Mariners pitching coach Rick Waits said Saturday that J.A. Happ has been working on his changeup and plans to use the pitch with a much higher frequency in 2015.
The changeup was arguably the veteran southpaw's worst pitch last season, which could be why he only used it 9.5% of the time, down from his career usage of 12.3%. If Waits and company can improve the pitch though, and provide more deception and separation from his fastball, it could become more of a weapon for him.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus admitted Friday that six of the team's seven bullpen spots are virtually locked up already.
The one remaining spot is for a second left-hander who has the ability to work multiple innings. That means Alex Wilson and Josh Zeid are on the outside looking in after the addition of Joba Chamberlain earlier in the week. Each will assuredly get their chance at some point during the season.
Jake Lamb admitted Saturday that he plans to battle Yasmany Tomas for the Diamondbacks starting job at third base.
"It doesn't matter who it is, I'm going to give them a battle at third base" Lamb said Saturday. He also noted that he'll do whatever he can to help the team, even if Tomas secures the starting job. Lamb slashed .230/.263/.373 with four homers and 11 RBI in 37 games as a rookie in 2014.
Reds manager Bryan Price said Saturday that Zack Cozart remains the team's starter at shortstop and there is no competition from Eugenio Suarez.
Cozart is coming off an incredibly disappointing 2014 season where he slashed just .221/.268/.300 with four homers and 38 RBI, ranking dead last in OPS among all qualified shortstops. While Cozart is a terrific defender, the 23-year-old Suarez offers much more upside offensively.
C.J. Edwards (finger) threw a successful bullpen session on Saturday.
The top prospect had been dealing with an injury to his right index finger, but it appears to be a minor issue. Even if he impresses in Cubs camp this spring, he's likely ticketed for a return to Double-A Tennessee to begin the season.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon indicated Saturday that whoever plays right field could end up batting second in the Mariners lineup.
The M's skipper mentioned that Seth Smith, Justin Ruggiano and Rickie Weeks were all capable of hitting in that second spot in the lineup. Smith figures to see the majority of the at-bats against right-handed pitching with Ruggiano or Weeks imposing their will against opposing southpaws.
The Rays are hopeful that Alex Colome, who is currently dealing with visa issues, will report to camp next week.
The 26-year-old right-hander was believed to be the favorite to secure the fifth and final spot in the Rays Opening Day rotation, though it's unclear if this delay will change their plans. He has been working out and throwing in the Dominican Republic while he awaits approval.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Saturday that the team has yet to settle on their shortstop for the upcoming season.
That means that Brad Miller and Chris Taylor will compete for the job this spring. McClendon did note that whichever candidate secures the job, that the shortstop is likely to bat ninth, sapping their already minimal fantasy value.