Beach Ballyard: MLB.TV unveils new park

Aces Duffy, Bumgarner get starts; Buchholz makes Phillies debut

Beach Ballyard: MLB.TV unveils new park

It's an exciting day in West Palm Beach, Fla., where the Astros and Nationals will square off in the first game at their new joint Spring Training facility: Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Commissioner Rob Manfred will be on hand for the official opening of the new $150 million complex, which is game-ready after construction crews spent weeks working around the clock to finish the 6,500-seat stadium. Rave reviews are rolling in, especially from players, who will enjoy expansive, modern clubhouses as well as other amenities.

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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.

Tebow stakes: Ex-QB's cuts powerful

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

Tebow stakes: Ex-QB's cuts powerful

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

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

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

USA's Arenado 'excited' about WBC '17

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

USA's Arenado 'excited' about WBC '17

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

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

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

Gallery caps: 18 priceless Photo Day pics

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Gallery caps: 18 priceless Photo Day pics

Just like in grade school, when you had to slick your hair and put on the scratchiest sweater you could find, baseball players get their own date with the photographer. Though the players probably won't order any wallet sized prints for Grandma, they are still trying to look their best. Sometimes, the photographer captures something even better. 

Here are 18 of the greatest Photo Day pictures from 2017:

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Indians' Brantley 'looks good' in BP return

Indians' Brantley 'looks good' in BP return

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

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

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

Giants hoping for Cueto's arrival this week

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

Giants hoping for Cueto's arrival this week

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

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

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Pitching plans for Team USA taking shape

Pitching plans for Team USA taking shape

Now that Grapefruit and Cactus league play has begun, we could be getting a glimpse into Team USA's rotation plans for the World Baseball Classic.

Chris Archer was the team's first starter to debut this spring, with two shutout innings for the Rays on Sunday. Tanner Roark (three scoreless innings) and Marcus Stroman (two scoreless innings) were similarly sharp on Monday. Danny Duffy will pitch for the first time on Tuesday afternoon in Phoenix.

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

Tate Matheny gets to play vs. father's Cardinals

Red Sox prospect brought over from Minor League camp for spring game

Tate Matheny gets to play vs. father's Cardinals

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny always takes the road trip when his team plays split-squad games in Spring Training. But this time, there was a sweet reward for his near three-hour journey across the state of Florida.

Red Sox manager John Farrell selected Tate Matheny (Mike's son) as one of the Minor League extras to come off the bench for Monday's Grapefruit League game, a 7-2 win by the split-squad Cardinals.

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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.

Moncada flashes defense in first spring start

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

Moncada flashes defense in first spring start

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

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

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

Global glovework: 5 World Baseball Classic defensive gems

Global glovework: 5 World Baseball Classic defensive gems

The 2017 World Baseball Classic is almost here, which means All-Stars from all over the globe soon will be battling it out in the star-studded 16-team tournament.

All of that talent should bring lots of fancy glovework, from the likes of Nolan Arenado (United States), Ender Inciarte (Venezuela), Francisco Lindor (Puerto Rico), Starling Marte (Dominican Republic), Andrelton Simmons (Netherlands) and many more.

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Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Farms that should crack the 2018 Top 10 list

Farms that should crack the 2018 Top 10 list

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

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Joe Posnanski

Difficult personnel decisions await Moore in KC

Core stars Hosmer, Moustakas, Cain, Escobar on verge of free agency

Difficult personnel decisions await Moore in KC

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer fist-bumps anyone and everyone he sees at Royals camp these days. I barely know the guy and am a conscientious non-fist-bumper, but I've already fist-bumped Hosmer twice today. He's irresistible that way.

People around the country may argue Hosmer's value as a ballplayer. He's a three-time Gold Glove winner who rates poorly in advanced defensive metrics. He's an All-Star seemingly in line for a huge contract, even though his offensive numbers do not exactly inspire awe. He has never slugged close to .500, never approached 30 homers in a season, never walked more than 61 times in a season.

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MLB.com columnist Joe Posnanski is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, an Emmy Award-winning writer and has been awarded National Sportswriter of the Year. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chemically treated balls closer to use in Majors

Chemically treated balls closer to use in Majors

Major League Baseball could soon be using a new baseball covered with a proprietary chemical designed to give the ball a tackier feel.

MLB.com reported in November that MLB experimented in three Arizona Fall League games with the new Rawlings balls. And Mike Thompson, an executive vice president at the company, told Yahoo Sports, "We think we're close now. We're just waiting for MLB to give us the go-ahead when they want it."

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

Ballpark of the Palm Beaches ready for debut

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

Ballpark of the Palm Beaches ready for debut

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

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

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

Hahn talks Quintana, deals that fell through

White Sox GM says 'no economic pressure' to move lefty

Hahn talks Quintana, deals that fell through

MESA, Ariz. -- Rick Hahn has pulled off some impressive trades during his tenure as White Sox general manager, of both the contending and rebuilding variety.

The most recent examples include acquiring infielder Yoan Moncada, pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe for Chris Sale; and adding right-handers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning from Washington for Adam Eaton. Giolito started Monday against the Cubs, while Lopez is scheduled to take the mound Tuesday.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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Altuve contributes to cause in first spring action

Altuve contributes to cause in first spring action

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

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

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

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

Felix set for early spring debut vs. White Sox

Felix set for early spring debut vs. White Sox

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

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

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

Trout happy for live game action on Monday

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

Trout happy for live game action on Monday

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

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

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

Beltre weighing decision on first round of Classic

Rangers third baseman has until Thursday, when Dominican team sets roster

Beltre weighing decision on first round of Classic

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said his strained left calf muscle is better, but he is still undecided about playing in the first round of the World Baseball Classic.

Beltre said the deadline to decide is Thursday, when the Dominican Republic must set its final roster for the first round. It seems unlikely Beltre will be ready in time, but a final decision has yet to be made.

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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.

Hanley hopes shoulder heals in time for Classic

Red Sox slugger slated to join Dominican Republic team Friday

Hanley hopes shoulder heals in time for Classic

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Slowed by a sore right shoulder early in Spring Training, Hanley Ramirez will use the coming days to determine whether he can stick with his original plan of playing in the World Baseball Classic.

"I don't know," Ramirez said. "[Red Sox manager] John [Farrell] told me we'll talk about it and what's the best thing for me and the team. So let's see what happens."

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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.

Didi excited for reunion with Classic mates

Didi excited for reunion with Classic mates

TAMPA, Fla. -- There should be plenty of inside jokes flying around the Netherlands clubhouse during the World Baseball Classic, especially when Didi Gregorius, Jurickson Profar, Jonathan Schoop and Andrelton Simmons huddle together.

Suiting up for the Dutch squad will serve as an extended reunion for the players, who have known each other since they were grade schoolers growing up on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

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

Hamilton has left knee surgery, out 2-3 months

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

Hamilton has left knee surgery, out 2-3 months

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

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

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

Bogaerts set for long journey to South Korea

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

Bogaerts set for long journey to South Korea

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

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

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Deep Dodgers favorites to capture NL West

Front office retained core and added key pieces in productive offseason

Deep Dodgers favorites to capture NL West

PHOENIX -- When last season ended and the Los Angeles Dodgers had some time to sort through the whole thing, this is what they decided: They had a good thing going.

"I've been around a lot of really good teams, and you get to the end of the year and look back and critically assess it as you look ahead, and feel you need to make some changes," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. "As we got to the end of last year, we felt really strongly that the group we had, if we could retain it and augment around it, was what was in our best interests."

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Thames rides KBO tear into Majors

Thames rides KBO tear into Majors

PHOENIX -- Eric Thames has gotten over the shock. But three months later, he's still filled with joy about one of baseball's most intriguing developments in the offseason.

The Brewers non-tendered first baseman Chris Carter, the National League home run champion, to open up a spot for the 30-year-old Thames, who spent the last three years giving fits to pitchers in Korea.

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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.

Axford puzzled, delighted by Oscars blunder

A's film buff stopped watching before mix-up was revealed

Axford puzzled, delighted by Oscars blunder

MESA, Ariz. -- A's reliever John Axford was already the last customer in the restaurant, and had been for a while, by the time Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took the Oscars stage to present Best Picture on Sunday evening.

"I was so engaged in my phone and watching the Oscars that when I finally looked around and noticed nobody else was in the restaurant, it was closed, and I was like, 'Oh, maybe I should not be here anymore,'" Axford said. "But they said, 'No, no, no, just watch the end of it, it's fine.'"

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

After missing '16, Lynn returns to mound

Cards counting on righty to regain workhorse form

After missing '16, Lynn returns to mound

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

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

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Greinke closes in on debut after BP session

Greinke closes in on debut after BP session

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke appears to be getting closer to making his Cactus League debut after facing hitters for the second time this spring on a back field Monday morning.

Greinke threw 20 pitches, took a break to simulate the end of an inning and then threw another 15 pitches.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.