Cespedes in Motown

Cespedes in Motown
Bill Baer goes over Yoenis Cespedes' desire to stay with the Tigers, as well as updates on Carlos Rodon, Garrett Richards, Jose Fernandez and more.
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Miguel Cabrera (foot) took on-field batting practice Monday for the first time this spring.

He's been hitting without pain for a while, but this was his first true live outdoor BP since he arrived at the Tigers' spring training complex. Cabrera is also running at about 75 percent on an anti-gravity treadmill and aiming to get into Grapefruit League games around the middle of March. The Tigers are hoping he'll be fully rehabbed from his foot and ankle surgeries by the beginning of the 2015 regular season.
Mar 2 - 3:43 PM

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Monday that Travis Wood, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Edwin Jackson are in a competition for the final spot in the starting rotation.

Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, and Kyle Hendricks are all locked in. The fifth spot will almost definitely go to either Wood or Wada, with Edwin Jackson heading to long relief (or, more accurately, mop-up duty). Wood has much more experience than Wada, but Wood struggled to the tune of a 5.03 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 31 starts last season while Wada produced a 3.25 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 13 outings. Maddon might not pick a winner until the final week or two of Cactus League play.
Mar 2 - 3:26 PM

Michael Brantley (back) is expected to make his Cactus League debut on Thursday.

Brantley was slowed by a sore back last week, but it was never a serious concern. The 27-year-old rising star batted .327/.385/.506 with 20 home runs, 97 RBI, 23 stolen bases, and 94 runs scored in 156 games last season.
Mar 2 - 2:52 PM

Reds manager Bryan Price said Monday that Joey Votto (quad) is not up to game speed.

But that was by design heading into the spring, and the 31-year-old first baseman should start seeing his name in Cactus League lineups soon. "I feel really, really good," Votto told reporters Monday. "I'm surprised at how good I feel this early. I feel like I'm trending toward being able to play games here in the not too distant future." He logged only 272 plate appearances in 2014 due to a distal quad strain. The potential is there for a big-time rebound.
Mar 2 - 2:16 PM

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Monday that Kyle Hendricks is a lock for the starting rotation.

Hendricks posted an excellent 2.46 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 47/15 K/BB ratio over 80 1/3 frames (13 starts) last season with the Cubs. It was an easy call for Maddon to commit a rotation spot to the 25-year-old righty, who should carry decent value in most standard fantasy leagues.
Mar 2 - 2:11 PM

Jon Lester has been named the Cubs' Opening Night starter.

The Cubs will kick off their regular-season schedule under the lights on Sunday, April 5 against the visiting Cardinals. Lester gets the nod after joining the rapidly-improving Northsiders roster this winter on a massive six-year, $155 million free agent contract. Adam Wainwright should be the starter for rival St. Louis in the first Major League Baseball game of 2015.
Mar 2 - 2:07 PM

Royals manager Ned Yost said Monday that Luke Hochevar (elbow) should be ready on Opening Day or "real soon afterwards."

Hochevar underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last March, and the rehab for that surgery usually takes relievers around 13 months. He's a week behind the other setup options in Royals camp.
Mar 2 - 2:00 PM

Brandon League has given up drinking alcohol.

League told the Los Angeles Daily News that he never had a problem with alcohol but "was enjoying myself more than I should've been" and feels much more energized off the booze. He dropped 20 pounds this winter. The right-hander will work as a setup man in 2015.
Mar 2 - 1:51 PM
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