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Rangers re-assigned RHP R.J. Alvarez, INF Doug Bernier, C Brett Hayes and OF Cesar Puello to minor league camp.

Alvarez finally appears healthy and impressed the Rangers in camp. He should get a shot at some point this season.
Mar 24 - 11:58 AM

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Friday that Carson Smith's (elbow) first full bullpen session earlier this week was "surprisingly good."

Smith has been throwing off a mound for a few weeks but earlier this week he threw his full arsenal of pitches at 100 percent effort. The Red Sox are hoping to add him to their bullpen in June after he completes his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
Mar 24 - 11:49 AM

Yankees optioned RHP Luis Cessa to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; re-assigned INF Ji-Man Choi, OFs Dustin Fowler, Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney and LHP Jason Gurka to minor league camp.

Cessa was competing for a rotation spot this spring but floundered with a 6.52 ERA over 9 2/3 innings. He should get another shot at some point, whether it be as a starter or reliever.
Mar 24 - 11:38 AM

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny indicated Friday that Jhonny Peralta will be the team's starting third baseman and Jedd Gyroko will be a utility infielder.

It's been the expectation since the beginning of camp. It ultimately probably doesn't matter much which of the two is the "starter" at third base, as both Peralta and Gyorko are going to play a lot. Gyorko, who led the Cards with 30 homers last season, figures to handle second base versus lefties.
Mar 24 - 11:31 AM

Mets manager Terry Collins said Thursday that Brandon Nimmo (hamstring) is not close to returning to game action.

Nimmo had a good shot at a bench spot going into spring training, but it's looking like he might be headed for the disabled list. It could open up a spot for Michael Conforto.
Mar 24 - 11:25 AM

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Friday that it's looking more and more likely that Collin McHugh (arm) will get a late start to the season.

McHugh has been battling through a "dead arm" phase and hasn't made any Grapefruit League appearances this spring. He pitched in a minor league game Wednesday and is set to throw in another one Monday, so the Astros would be able to backdate a disabled list stint. The right-hander should be ready to rejoin the rotation sometime in April.
Mar 24 - 11:21 AM

Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced Friday that Dallas Keuchel will be the team's Opening Day starter.

The only thing that would've prevented this is Keuchel showing up to camp with his shoulder still bothering him as it did last season. Instead, he's said he feels great and it's shown with a 1.50 ERA over three Grapefruit League outings. Keuchel should be in line for a bounce-back season if he can stay healthy.
Mar 24 - 11:16 AM

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins will meet with Jose Berrios on Friday and there's a "good chance" they'll tell him he won't make the Opening Day roster.

It sounds like Berrios playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic hurt his chances of cracking the rotation, as he didn't pitch much and still needs to build his endurance up. It's a discouraging development for a guy who has disappointed in his big league chances so far but who still holds plenty of upside. Berrios should get his opportunity in the rotation before long, though. Tyler Duffey, Justin Haley, Adalberto Mejia and Nick Tepesch look to be the last men standing in the competition for the final spot in the Twins' rotation. Mejia (1.88 ERA, 14/4 K/BB ratio over 14 1/3 innings) has had easily the best camp of the group.
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