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Mets pitching depth takes hit as Max Kranick goes down with hamstring strain

Sports / Baseball /

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Mets are getting thin on starting pitching already.

Right-hander Max Kranick was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain Thursday. He’ll be shut down for 7-10 days before he’s allowed to resume his progression. The Mets expect him to join Kodai Senga on the injured list at the start of the season.

“It’s ...Read more

Angels' Mickey Moniak looks to build on breakthrough season

Sports / Baseball /

TEMPE, Ariz. — Mickey Moniak is finally beginning a season without the weight of unmet expectations.

Moniak, a former No. 1 overall draft pick who never found his big-league footing until 2023, comfortably has a job as a regular in the Angels’ lineup.

“It feels different in the sense of finally having the success I had and almost ...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Why Zach Eflin feels so much more comfortable with Rays this year

Sports / Baseball /

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Zach Eflin has ample reason to feel more comfortable with the Rays this spring.

Last year he was the new guy, leaving the Phillies — and their veteran-led clubhouse — after seven seasons. Signing the largest free-agent contract in Rays history — $40 million over three years — created expectations, and some ...Read more

SF Giants' Tristan Beck diagnosed with aneurysm in arm, ruled out for Opening Day

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Beginning a few bullpen sessions ago, every time Tristan Beck would throw, his right hand would go cold. He would begin to lose feeling. Numbness would eventually set in.

The 27-year-old right-hander brought these symptoms to the Giants’ medical staff, who recommended he visit a specialist. After being scratched from his...Read more

The Phillies got rid of Dollar Dog Nights. Most fans were distraught -- but not everyone thinks it's a bad idea.

Sports / Baseball /

PHILADELPHIA — Dollar Dog Nights are no more. Instead, the Phillies are hosting a buy one, get one promotion — effectively turning Dollar Dog Night into $2.50 Dog Night.

Fans will be able to purchase up to four full-price hot dogs, and receive four more for free for a total of eight hot dogs at a time, up from the previous limit of four at ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Shohei Ohtani is no longer a free agent on dating market: Japanese star announces marriage

Sports / Baseball /

LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani's life away from the baseball diamond has always been intensely private. About all he's ever revealed is that he owns a dog named Dekopin, Japanese for Decoy.

Until now. Ohtani, 29, posted on Instagram in the middle of the night that he is married. Yes, the two-way superstar has his first ring as a Dodger, and it ...Read more

K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Padres have 'real' outfield competition with time dwindling

Sports / Baseball /

PEORIA, Ariz. — The fight is tight and time is dwindling.

Innings are at a premium in the remaining two weeks of spring training games before decisions must be made about which players are going to be in the Padres outfield.

So on Wednesday, among the first cuts of camp, the team sent outfielder Tirso Ornelas and Robert Perez Jr. to minor-...Read more

Matt Stone/Boston Herald/TNS

Stacy Wakefield, wife of late Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, passes away

Sports / Baseball /

BOSTON — Stacy Wakefield, wife of late Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, passed away on Wednesday, the team announced in a press release.

Both Wakefields had been diagnosed with cancer last year. Tim passed away on Oct. 1, the final day of the 2023 season. The 57-year-old knuckleballer had been battling brain cancer, the news of which only ...Read more

Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Healthy again, Rays' Brandon Lowe has a lot to play for

Sports / Baseball /

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The pain from Brandon Lowe’s back injuries and broken right kneecap has long subsided.

But a sting remains.

Being limited to 174 games over the past two seasons, while also having his production hampered at times when he did play, understandably has caused ample frustration.

“The numbers have been there every ...Read more

John McCoy/Getty Images North America/TNS

Angels' Tyler Anderson hopes pitching philosophy sparks turnaround

Sports / Baseball /

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Tyler Anderson wants to return to his philosophy of pitching this year.

“My whole life has been trying to make good pitches, not make my pitches good,” Anderson said.

The catchy phrase refers to the difference between thinking about how a pitch works against a certain hitter in a certain game situation, and simply ...Read more

Paul Sullivan/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Paul Sullivan: All's well that ends well for Cubs star Cody Bellinger after an offseason of uncertainty

Sports / Baseball /

MESA, Ariz. — Cody Bellinger stood in the Chicago Cubs complex Wednesday morning and introduced himself as if he were a new player meeting his teammates for the first time.

Of course, no introductions were needed for the veteran center fielder and first baseman who helped lead the Cubs back from the dead and into a playoff race last summer, ...Read more

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Red Sox prospect Brainer Bonaci receives season-long suspension

Sports / Baseball /

Brainer Bonaci, one of the Red Sox’s top-ranked infield prospects, will miss the entire 2024 season.

As first reported by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, Bonaci received a season-long suspension for violating the minor-league domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy. The details of Bonaci’s violation remain under wraps.

...Read more

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'He's comfortable.' Yoshinobu Yamamoto continues Dodgers acclimation with strong spring debut.

Sports / Baseball /

PHOENIX — When the Dodgers signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto this offseason, pitching coach Mark Prior knew there would be cultural differences to bridge with the star Japanese right-hander.

It didn't take long this spring for them to stumble upon even the most mundane examples.

During one of their first conversations at Dodgers camp, as the team ...Read more

Why relievers Pierce Johnson and Joe Jiménez chose Braves over testing free agency

Sports / Baseball /

NORTH PORT, Fla. — After last season, Pierce Johnson and Joe Jiménez could have tested free agency. They earned that right and could have gauged their value on the open market.

Instead, both re-signed with the Braves before they made it to free agency – Johnson on Oct. 25, Jiménez on Nov. 2. (Technically, Jiménez would’ve become a free...Read more

Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

David Murphy: Can the Phillies unseat the Braves? Here's the route to a title in the NL East.

Sports / Baseball /

PHILADELPHIA — There are three things that need to go right for the Phillies to win 100-plus games and unseat the Braves for the division title. They aren’t the only things that need to go right. And they need to be accompanied by a lot of things that do not go wrong. That being said, this is the path:

1. Ranger Suárez is who he should be,...Read more

JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Dieter Kurtenbach: The real reason the Giants had to move on from Brandon Crawford

Sports / Baseball /

Some Giants fans are angry.

Some are downright livid.

A player who hit .194 last season was not re-signed, and apparently, this is treasonous behavior from Giants director of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.

Look, Brandon Crawford is a Giants legend. He’s arguably the best shortstop in franchise history. No one else will ever wear No. 35 ...Read more

K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Jackson Merrill has earned his confidence, appears on track to make Padres' opening-day roster

Sports / Baseball /

PEORIA, Ariz. — Jackson Merrill, who is a couple months shy of turning 21, held court on the infield grass at Sloan Park on Sunday afternoon following his third spring training game this year and the 26th spring training game of his life.

He had gone 2 for 2 with a walk, scoring after hitting a double and driving in two runs with a single in ...Read more

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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