Player News - American - American

Date: Team: Pos:

Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) made it through a live batting practice session without any issues on Saturday.

It's the first live session that he's had this spring and a big step in the right direction for the southpaw. The next step is for him to complete a side session early in the week and if all goes well he'll make his Grapefruit League debut on Thursday against the Rays. Rodriguez is locked in a battle with Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz for the final two spots in the club's Opening Day rotation.
Feb 25 - 12:39 PM

Taylor Motter will be sidelined for the next couple of days due to soreness in his back.

The 27-year-old is already facing an uphill battle in trying to land a spot on the club's Opening Day bench, and any missed time isn't going to help his cause. Motter hit just .188/.290/.300 with two bombs and nine RBI in 93 plate appearances with the Rays in 2016.
Feb 25 - 12:24 PM

Orioles sent LHP T.J. McFarland outright to Triple-A Norfolk.

McFarland cleared outright waivers, but must now either accept his outright assignment or can opt for free agency. The club hopes to keep him in camp to compete for a spot in their Opening Day bullpen.
Feb 25 - 12:03 PM

Todd Frazier (oblique) is expected to ramp up his baseball activities on Monday.

Frazier has been slowed by a minor oblique strain, but is progressing nicely and is nearing a return to game action. He's on track to debut in Cactus League play near the end of next week. While oblique injuries can be tricky, this doesn't appear serious and shouldn't impact Frazier's draft stock.
Feb 25 - 11:46 AM

Chris Sale is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League start with the Red Sox on March 6 against the Astros.

Sale logged 226 2/3 innings for the White Sox in 2016, so the Red Sox are doing the wise thing and easing him into action this spring. He joins David Price and Rick Porcello to form as formidable a threesome as exists in the American League heading into 2017.
Source: ESPN
Feb 25 - 11:34 AM

Orioles signed INF Paul Janish to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Janish elected free agency from the Orioles in October rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A. He hit just .194/.286/.226 in 35 plate appearances with the O's in 2016. He'll compete for a reserve role on the club's Opening Day roster.
Feb 25 - 11:10 AM

Liam Hendriks said Saturday that he hopes to join Australia for Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic should they advance.

Hendriks withdrew from the team on Friday citing the fact that his stuff wasn't quite game-ready and he didn't want to risk injury or jeopardize his season by ramping up too quickly. While he wants to be able to pitch for his home country, he realizes that the Athletics and his own career need to take priority.
Feb 25 - 11:00 AM

Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to throw a side session on Tuesday.

The Mariners have Iwakuma on what is termed a "go slower" plan this spring, easing the veteran right-hander into action. He isn't expected to make his Cactus League debut until March 3 at the earliest.
Feb 25 - 10:29 AM

Dariel Alvarez confirmed Saturday that he remains focused on being a hitter and an outfielder and isn't interested in switching to pitching at this time.

There have been reports that the O's might try to convert him to a pitcher. Alvarez possesses a strong arm and did pitch years ago in his native Cuba. The 28-year-old hit .288/.324/.284 with four homers, 49 RBI and seven stolen bases in 130 games at Triple-A Norfolk in 2016.
Feb 25 - 10:14 AM

Brandon Moss is batting sixth in his Cactus League debut with the Royals on Saturday against the Rangers.

It looks as though Mike Moustakas is the lone projected regular that isn't in Saturday's lineup, so this could be a close approximation to the Opening Day lineup. Obviously, the closer Moss is to the middle of the lineup, the better his fantasy outlook becomes. Alex Gordon is slotted in the second spot on Saturday.
Feb 25 - 10:08 AM

Mitch Haniger is starting in right field and batting sixth for the Mariners in Saturday's Cactus League opener against the Padres.

M's manager Scott Servais had indicated that Saturday's lineup could be a preview of the Opening Day alignment, and having Haniger bat sixth would be a boost to his already soaring fantasy value. The biggest loser in this potential lineup appears to be Leonys Martin, who is stuck in the ninth spot.
Feb 25 - 9:56 AM

J.D. Martinez was scratched from the Tigers' starting lineup on Saturday due to tightness in his pectoral muscle.

It doesn't sound as though it's anything serious, but at this point in the spring there's no reason to take any chances. Mikie Mahtook will slide into the starting lineup in his place, with Juan Perez shifting over to right field.
Feb 25 - 9:15 AM

Mitch Moreland is batting fifth in the lineup for his Red Sox debut on Saturday against the Twins.

Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sandy Leon are the only projected regulars who aren't in the lineup, all of whom played in Friday's game against the Mets. It'll be interesting to see if Moreland remains near the middle of the lineup once their full complement of players are in there, as it would lead to ample RBI chances.
Feb 25 - 8:08 AM

Tim Beckham went 2-for-2 with a double, triple and a run scored as the Rays bested the Twins 3-1 in Grapefruit League play on Friday.

Beckham doubled to lead off the game but was stranded. He then tripled and scored in the third inning as the game's first run. He is slated to function in a utility role with the Rays this season, though that could change if he continues to light the world on fire throughout the spring.
Feb 24 - 10:08 PM

Austin Pruitt drew the start for the Rays in Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Twins and responded by striking out three over a pair of scoreless innings.

The 27-year-old right-hander allowed just one hit and didn't walk a batter. Pruitt did a nice job at Triple-A Durham in 2016, compiling a 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 149/27 K/BB ratio across 162 2/3 innings. He should get a shot with the Rays at some point during the 2017 season.
Feb 24 - 10:07 PM



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