Eric Sondheimer/Los Angeles Times/TNS

"The next big Asian market": Filipino-American players pave way for baseball's growth in Philippines.

Sports / Baseball /

Nestled in a clearing between rye fields and lush jungle, the bases on one of the few baseball diamonds in the Philippines' Tanauan City sat in sludge.

In video taken by scouts visiting the area, a rooster crowed in the background and a dog watched from behind a rusty foul-line fence.

Baseball dreams hardly exist there, where kids play with ...Read more

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images North America/TNS

Will Angels make the playoffs? Don't expect guarantees from GM Perry Minasian.

Sports / Baseball /

The Angels could use a bit of swagger. They could use an October too.

Yes or no, Perry Minasian: Is this a playoff team?

"We'll find out," Minasian said.

Minasian, the Angels' general manager, earned respect throughout the sport for a second consecutive winter of guiding owner Arte Moreno away from the brightest stars in the free-agent ...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Paul Sullivan: 2023 MLB season begins with new rules, old narratives and the same opening-day dreams

Sports / Baseball /

After the success of the World Baseball Classic, Major League Baseball begins its regular season Thursday at a ballpark near you.

It’s a little like having dessert before a full-course dinner, knowing you’ll be full by the end but not caring a bit because it tasted so good.

If MLB could bottle the feeling the WBC created and repackage it ...Read more

Evan Webeck: Five pressing questions SF Giants did or didn't answer in spring training

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The cardboard boxes that appeared in front of players’ lockers this week slowly began to fill with their belongings and on Saturday morning were loaded into equipment trucks, their last stop on their way to San Francisco. There is no surer sign of the end of spring training than the presence of those big box trucks in the...Read more

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America/TNS

Anthony Volpe realizes 'super surreal' dream after making Yankees' roster

Sports / Baseball /

TAMPA, Fla. — Shortly after the Yankees’ Sunday spring training game against the Blue Jays, the team’s shot-callers asked Anthony Volpe to stick around. He swears it’s the only time he’s felt his heart beat all spring.

Volpe, who has insisted that he hasn’t allowed the Yankees’ shortstop competition with Oswald Peraza to consume ...Read more

Ben Frederickson: Are people sleeping on this Cardinals offense? Oliver Marmol thinks so.

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. — There is this pesky mini refrigerator in Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol’s office that has presented a problem throughout spring training.

Marmol will be in the middle of his pre- or post-game remarks, and the machine will kick on, making an awful racket.

At times, he has unplugged it. On Saturday, he let it run. The ...Read more

Josh Fleming wins rotation spot with the Rays

Sports / Baseball /

LAKELAND, Fla. — Josh Fleming will not make his scheduled final spring training start Monday. Nothing is wrong with the left-hander. In fact, it’s great news for him.

With a spot open because of Tyler Glasnow’s oblique injury, Fleming won the competition to take his place in the rotation.

The Rays optioned Yonny Chirinos to Triple-A ...Read more

Braves starter Kyle Wright will begin season on IL as he finishes building up

Sports / Baseball /

NORTH PORT, Fla. — The Braves have decided to give Kyle Wright more time to ramp up for the regular season.

This means Wright – who is still regaining full form after a January cortisone injection put him behind – will start the season on the 15-day injured list.

“Just kind of gives me the chance to build all the way up and feel extra ...Read more

Gene Collier: Getting you ready for baseball's new look

Sports / Baseball /

As a new baseball season finally crept within a week, I tripped over this headline that appeared on the Post-Gazette website at the start of the day:

"Angels catch, release Trout ..."

Wait, what? Mike Trout's been released?

Better put my glasses on, I figured.

Oh, well, that's very different:

"Anglers catch, release trout in special ...Read more

Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS

Marcus Hayes: Trea Turner is 'Philadelphia's next Chase Utley': Charlie Manuel evokes Phillies legend

Sports / Baseball /

PHILADELPHIA — If Charlie Manuel is right, Pennsylvania is about to see a spike in babies named “Trea.”

That’s what happened when rugged second baseman Chase Utley rose to mythical status as one of the best Phillies in the team’s Golden Era. The name “Chase“ tripled in popularity in the Keystone State.

Manuel managed or coached ...Read more

Shafkat Anowar/The Dallas Morning News/TNS

Mac Engel: After so much spending, the Rangers should be contenders (in 2024)

Sports / Baseball /

FORT WORTH, Texas — Upon his hiring as the general manager of the Texas Rangers in 2001, John Hart famously said, “The landscape is littered with train wrecks that have never made the postseason.

“Clubs that are in large markets and have floundered around and never had a clear path. We are not going to become one of those train wrecks.”...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

John Romano: MLB pitch clocks could wreak havoc on the lives of video replay officials

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Somewhere, a pitcher is muttering under his breath. A hitter is fidgeting in the batter’s box. A fan is grousing about the intrusion of a pitch clock on a game of timeless elegance.

To this, I say, pffffftttt!

You want real angst? Real pressure? Real job-changing significance due to baseball’s recent rule changes? ...Read more

David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS

Bill Madden: Buck Showalter on the challenge of managing Mets without Edwin Diaz

Sports / Baseball /

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Nobody has to tell Buck Showalter he’s going to have to manage his butt off this season if he is to get Steve Cohen’s $336 million Mets back to October and beyond. Quite simply it is going to be an Edwin Diaz-less adventure for 162 games.

We were standing on the sidelines watching the Mets going through some pre-...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Rays' Wander Franco sidelined by quad soreness, status unclear

Sports / Baseball /

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shortstop Wander Franco was scratched from the lineup for Saturday’s exhibition game due to right quad soreness, and the Rays aren’t sure about the extent of the issue yet.

“I don’t really know much other than just some soreness in the right (quad),” manager Kevin Cash said after the 4-2 win over Boston. “...Read more

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America/TNS

Luis Severino dealing with lat strain and won't make scheduled first start of season for Yankees

Sports / Baseball /

TAMPA, Fla. — The Yankees’ rotation has suffered another blow, as Luis Severino is dealing with a low-grade lat strain on his right side.

“It’s gonna put him in jeopardy to start the year,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Saturday morning. Boone added that it’s “probably an IL” situation for the right-hander, but Boone’s ...Read more

HYOSUB SHIN/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Mark Bradley: The star-spangled Braves -- good value for great talent

Sports / Baseball /

ATLANTA — ESPN ranks eight Braves among MLB’s top 74 players. Ronald Acuna is No. 14, Ozzie Albies No. 74. In between come Austin Riley, Max Fried, Michael Harris, Spencer Strider, Matt Olson and Sean Murphy. That’s two pitchers, one catcher, three infielders and two outfielders. That’s what you’d call comprehensive.

We note that ...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS

From video games to trash-talking, competitive bonds among Orioles' top young stars fuel return to contention

Sports / Baseball /

SARASOTA, Fla. — Gunnar Henderson knows how dangerous Adley Rutschman can be with the game on the line.

“You can just tell by his face: He gets locked in,” Henderson said. “You want to keep it away from him or get him on his heels. It’s tough to do, but you’ve got to be more strategic.”

Henderson wasn’t talking about the ...Read more

E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Paul Sullivan: Dansby Swanson's forgettable spring continues, but Cubs aren't worried about their $177 million man

Sports / Baseball /

CHICAGO — After signing a seven-year, $177 million deal in December to be the centerpiece of the Chicago Cubs lineup, Dansby Swanson entered the final weekend of Cactus League play hitting .059.

It wasn’t just a subpar spring. No one in spring training with 30 or more at-bats had a lower batting average than the new Cubs shortstop.

In his ...Read more

Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Phillies expect Rhys Hoskins to miss the season; Darick Hall to be primary first baseman

Sports / Baseball /

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who was diagnosed with a left ACL tear on Thursday, will likely miss the rest of the season, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced on Friday.

Dombrowksi said Hoskins will get a second opinion soon but emphasized that he would be “shocked” if the first baseman ...Read more

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America/TNS

Fantasy baseball: Bank on Juan Soto, Manny Machado and (a healthy) Fernando Tatis Jr. in your league

Sports / Baseball /

When the San Diego Union-Tribune hired me in 2008, Petco Park was a fantasy wasteland.

Almost nobody rostered any Padres outside of Jake Peavy or San Diego's own Adrian Gonzalez.

Relying on Tadahito Iguchi's team-leading eight steals likely would have earned you ridicule from your entire league (assuming you weren't in the deepest of NL-only ...Read more