baseball-draft season in full swing, MLB.com put together a cheat sheet for fans in need of expert advice. Make sure to have the one-stop information shop on hand during your auctions or snake drafts.

For comprehensive coverage of the player pool, check out MLB.com/preview. And follow @Fantasy411 for daily- and annual-league tips all season long.

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Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper back in lineup after missing two games

Harper back in lineup after missing two games

VIERA, Fla. -- Bryce Harper missed his second straight game on Thursday while dealing with a stomach bug.

Harper arrived at Space Coast Stadium initially on Thursday afternoon expecting to play against the Mets. After taking some light swings in the batting cages, however, he did not feel good and the Nationals sent him home.

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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.

Much-anticipated power arrives for Heyward

Much-anticipated power arrives for Heyward

JUPITER, Fla. -- Hours after his manager laughed off concern about Jason Heyward not yet having registered an extra-base hit this spring, the right fielder blasted his first -- all the way onto the porch of the team complex beyond the right-field wall.

It was a show of power that the Cardinals have been waiting to see, but one they also knew would come. Heyward did actually connect for an extra-base hit before Thursday, but it was erased from the stat sheet when rain kept Monday's game from becoming official.

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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.

Miggy, V-Mart show off their power strokes

All-Star duo hit their first home runs in Spring Training

Miggy, V-Mart show off their power strokes

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez seemingly cleared the health hurdle a few days ago in their comebacks from their respective surgeries. In their battle to get their timing down at the plate in time for Opening Day, they both cleared the fence Thursday.

In the case of Cabrera, his first home run of the spring cleared the left-field fence on a line. In Martinez's case, his first homer in Grapefruit League cleared the right-field fence easily.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Rodon could be game-changer for White Sox

Rodon could be game-changer for White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ah, so this is why the White Sox have been so mysterious through the years.

A few times every spring, they have their starters work in a Minor League game on a back field rather than allowing them to face an American League Central opponent. But on Wednesday night, they allowed 22-year-old lefty Carlos Rodon to pitch against the Royals.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Marquis keeps living big league dream

At 36, right-hander has come back from Tommy John surgery to earn spot in Reds' rotation

Marquis keeps living big league dream

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- If he'd reached the end of the line, he wanted his family there to savor the moment.

"I had to be prepared for that possibility," Jason Marquis said.

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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.

Tabata among 12 sent to Bucs' Minor League camp

Fellow veterans Lombardozzi and Morel also slated to begin year at Triple-A

Tabata among 12 sent to Bucs' Minor League camp

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Veterans infielders Steve Lombardozzi and Brent Morel and outfielder Jose Tabata were among 11 players reassigned to Minor League camp on Friday by the Pirates, who also optioned left-hander Bobby LaFromboise to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Also reassigned to Pirate City were pitchers Deolis Guerra, Brad Lincoln, Charlie Leesman and Josh Wall, infielders Gustavo Nunez and Delbinson Romero, outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and catcher Sebastian Valle.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

MLB Pipeline checks in from Padres camp

Top-ranked Renfroe, Hedges holdovers in system, with lower-level talent on the rise

MLB Pipeline checks in from Padres camp

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the season ahead. Some are competing for jobs in big league camp, others are prepping for the season as they vie for spots at Minor League affiliates up and down a team's system. MLBPipeline.com will be visiting all 30 camps this spring. Today, we check in on the San Diego Padres.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' farm system has taken on a dramatically different look since the club hired A.J. Preller as general manager last August. In a series of trades to acquire the likes of Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Justin Upton, Preller gave up 10 players on the organization's Top 20 Prospects list from a year ago at this time.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Undateable' cast dishes out fantasy advice

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'Undateable' cast dishes out fantasy advice

Because the last few weeks of Spring Training can be a fraught time for any fantasy player, the cast of NBC's "Undateable" is here to help. Rick Glassman, Ron Funches and Brent Morin are here to dish out their best fantasy advice.

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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

'Dead arm' a dead issue for Lester

Cubs can rest easy after new ace reports no problem in return to mound

'Dead arm' a dead issue for Lester

MESA, Ariz. -- Sighs of relief all the way around for Chicago Cubs loyalists. Jon Lester is OK. He is all right. In fact, he is much better than that.

Lester had missed a Cactus League start Saturday because of the dreaded, yet commonplace, "dead-arm" syndrome. Because he is a centerpiece of the Cubs' expected revival, because he is worth $155 million over six years to the Cubs, this development was viewed in some quarters as dreadful, ominous and further evidence that gloom and doom have a permanent home at Wrigley Field.

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

Ortiz defends legacy regarding PEDs

Red Sox slugger writes adamant defense linking '03 test to over-the-counter supplement

Ortiz defends legacy regarding PEDs

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz still carries the sting from perceptions that resulted from the 2009 report in the New York Times that he was one of 103 players flagged in anonymous survey testing in 2003 for performance-enhancing drugs.

In a lengthy first-person account for The Players' Tribune, the new venture headed by retired Yankees icon Derek Jeter, Ortiz remained adamant that he "never knowingly took steroids" and said the positive test stemmed from taking an over-the-counter product.

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

MLB's International Prospect team flashing power, talent

Heredia, Ortiz set to lead talented group against North Carolina high school teams

MLB's International Prospect team flashing power, talent

The thunderous cracking noise coming off of Starling Heredia's bat every time he connected on a pitch during batting practice and deposited the ball over the left-field fence was unlike anything heard at the USA Baseball National Training Complex on Thursday afternoon.

The sound a wood bat makes when it is in the hands of Heredia or slugger Jhailyn Ortiz, his teammate in the first annual International Prospect Series, is unique. It was noticeably distinct, especially when you consider the players competing in the National High School Invitational tournament on the adjacent fields were using aluminum bats.

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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.

Kershaw cruises behind Puig, Rollins homers

Lefty fans 8 over six; pair of 2-run shots sets tone

Kershaw cruises behind Puig, Rollins homers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brad Penny's push for a White Sox roster spot, either as a spot-starter for Chris Sale or a long reliever, took a bit of a hit on Thursday at Camelback Ranch in the Dodgers' 9-6 victory.

The Los Angeles offense was led by Yasiel Puig's fifth home run, a two-run shot, of the spring and four RBIs from Jimmy Rollins, who also hit a two-run homer. Penny allowed six runs on eight hits over four innings, while Clayton Kershaw struck out eight in six innings.

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Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Hale: Tomas may start season in Minor Leagues

D-backs manager said Cuban star could play third base or left field

Hale: Tomas may start season in Minor Leagues

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Cuban star Yasmany Tomas could still start the regular season in the Minor Leagues, D-backs manager Chip Hale said on Thursday before his club played the Padres in a Cactus League game at Salt River Fields.

"Yeah, there's a definite chance," the first-year manager said about determining the answer to the biggest question in camp. "It's going to come down to us all sitting down and everybody talking about what's best for the Major League team."

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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.

Bean brings his message of inclusion to A's

Often confused with Oakland GM Beane, the duo played together at Triple-A

Bean brings his message of inclusion to A's

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Often mistaken for one another, Billy Beane and Billy Bean found themselves in the same clubhouse Thursday, just as they did 27 years ago when playing in the outfield together for Triple-A Toledo.

"We also had a guy named Pete Rice playing in the outfield, so we had a 'Rice and Beans' outfield," said a smiling Bean.

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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.

Wood shows off power with pinch-hit homer

Cubs pitcher knocked three home runs last season, the second most in NL

Wood shows off power with pinch-hit homer

MESA, Ariz. -- Travis Wood may have started Wednesday night, but that didn't stop the Cubs pitcher from getting an extra at-bat on Thursday, and he took advantage of it.

Wood led off the fifth with a pinch-hit home run off the Angels' Jered Weaver for his first spring homer, and 32nd by the Cubs.

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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.

Hernandez's strong start 'very pleasing' to Mariners

Seattle ace rebounds from rough Cactus League outing

Hernandez's strong start 'very pleasing' to Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners lost to the Royals, 3-0, on Thursday at Peoria Stadium. But really only one thing mattered in this one. Felix Hernandez looked King-ly and thus all was well.

"I feel like I'm where I want to be," Hernandez said after firing six innings of two-hit, one-run ball. "I'll be ready for Opening Day."

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dominant Danner among Day 2's best at NHSI

Righty throws three-hit shutout, fans 13 for Huntington Beach

Dominant Danner among Day 2's best at NHSI

CARY, N.C. -- As the quarterfinals of the 2015 USA Baseball National High School Invitational began Thursday afternoon at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, Huntington Beach (Calif.) High School sophomore right-hander Hagen Danner delivered a stellar performance against Puyallup (Wash.) High School on the big stage of Coleman Stadium and the audience of MLB.com.

After surrendering a triple to start the game, Danner got into a groove and finished the game with a three-hit shutout and 13 strikeouts. With the victory, the Oilers advance to the semifinals on Friday in the 16-team, single-elimination tournament.

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

Oscar winner Simmons to throw first pitch in Detroit on Opening Day

Oscar winner Simmons to throw first pitch in Detroit on Opening Day

LAKELAND, Fla. -- J.K. Simmons never did take the ball from Kevin Costner during his bid for pitching perfection in For Love of the Game. Years later, the Oscar-winning actor and Michigan native will get to throw the first pitch of the Tigers season.

The team announced Thursday on its twitter account that Simmons, a longtime Tigers fan who played the team's manager in the aforementioned movie, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day April 6.

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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.