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White Sox get 1st look at Shohei Ohtani -- who homers in his spring debut for Dodgers

Sports / Baseball /

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Chicago White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet faced Shohei Ohtani twice during the 2021 season, striking out the superstar both times.

There was a little extra attention — much more than a typical Cactus League game — when the two squared off Tuesday at Camelback Ranch.

It was Ohtani’s first at-bat in a spring training ...Read more

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Angels' Mike Trout just had his worst season – here's how he plans to fix it

Sports / Baseball /

TEMPE, Ariz. — Lost amid the narratives of Mike Trout’s injuries or whether he should ask to be traded is the underlying question about what he actually did while he was on the field last season.

The Angels’ superstar, a three-time American League MVP, posted numbers that were, across the board, the worst of his career.

Trout finished ...Read more

Bill Plaschke: Ohhhhtani! The newest Dodgers star has a gasping good debut.

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — The crowd gasped.

Was this really happening?

A dull desert afternoon suddenly became a noisy celebration of dazzling disbelief.

This was really happening!

Shohei Ohtani, down to his last pitch in what had been a failure of a first game in a Dodgers uniform, clubbed that pitch high into the blue midday sky, the ball soaring over ...Read more

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John Romano: With Wander Franco officially a no-show, will Rays continue paying him?

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — What would you do if you were Wander Franco’s boss?

Sounds like a simple question, seems like it should be an easy call. And, perhaps from the comfort of your living room, you’ve already decided.

But if you’re sitting in the owner’s suite at Tropicana Field, the fallout from the Franco investigation in the ...Read more

Chris Sale's mindset toward his workload: He'll pitch when asked to pitch

Sports / Baseball /

BRADENTON, Fla. — After trading for Chris Sale, Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos said the club would familiarize itself with the left-hander in hopes of keeping him healthy through the postseason. As they do with everyone, the Braves will formulate a plan for Sale’s workload and how to keep him fresh deep into the ...Read more

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Patrick Reusse: Twins' Byron Buxton is back in center -- if he stays there, watch out

Sports / Baseball /

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Followers of sports teams have a tendency to heap criticism on an athlete missing substantial action with injuries, and those critics have been known to include members of traditional media.

Evidence of that surfaced again when Joe Mauer, with a blue-collar upbringing in St. Paul and a career spent fully with the Twins ...Read more

Cardinals ink All-Star shortstop to Brandon Crawford to 1-year deal; he gets right to work

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. — Some time between finalizing his new one-year contract with the Cardinals and the official announcement of it, All-Star shortstop Brandon Crawford got to work and took some groundballs on a back field not too far from his new clubhouse.

The Cardinals new addition and planned backup shortstop, who comes complete with four Gold...Read more

'A good day for me': Tigers' Casey Mize returns to live competition after 2-year absence

Sports / Baseball /

LAKELAND, Fla. — A lot of times when manager AJ Hinch singles you out during the morning team meeting, it’s for the purpose of using you as a comedic foil.

Like the time he asked Kenta Maeda what his favorite ballpark food was. When Maeda replied, “Hot dog,” Hinch quipped, “See you do speak English.”

But there was no joke attached ...Read more

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Shohei Ohtani making Dodgers spring debut as team's new No. 2 hitter

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — Going by conventional baseball wisdom, there was one version of the Dodgers' new-look batting order that seemed to make the most strategic sense.

Mookie Betts at the top as a power-hitting leadoff threat. Freddie Freeman behind him as an on-base specialist in the No. 2 spot. And then Shohei Ohtani rounding out the superstar trio as ...Read more

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'Leave everything out there': Why this mantra has defined Braves ace Max Fried's rise

Sports / Baseball /

NORTH PORT, Fla. – Through the years and all they have brought – from the early struggles to a World Series ring to his status as one of the game’s aces – Max Fried has kept close a mantra he told himself when he was younger.

“Every opportunity that you get to take the mound,” Fried said, “make the most of it and leave everything ...Read more

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Poised for improvement? Why Shohei Ohtani could be an even bigger offensive threat in 2024.

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — Of all the tools at the disposal of the Dodgers' player performance department, a small rectangular machine called 1080 Sprint is one of their preferred methods for improving quickness and speed.

A portable resistance training device, 1080 Sprint attaches a motorized wire to a harness strapped around a player's waist, slowing them ...Read more

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Sam McDowell: The case for an improved Royals offense needs to be about more than the acquisitions

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. — A night before the Royals’ spring training opener, Vinnie Pasquantino had a conversation with his roommate about how his first game in nine months might unfold.

He figured he’d strike out a few times, surmised that excitement might get the best of him and predicted one thing with a bit more certainty:

“I’m ...Read more

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Rockies' Warming Bernabel, after surviving robbery and gun shot, trying to make his mark

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Considering what happened to Warming Bernabel, the question begged to be asked.

Do you feel lucky to be alive and playing baseball?

“Absolutely,” the Rockies’ soft-spoken, 21-year-old third base prospect said. “It was very scary.”

On Dec. 3, in his hometown of Bani in the Dominican Republic, Bernabel was shot ...Read more

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Dodgers re-sign Kiké Hernández after trading Manuel Margot to Twins

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PHOENIX — The Dodgers’ new-look roster isn’t set in stone yet.

On Monday, the team announced it had finalized a one-year contract with free-agent super-utility man Kiké Hernández after agreeing earlier in the day to trade outfielder Manuel Margot to the Minnesota Twins. The deal is worth $4 million, according to a person with knowledge...Read more

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Dodgers close to re-signing Kiké Hernández after trading Manuel Margot to Twins

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — The Dodgers' new-look roster isn't set in stone yet.

On Monday, the team agreed to a trade that will send outfielder Manuel Margot to the Minnesota Twins and, as a result, was closing in on a one-year contract with super-utility man Kiké Hernández, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to ...Read more

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Bryce Miller: Padres hope Adrian Morejon delivers on $80 million investment given to 2016 international class

Sports / Baseball /

PEORIA, Ariz. — Adrian Morejon is the answer to a nearly $80 million question.

In the "Jeopardy!" format: Who is the player who anchored a record-shattering international market spending spree by the San Diego Padres?

In 2016, the Padres snapped up the 17-year-old Cuban pitcher to anchor a cash-soaked class for $11 million. The financial ...Read more

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La Velle E. Neal III: Why are Twins fans wasting their angst on payroll?

Sports / Baseball /

What a surprise. A Pohlad has raised the ire of the fan base by revealing that the Twins will not make a late splash in free agency.

In the most recent case, Executive Chair Joe Pohlad said during a WCCO radio interview Wednesday that it is unlikely that the club would sign one of the top remaining free agents. Doing so would cost anywhere from...Read more

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Adael Amador, the Rockies' top prospect, is flashing star potential. But is there a spot for him in Colorado's infield?

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — There are a lot of young baseball players in the Dominican Republic who throw sizzling fastballs, mash line drives, field with aplomb and light up the basepaths.

Some possess the “it” factor.

Adael Amador had it when he was barely a teenager, and he’s flashing it now as he competes in his first big-league spring ...Read more

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How Avisail Garcia is trying to move on from two lost years to start his Marlins tenure

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. — The key juncture of Avisail Garcia’s offseason began with a phone call to Miami Marlins teammate Luis Arraez.

“He called me and said ‘Hey, can I hit with you?’” recalled Arraez, who has won a batting title each of the past two years. “I said, ‘100 percent yes. Let’s go. Let’s hit together.’ He worked hard. ...Read more

Dodgers' Dustin May: 'You have no idea' how frustrating injuries have been

Sports / Baseball /

GLENDALE, Ariz. – These have been trying times for Dustin May.

“You have no idea,” the 26-year-old right-hander said with all the weariness that two major elbow surgeries 26 months apart will bring.

“It was definitely not what I wanted to hear when I heard that I needed surgery again. … You can understand the first one. It’s, ‘...Read more