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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.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Thursday of the team's catching situation that he's "not going in with any idea that (one) will play four out of five days."

"You go into the season, and if a guy emerges, then he’ll get more playing time," Counsell said. "But I’m not going in with any idea that (one) will play four out of five days. It’s not the same situation we had going into last year." Manny Pina has officially made the Opening Day roster, and he'll likely be joined by Jett Bandy with Andrew Susac (trapezius) headed for the disabled list. Bandy figures to get the first crack at the job and Counsell said the backstop "has been excellent. The way he has come in new and handled pitchers, we all have been impressed. I like where we’re sitting right now."
Mar 24 - 10:15 AM

A.J. Cole (triceps) remains shut down from throwing but is "feeling better," according to Nationals manager Dusty Baker.

It's unclear when he might be ready to resume a throwing program, but it seems unlikely at this point that he'll be an option for Opening Day. Cole is set to begin the season at Triple-A Syracuse.
Mar 24 - 9:53 AM

Nationals re-assigned RHP Erick Fedde to minor league camp.

Fedde made a favorable impression, putting up a 3.29 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over 13 2/3 innings. He has a shot to debut at some point this season.
Mar 24 - 9:50 AM

Joe Beimel has signed with the New Britain Bees of of the independent Atlantic League.

The 13-year major league veteran spent some time at Triple-A in the Royals organization last season before being released. Beimel will turn 40 shortly after Opening Day but obviously isn't ready to call it quits yet.
Source: NBBees.com
Mar 24 - 9:33 AM

Phillies optioned RHP Jake Thompson to Triple-A Lehigh Valley; re-assigned RHP Dalier Hinojosa, INF Hector Gomez and C Logan Moore to minor league camp.

Thompson was already on the outside looking in for a rotation spot when he arrived to camp, and he fell further behind when he got a late start due to a sore wrist. The good news is he's healthy now and there should be an opportunity for him in the Phils' rotation at some point this season.
Mar 24 - 9:18 AM
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