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Yu Darvish makes quick favorable impression on new Cubs teammates

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- After watching one of Yu Darvish's pitches during a batting-practice session Tuesday, Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber merely said, "Oh, God."

"Insane," Willson Contreras added after catching Darvish's first bullpen session and then following Schwarber in the cage.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to provide perspective as he looked at his ...Read more

Mound visit rules troublesome to Cubs catcher Willson Contreras

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- Try to stop an animated Willson Contreras from making the Cubs' seventh trip to the mound without a pitching change.

That will be the task for umpires assigned to enforce new rules governing pace of play, and Contreras has no intention of taking risks that would put his pitcher in jeopardy.

"I've been reading a lot about this ...Read more

MLB teams planning to wear Stoneman Douglas caps Friday in Florida and Arizona

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. -- To honor the victims of last week's school shooting, Major League Baseball teams intend to wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas caps on Friday for the start of spring training games in Florida and Arizona.

The league's official cap company, New Era, is making the special caps for players to wear when play begins in both the Grapefruit...Read more

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw satisfied after first session of live batting practice

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- The first pitch of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw's spring met an unfortunate demise. Yasiel Puig cracked it into center field to open the session of live batting practice. On a chilly day at Camelback Ranch, Kershaw did not expect an ambush.

"I probably should have," Kershaw said with a grin. "I didn't realize they faced guys yesterday...Read more

Marlins plan to wear Stoneman Douglas hats Friday

Sports / Baseball /

Miami Marlins plan to carry a small piece of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High with them before their first game of spring training, and that's not just a figure of speech.

The team ordered dozens of Douglas baseball caps for players and field staff to wear Friday, in support of the school following last week's mass shooting. The Marlins plan to ...Read more

Marlins' Don Mattingly to Nationals' Bryce Harper: 'Take care of your own dugout'

Sports / Baseball /

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly responded Tuesday to Bryce Harper's comments Monday by telling the Washington Nationals outfielder to "take care of your own dugout."

"It's our job to take care of ourselves. It's not really his place to comment on us," said Mattingly, who didn't come off as particularly mad or annoyed. "He doesn't really ...Read more

Eric Hosmer honors former teammate Yordano Ventura with Padres number

Sports / Baseball /

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer knew what he wanted to do when he found out his old number was not available with his new team.

With No. 35 taken -- retired, actually, in honor of former Cy Young winner Randy Jones -- Hosmer decided on wearing No. 30 as a Padre.

It is a tribute to former Kansas City Royals teammate Yordano Ventura. The pitcher, ...Read more

New Padre Hosmer eager for 'great moments' in San Diego

Sports / Baseball /

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Now it's Padres season.

"Spring training starts today," Eric Hosmer said. "I'm just happy to go play baseball."

The Padres on Tuesday introduced the player they gave the largest contract in team history with the expectation he will be a cornerstone of their building process as both a star on the field and a mentor in the ...Read more

Dodgers officially get back to work, 110 days after losing the final game of the World Series

Sports / Baseball /

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A gentle chorus surrounded Dodgers manager Dave Roberts as he walked through two rows of fans at Camelback Ranch. Gone were the questions about Game 7 and the cries of "One more win!" which he heard all winter, from the South Bay to his home outside San Diego.

Now he received a greeting more polite than pained.

"Good morning...Read more

Cubs Anthony Rizzo on Parkland school shooting victims: 'They'll be in my heart every day'

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- First baseman Anthony Rizzo rejoined his Cubs teammates Monday after traveling to Parkland. Fla., a community devastated by the mass shootings that killed 17 people at his high school.

Rizzo said that looking into the eyes of the families and friends of the victims "was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Just going back, you don...Read more

Big-name free agents abound, Beltre wants them with Rangers

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The advice Adrian Beltre offered general manager Jon Daniels and Texas Rangers ownership Monday morning is nothing new from the win-at-all-costs -- heavy emphasis on "costs" -- future Hall of Famer.

Beltre wants to win a World Series before his playing days are done and believes the current Rangers roster can compete for ...Read more

Miguel Cabrera on paternity suit: I'm here to play baseball

Sports / Baseball /

A day after reporting to spring training in Lakeland, Fla., Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera declined to comment on his ongoing paternity suit.

"I'm just here to play baseball," Cabrera said Monday.

Cabrera is being sued by his ex-mistress, Belkis Rodriguez, claiming he isn't paying enough child support for the two children he ...Read more

Now 20 pounds lighter, Jorge Soler will fight for an outfield job with Royals

Sports / Baseball /

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- At times throughout the offseason, Royals outfielder Jorge Soler would park himself in front of the refrigerator in his suburban Miami home, open the door and never reach for anything.

It was an unintentional game of torture, borne of old habits. In the past, he would have walked away from the temptation only to return ...Read more

Marlins owner Bruce Sherman: Derek Jeter & Co. have 'made all the right moves

Sports / Baseball /

The Miami Marlins have plenty of money, had a very successful offseason and have received lots of positive fan reaction in recent months, Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter said Monday, despite public belief to the contrary.

And, Sherman added, he's happy to be here.

"Finally, it's spring training," said Sherman, the Marlins' chairman and principal...Read more

Chris Tillman returning to Orioles on one-year, major league deal

Sports / Baseball /

The potential reunion between the Orioles and right-hander Chris Tillman always seemed to make sense for both sides, almost as if they needed each other. In retooling their starting rotation, the Orioles needed a pitcher who had proven to be successful and durable in the past, and Tillman needed the opportunity to rebound from the worst season ...Read more

Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger plans to avoid a sophomore slump

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- Cody Bellinger slipped through the netting of a Camelback Ranch batting cage and gazed at a pitching machine. Dodgers hitting coach Turner Ward manned the contraption, which dolloped late spin onto each offering. Bellinger slashed a pair of line drives before whacking a few foul and others into the ground. "That's a big-league knock,"...Read more

Brandon Morrow's injury-plagued odyssey led him to role of Cubs closer

Sports / Baseball /

Replacing near-flawless Wade Davis despite a lack of recent closer experience doesn't faze Brandon Morrow.

"I don't think mentally it will be too big for me," Morrow said at spring training Wednesday in a calm but direct tone. "I think I have come a long way."

Considering his array of health issues that stunted his development and prevented ...Read more

Twins' Miguel Sano healthy and happy but heavy

Sports / Baseball /

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Miguel Sano reported to spring training Sunday, the three issues that complicate his 2018 season -- health, weight and an assault investigation -- seemingly reduced to two.

Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, ...Read more

Miguel Cabrera arrives at Tigers spring training, focused on staying healthy

Sports / Baseball /

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The big man reported to spring training on Sunday afternoon.

Miguel Cabrera, the lone Detroit Tigers' superstar left standing, looked better than last season. He walked brisker and looked slimmer and said he felt as if the back issues that turned him into a shell of himself last season were a thing of the past.

"I feel like I...Read more

Padres outfield battle to intensify as Myers leaves first base to Hosmer

Sports / Baseball /

The weekend began with seven outfielders competing for the two outfield spots that did not belong to Manuel Margot. The arrival of a new first baseman (you heard the Eric Hosmer news, right?) changes things quite a bit for that group this spring.

Wil Myers is now a corner outfielder. A fight for the other spot is about to begin.

And third-year...Read more