Phillies' Jake Arrieta pitches two innings in spring debut

Sports / Baseball /

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jake Arrieta arrived at the ballpark Thursday morning, five hours before his first start of spring training. He had not pitched in a game since last October and the pitcher -- who joined the Phillies last week on a $75 million, free-agent deal -- struggled to contain himself.

"I had a ton of nervous energy today," Arrieta ...Read more

PETA denounces Rangers' Perez, urges him to go vegan

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- PETA has read the story out of Texas Rangers spring training about Martin Perez dining on the bull that led to his fractured right elbow in December, and the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals is none too pleased.

And, they think they have found a way to improve Perez's career.

The organization issued a news release ...Read more

Alex Cobb shows he's 'not that far away' in first bullpen session with Orioles

Sports / Baseball /

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said new right-hander Alex Cobb threw a bullpen session behind Ed Smith Stadium on Thursday, and drew quite a crowd while doing so.

Between that showing and the meeting Cobb had with the manager, pitching coach Roger McDowell and bullpen coach Alan Mills, Showalter said he has a much better idea ...Read more

Jose Fernandez's death put into motion a series of events that still impact Marlins today

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. -- The death of pitching ace Jose Fernandez in 2016 triggered a series of costly roster decisions that the Marlins' new owners are having to contend with now.

There is no shortage of 'what ifs' with how it all played out.

But this much is clear: according to sources with knowledge of internal discussions at the time, a number of ...Read more

Orioles, right-hander Alex Cobb agree to four-year deal

Sports / Baseball /

SARASOTA, Fla. -- With fewer than 10 days to go until Opening Day, the Orioles are nearing their biggest upgrade of the offseason: a deal with former Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Alex Cobb, according to an industry source.

The Orioles had interest in Cobb, 30, since the first weeks of the offseason, but the starting pitcher's demands never ...Read more

Pablo Sandoval impressing Giants with glove, new attitude

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Best shape of his life? That spring training cliche will never apply to Pablo Sandoval, listed at 5-foot-11, 268 pounds.

Best mental outlook of his life? On that front, Sandoval, 31, might be in tip-top condition.

"I'm super happy," he said.

The mercurial Panda blasted the Giants on his way out the free-agent door in 2015...Read more

Dodgers' Justin Turner has broken wrist after being hit by pitch

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PHOENIX -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will open the defense of their National League championship with the leader of their offense on the disabled list.

Justin Turner suffered a broken left wrist when he was hit by a pitch in Monday's Cactus League game against the Oakland Athletics. The Dodgers said they did not expect to have a timetable for ...Read more

This could be Willson Contreras' season to clean up as Cubs' No. 4 hitter

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ian Happ downplayed the significance of his contributions this spring as manager Joe Maddon assesses various lineup options.

"It's not important who is going to be the leadoff guy," Happ said. "It's just the guys we have in the lineup. How deep we are is impressive. There's no bad spot to hit in the lineup."

The Cubs ...Read more

Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco 'really sorry' about 80-game suspension

Sports / Baseball /

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jorge Polanco says he learned he had failed a steroid test a month ago, and now he's ready to take the consequences.

"I'm here to say that I'm really sorry to be in this situation," the Twins shortstop said through team interpreter Elvis Martinez in a four-minute meeting with reporters at the team's spring camp. "I want to ...Read more

Ticket proceeds for seat where Kirk Gibson's '88 World Series home run ball landed will help Parkinson's research

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and former World Series hero Kirk Gibson have joined forces on a ticket-price increase that should be easy for fans to rally around.

Gibson, whose dramatic Game 1 walk-off homer off Oakland Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley catapulted the Dodgers toward their last championship in 1988, and the team announced on Monday...Read more

Nice guys don't always finish last, Rangers believe they win championships

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Destin Hood has been one of the stars of Texas Rangers spring training.

That's not just some writer saying that, either.

"He has been one of the stars of camp," manager Jeff Banister said Saturday, before Hood went 2 for 4 with a three-run homer and four RBIs.

But what first caught Banister's attention this spring was an ...Read more

Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco suspended 80 games for PED use

Sports / Baseball /

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.

Polanco tested positive for the drug Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.

It's a blow to a Twins club with aspirations of a second consecutive trip to the postseason. And it's the second time in three ...Read more

Ragans injury a 'big blow' to Rangers' farm system

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The news the Texas Rangers were fearing was delivered Saturday afternoon and announced Sunday morning: Cole Ragans, their No. 1 pick in 2016 and arguably their top pitching prospect, needs Tommy John surgery.

The left-hander felt discomfort in his elbow Friday during a minor-league game and was quickly sent for an MRI exam. ...Read more

Royals sign former Cubs relief pitcher after making latest round of roster cuts

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In a flurry of roster moves made within an hour, relief pitcher Justin Grimm found himself here on Sunday morning, standing in an interview room at the Royals' spring-training complex with a camera trained on him.

Grimm, the former Cubs right-hander, had barely been in the building two hours when the Royals announced they had...Read more

Dodgers' starting rotation has been the focal point of success, but can it also be their undoing?

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- It's been all sunshine, rainbows and lollipops in Los Angeles Dodgers camp.

There's a presumption of success here and it's justified. The Dodgers reached the World Series last year and played in the National League Championship Series the year before that. Most of the key players are back. So is the manager. The once-skeptical fan ...Read more

No discomfort as Cubs second baseman Javier Baez returns to action

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- Javier Baez quickly shook off any signs of rust Saturday at Sloan Park in his first game since suffering a left hamstring cramp on March 8.

Baez moved laterally with ease as he made a backhanded stop near second base and fired an accurate off-balance throw to retire Erik Gonzalez of the Indians in the third inning of a 5-1 split-...Read more

A's pitcher Cotton to have Tommy John surgery, miss 2018 season

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- A's pitcher Jharel Cotton's promising spring has come to an abrupt end.

After meeting with Dr. Keith Meister Friday night, it was determined the UCL in Cotton's right elbow was torn and the starter would need to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair it. Cotton will undergo the surgery next week, causing him to miss the entire 2018...Read more

Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta breaks two bats in simulated game

Sports / Baseball /

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jorge Alfaro returned to the Phillies clubhouse Saturday morning with his gear strapped over his shoulder. Tucked inside were a pair of broken bats, two shattered remnants of the 32 pitches Jake Arrieta fired as he faced hitters for the first time since signing his $75 million contract.

Alfaro's bat snapped first on an ...Read more

For the second year in a row, Danny Duffy will be the Royals' Opening Day starter

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Two weeks from Thursday, on March 29, the Royals will return to Kauffman Stadium for their season opener.

And for the second year in a row, left-hander Danny Duffy will make the first start of the season. James Shields is the only other pitcher to make consecutive season-opening starts for the Royals since 2010.

Duffy, 29, ...Read more

Cubs release reliever Justin Grimm

Sports / Baseball /

The Cubs opened the door for another reliever to make the opening-day roster Thursday by releasing Justin Grimm.

Grimm, 29, was tagged for two home runs and had a 9.00 ERA with six hits and four walks allowed in four appearances this spring.

Grimm had a 5.53 ERA in 50 appearances last season. By releasing Grimm now, the Cubs are obligated to ...Read more