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Brandon Phillips (thumb) has been cleared to begin swinging a bat after a visit Thursday with the hand surgeon who performed his operation.

"He's swinging in the cage off a tee, so it's baby steps," Reds trainer Paul Lessard said. "But it's good baby steps." Phillips had already been fielding grounders for a few days, but he's doing so with a flat glove and will need to show he can do it with a regular glove that has some sort of protection. "We're working on some devices to keep the thumb stiff," Lessard said. "He's such a freewheeling guy. I don't want him hesitant in the field." Manager Bryan Price said Phillips is a bit ahead of his projected six-week timetable, but he'll need a rehab assignment before returning. "He'll have to go play somewhere," Price said. "It's a surgery and it's five- to six-week recover period. That's a long time away from the game without seeing live pitching."
Fri, Aug 8, 2014 09:23:00 AM

Mariners prospect Victor Sanchez died Saturday as the result of a boat accident.

Sanchez was hit by a boat while swimming in Venezuela in February, sustaining a fractured skull. He had emergency surgery and was in a coma in recent weeks, but he was just never able to recover. It's a tragedy that transcends baseball. Sanchez was 20 years old.
Mar 28 - 10:31 PM

Kris Bryant continued his assault on Cactus League pitching Saturday, finishing 4-for-5 with three runs scored in a win over the Rockies.

Bryant doubled in the first inning and later added three singles. The third baseman now has 17 hits in 37 at-bats (.459) during spring. He's not expected to open the season at the major league level, though, and is still ticketed for Triple-A Iowa.
Mar 28 - 7:54 PM

Zach McAllister struck out nine Brewers batters over five innings, allowing two runs Saturday.

McAllister allowed six hits and didn't walk a batter, posting an impressive 9/0 K/BB ratio in the game. With Danny Salazar in Triple-A, McAllister has a good shot at winning a rotation spot with the Indians. Saturday's effort certainly helps that cause.
Mar 28 - 7:20 PM

Tyson Ross struck out 12 hitters over six innings, allowing two runs, in a Cactus League win over the Rangers Saturday.

Ross had everything working, striking out 12 of the 24 batters he faced on the day. The right-hander gave up six hits and walked a batter on the afternoon. Ross has a 2.89 ERA this spring and should once again be one of the best starters in the National League in 2015.
Mar 28 - 7:17 PM

Didi Gregorius (wrist) will take the next three days off.

X-rays came back negative on the wrist, which Gregorius sprained diving for a ball, and the Yankees hope a few days of rest will go a long way. Yanks manager Joe Girardi said he hopes to get Gregorius back in the lineup on Wednesday. If that timetable holds true, the 25-year-old should be in the Yankees' lineup on Opening Day.
Mar 28 - 7:04 PM

Corey Dickerson left Saturday's Cactus League game with lower back tightness.

Dickerson exited after the third inning but said it was mostly a precautionary move. It's not something to be too concerned about, and he should be back in action soon.
Mar 28 - 6:00 PM

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Mets and Lucas Duda have had discussions about a long-term contract extension.

Duda said the talks have been "preliminary stuff and still in the works," so it doesn't sound like anything is close. Duda's agent, Dan Horwits, said the sides will table talks if a deal doesn't get done before Opening Day. Duda enjoyed a breakout year in 2014, swatting 30 homers and driving in 92 runs, and he appears to be the Mets' best answer at first base for the long run. As it stands, Duda won't be a free agent until after the 2017 season.
Mar 28 - 5:00 PM

Jaime Garcia was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday after experiencing a setback with his surgically repaired left shoulder.

Garcia has some discomfort in the shoulder, so the club has decided to "hit the brakes" with the left-hander, manager Mike Matheny said. Marco Gonzales will start for the Cardinals in Garcia's place, and it could open the door for Carlos Martinez to win the fifth spot in the rotation after he had appeared to be on the outside looking in. More should be known about Garcia's outlook in a day or two.
Mar 28 - 4:08 PM

Twins pitching prospect Lewis Thorpe will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

The surgery date has yet to be determined, but it's a tough blow for the 19-year-old hurler. He will miss the entire 2015 season and could be sidelined for the start of 2016 as well.
Mar 28 - 11:04 AM

Ryan Zimmerman is expected to be sidelined for the next 2-3 days after jamming his left shoulder on a diving play in Friday's Grapefruit League contest.

The Nationals don't believe that the injury is serious and do not have an MRI scheduled. Zimmerman remains fully confident that he will be in the team's lineup on Opening Day.
Mar 28 - 9:16 AM

Twins optioned OF Aaron Hicks to Triple-A Rochester.

Once again, Hicks had an opportunity to seize the team's starting job in center field with a strong spring, but hit just .206/.300/.324 with a 9/5 K/BB ratio in 34 spring at-bats. It appears as though Jordan Schafer will function as the team's starting center fielder to begin the season.
Mar 28 - 9:12 AM




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