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Updating a previous item, Alex Avila was removed from Thursday's game for precautionary reasons and showed no symptoms of a concussion.

Avila exited Thursday's game after taking a foul ball off his mask. He suffered a cut above his nose, but it sounds like he managed to avoid serious injury. Look for him to return to the lineup Friday.
Thu, May 31, 2012 09:13:00 PM

Alex Cobb will start Opening Day against the Orioles on April 6.

It will be the first Opening Day start of his career. It was a logical choice, as Cobb is now the staff ace with David Price out of the picture. The 27-year-old posted a 2.87 ERA and 149/47 K/BB ratio across 166 1/3 innings last season.
Mar 4 - 8:28 AM

Joel Hanrahan will undergo a second Tommy John surgery.

Terrible news. Hanrahan previously had Tommy John surgery in May of 2013, but hasn't been able to make it back to the majors. He visited a specialist this week after soreness in his elbow lingered and now he's headed for another surgery. The veteran reliever can now be ruled out through the early part of the 2016 season.
Mar 4 - 8:22 AM

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Chad Billingsley (elbow) is not expected to be game-ready for the Phillies until late April.

Billingsley is behind the other pitchers in camp after being limited to just two starts over the last two seasons following Tommy John and flexor tendon surgeries. He'll be a part of the rotation once healthy, but the Phillies will need one of David Buchanan or Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to hold down a spot for a few weeks.
Mar 3 - 9:26 PM

Marcus Semien homered twice and drove in four runs in Tuesday's Cactus League win over the Giants.

Not a bad way to kick off his Oakland career. Semien took World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner deep to center field in the first inning, singled in a run in the second and again went deep to center field in the fifth. He also tried to steal a base but was thrown out. Some scouts question whether Semien will be able to hit at the big league level, but there's no doubt he possesses an intriguing power/speed combo.
Mar 3 - 6:51 PM

Ryan Howard said Tuesday that he cut sugar from his diet over the winter and has lost 15-20 pounds.

This comes a few days after Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said that Howard showed up to camp in the best shape "since I've known him." It's no secret that the Phillies would like to move on from him, so it appears that he has used the constant speculation about his future as motivation. It might not result in better numbers at the plate, but it's something. As of now, Howard still projects to get most of the playing time at first base for the Phillies this season.
Mar 3 - 3:03 PM

Nick Castellanos left Tuesday's Grapefruit League game after suffering a left hand contusion.

Castellanos was hit in the hand by a pitch, but fortunately X-rays came back negative. He's considered day-to-day, so it's not a major concern.
Mar 3 - 2:58 PM

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that free agent right-hander Chris Young is planning to review offers and make a decision on where to sign by the end of the week.

The market for Young was extremely quiet over the winter despite him posting a 3.65 ERA over 29 starts and one relief appearance with the Mariners last season. It's hard to count on him to stay healthy, but he'd be useful rotation depth for a handful of teams.
Mar 3 - 1:22 PM

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Tuesday that the club hasn't finalized a contract with Francisco Rodriguez.

The Brewers outrighted right-hander Brooks Hall to Triple-A on Tuesday, presumably to clear a spot for Rodriguez on the 40-man roster, but the deal isn't official yet. K-Rod is expected to receive a two-year, $13 million deal with a club option for 2017. It's unclear when he'll travel from Venezuela to Brewers' camp.
Mar 3 - 1:03 PM

Luke Hochevar (elbow) faced hitters Tuesday for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

It's a big step for Hochevar, who is nearly a full year removed from Tommy John surgery. He still has some hurdles to cross, but the Royals believe he'll be ready for Opening Day or close to it. He could be a big weapon for a bullpen which was already a strength last season.
Mar 3 - 12:57 PM

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday that Jimmy Rollins will serve as the team's leadoff man.

Mattingly indicated last week that he wasn't completely committed to Rollins in the leadoff spot, but he said Tuesday that they "don't truly have anyone else who fits in that role." He's not wrong, but Rollins isn't the ideal leadoff hitter either, as he owns a .319 on-base percentage over the last three seasons. Still, it certainly enhances his fantasy value for 2015 if he sticks there.
Mar 3 - 12:11 PM

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons wouldn't commit to using Brett Cecil as his closer, according to John Lott of the National Post.

Gibbons was ambivalent about having Cecil close, saying, "He could do it. He might not. It might be somebody else." Aaron Sanchez is the other candidate to grab the role. Alternatively, Gibbons could play match-ups with both pitchers. Cecil, since becoming a full-time reliever in 2013, has a 2.76 ERA and a 146/50 K/BB ratio in 114 innings over the last two seasons.
Mar 3 - 12:04 PM




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