Chase Utley will not play in the Phillies Grapefruit League opener against the Yankees on Tuesday.
The Phillies insist that the veteran infielder is fine, they are simply being cautious as Utley recovers from a mild ankle sprain he incurred while working out in January. The 36-year-old has still been participating in workouts and has been taking batting practice, and should appear in game action before the end of the week.
While he's competing for the team's starting job at second base, Gordon Beckham is seeing work all over the infield early in the spring.
The former top prospect is getting work at shortstop and third base as well, as he prepares for what could wind up being a super utility role for the White Sox. Even if he loses out to Micah Johnson or Carlos Sanchez in the battle at second base, the more time that he sees on the field, the better his chances of carving out value as a middle infielder in AL-only formats.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss announced Sunday that Jordan Lyles will start Wednesday's Cactus League opener against the Diamondbacks.
The 24-year-old is locked into the Rockies rotation after posting a 4.33 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 90/46 K/BB ratio in 126 2/3 innings a season ago. Jhoulys Chacin will follow and pitch on Thursday, with Kyle Kendrick taking on the Angels on Friday and Jorge De La Rosa battling the Cubs on Saturday.
Chris Johnson is working on a mechanical adjustment to his swing, lowering his hands to allow for a more consistent swing path.
It's an effort to return to the form he displayed in 2013 when he competed for the National League batting title. The 30-year-old is looking to rebound from a disappointing 2014 season where he hit just .263/.292/.361 with 10 homers and 58 RBI.
White Sox top prospect Carlos Rodon is expected to take Chris Sale's spot in the White Sox rotation for Cactus League play.
White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said to expect Rodon on the hill when the White Sox take on the Padres in Peoria on Friday. While it's a chance for the young left-hander to showcase his skills, he certainly won't be cracking the White Sox rotation on Opening Day. The 22-year-old posted a 2.92 ERA and 38/13 K/BB ratio over 24 1/3 innings in 2014, including three starts at Triple-A Charlotte.
Matt Wieters (elbow) is scheduled to begin catch and throw drills on Monday.
Wieters isn't expected to be cleared to begin throwing with any real force until March 17, but Monday represents a big step in his recovery. To this point, he has been limited to playing long toss. So long as he avoids any setbacks, there's no reason to expect he won't be behind the dish when the O's open up the regular season.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez announced Sunday that Wandy Rodriguez will start Wednesday's Grapefruit League opener against the Mets.
The veteran southpaw, who is battling for the fifth and final spot in the Braves rotation, is scheduled to throw two innings. He will be followed in Wednesday's start by Chien-Ming Wang who is challenging for the same role. Julio Teheran will get the nod against the Tigers on Thursday, putting him on track to start on Opening Day.
In Sunday's lone spring game, Aaron Altherr went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a steal as the Phillies lost to the University of Tampa 6-2.
The Phillies were up 2-0 following fine performances from Paul Clemens and Rule 5 pick Andrew Oliver, but Phillipe Aumont gave up a run in the sixth and Nefi Ogando and Hector Neris combined to allow five in the seventh, leading to a somewhat embarrassing loss. The good news was that Ruben Amaro's nephew, Andrew, had a single and a bases-loaded walk for the Spartans. The Phillies didn't use any probable regulars in the contest.