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

Sports / Baseball /

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

Sports / Baseball /

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

Starlin Castro fits in with Marlins, but still misses Yankees

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. -- Starlin Castro has been through a laborious rebuilding process in Chicago and all the losing that goes with it.

As an eight-year veteran he had no interest in reliving the growing pains with the Marlins. So when the Giancarlo Stanton trade included him as the only player with major-league experience going from the New York ...Read more

How the Phillies landed Jake Arrieta

Sports / Baseball /

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jake Arrieta pulled his arms through a Phillies jersey Tuesday morning and tugged on a red cap two days after agreeing to a three-year deal worth $75 million.

"Right size and everything," Arrieta said. "Beautiful."

The scene -- Arrieta dressed in Phillies garb at a morning news conference to describe how he got here -- felt...Read more

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager plays field for first time this spring

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- For five innings on Monday, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager stood on the infield dirt beneath the sun during a minor-league game. He shifted his positioning in between batters, swept his feet across the ground and mostly waited for something to do.

On two occasions, both in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox, ...Read more

Phillies' young rotation eager to learn from Jake Arrieta

Sports / Baseball /

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jerad Eickhoff was at a golf tournament Sunday afternoon, not far from the Phillies' spring-training complex, to get his first chance at watching Tiger Woods in action. But Eickhoff's moment was interrupted when someone alerted him to the breaking news: Jake Arrieta had agreed to a contract with the Phillies.

"I was just ...Read more

Bernie Sanders visits Dodgers, hangs with Yasiel Puig, decries departure from Brooklyn

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX -- Bernie Sanders tugged at his Brooklyn Dodgers cap. He had already met with manager Dave Roberts, posed for pictures with outfielder Yasiel Puig and watched closer Kenley Jansen throw a bullpen session. Now the senator from Vermont and former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination explained why he paid a visit to ...Read more

Urena's journey to Opening Day starter was not typical and Marlins' pitcher isn't losing focus

Sports / Baseball /

A day after being selected as the Marlins' Opening Day starter, Jose Urena took the news in stride as he prepares for what he hopes is a successful season in the rotation.

"I just took it like normal," Urena said. "Some people take it that way but I don't take it in that way. I'm not prepared for just one start. I try to be healthy and do the ...Read more

Marlins' catcher J.T. Realmuto injured in spring training game against Yankees

Sports / Baseball /

JUPITER, Fla. -- J.T. Realmuto's spring has taken a rough turn.

The Marlins' starting catcher returned to action Sunday after missing the past two games with a left knee bruise only to exit the game with another injury.

Realmuto suffered a lower back contusion after he collided with Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres after being picked off ...Read more

Phillies to sign Jake Arrieta to multi-year deal, gaining star free agent pitcher

Sports / Baseball /

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Phillies waited out the starting pitcher market and appear to have come out as winners as they moved close to a multi-year deal on Sunday with former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta.

The deal -- which was first reported by NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury -- gives the Phillies a much needed arm for their questionable ...Read more

White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez on homering against Cubs: 'The best is to come'

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. -- White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez was in manager Rick Renteria's ear all day Friday and Saturday morning, asking to return to action for Saturday's game against the Cubs, his former organization.

General manager Rick Hahn said Saturday morning Jimenez was "pushing Ricky hard," but they opted to give him an extra day to recover ...Read more

Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio suspended 80 games for steroid use

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio has been suspended 80 games without pay for testing positive for Boldenone, a performance enhancing substance banned by MLB.

Bonifacio has been placed on the restricted list.

Bonifacio's suspension clears a spot on the 40-man roster, making room for the return of third baseman Mike ...Read more