OUTSteve Cishek RP SEA 12 hours ago
Cishek (hip) indicated that everything went without a hitch in his second day of throwing Thursday, Owen Perkins of the Mariners' official site reports. "I'm playing catch every other day," said Cishek. "I expect to throw again in another two days and keep building up my hip strength."
Cishek initially hoped to be ready for Opening Day, but now admits he will probably need to wait a bit longer before returning to regular-season action. The 30-year-old reliever has now changed his goals to simply pitching during spring training. "I'd like to be pitching in spring training games," Cishek said. "It'll take a little longer before I'm ready to pitch in regular-season games, but I'd like to get that far before the end of the Cactus League games." With Edwin Diaz now firmly entrenched as the team's closer heading into the season, Cishek will have to settle into either a seventh or eighth inning role for the Mariners. However, his experience as a closer keeps him in the mix for saves should Edwin Diaz suffer an injury or struggle.
Hoby Milner SP CLE 13 hours ago
Milner is outside the bubble in the race for one of the Tribe's few bullpen vacancies, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports.
The chance of Milner making the Opening Day roster took a hit when the Indians signed lefty Boone Logan earlier this month. Logan gave the team's bullpen a second southpaw to go along with Andrew Miller, leaving the club little space, if any, for another left-handed reliever. The Tribe selected Milner in the Rule 5 Draft at the winter meetings for $100,000. They can send him back to the Phillies and get half their money back or carry him on the 25-man roster for the upcoming season. The former appears to be the most-likely scenario.
Tony Kemp LF HOU 13 hours ago
Kemp is taking most of his repetitions at second base during spring training, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Kemp appeared in 59 games for the Astros in 2016, almost exclusively in left field, but offseason acquisitions leave him out of the outfield picture. So, it' s back to the position with which he's most familiar. Unfortunately, that's the spot already occupied by Jose Altuve, so we can expect Kemp to start the season playing second base for Triple-A Fresno.
DTDTim Cooney SP CLE 13 hours ago
Cooney, who recently overcame a shoulder injury that caused him to have surgery last year, is dealing with a left forearm problem, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports.
So far, Cooney's surgically-repaired shoulder has held up well in camp, but now there's a new ailment impeding his progress toward an Opening Day roster spot. There hasn't been much word on the extent of his forearm issue, but any setback for Cooney could see him cut by mid-spring. With 20 pitchers in camp, and only a few bullpen slots left to fill, Cooney could be the first man out when rosters begin to thin in the coming weeks.
Matt Barnes RP BOS 14 hours ago
Barnes plans to throw his offspeed stuff more in 2017, something he experimented with during September and October last season, leading to promising results, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.
During the first five months of the 2016 season, Barnes threw his four-seamer nearly two-thirds of the time, but adjusted late in the season following a truly disastrous month of August (12 ER in 10.2 IP). He felt his stuff was still good, but the results weren't there. It was at that point he realized the problem was in how he used his stuff. Barnes mixed in more curves and sliders, throwing them as often as the four-seamer, and allowed just one run and no extra-base hits over his final 8.2 innings. While Joe Kelly's transition to the bullpen has garnered most of the headlines, Barnes may be positioned to take a step forward in 2017.
Richard Bleier RP BAL 14 hours ago
Bleier is in the fray, with a legitimate chance, to win one of the team's final bullpen spots, Rich Dubroff of MLB.com reports.
Bleier piqued the Orioles' interest this past season when he had a 1.96 ERA in 23 games with the Yankees, but he was designated for assignment on Feb. 16 and traded for cash considerations. Manager Buck Showalter said that he could foresee the team carrying three left-handers, which leaves Bleier to compete with another recent addition, Vidal Nuno, to break camp with Zach Britton and Donnie Hart as the bullpen's southpaws.
Tyler Wilson P BAL 14 hours ago
Wilson made adjustments to his throwing program in the offseason that he hopes will propel him past the competition late in spring training, Rich Dubroff of MLB.com reports.
Wilson, who will get the start when the Orioles begin Grapefruit League play on Friday against the Tigers, is fighting to win one of the team's two remaining roster spots. Last year, Wilson open the year in the Orioles bullpen, moved into the starting rotation in late-April, and was sent to Triple-A Norfolk on July 3. The 27-year-old righty thought long and hard during the offseason on how he could improve his odds to have success in 2017. "Coming into camp, I'm trying to be a lot more responsible as far as my workload [going] into the season," Wilson said. "I made some adjustments in the offseason as far as length of throwing. I started a little later, to hopefully peak later on in spring training and later on in the season, and be able to withstand that deeper into the season."
Brian Johnson SP BOS 14 hours ago
Johnson didn't give up a hit while striking out three and walking one in two scoreless innings Thursday against Northeastern University.
We're not reading too much into a scoreless outing against a college team, but Johnson was nonetheless pleased with how the ball came out of his hand. If he can get back to form he showed two spring trainings ago, prior to an elbow injury and anxiety issues took him off schedule, Johnson should find his way to Boston at some point this season.
Chris Hatcher RP LAD 15 hours ago
Hatcher (oblique) is in camp and will compete for a bullpen job this spring, Cary Osbourne of Dodger Insider reports.
Hatcher was shut down last year after suffering a grade 3 oblique strain. The results were not pretty before the injury as he was hit to the tune of a 5.53 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 40.2 innings. The difference between last year's totals and the sub-four ERAs he posted in 2014 and 2015 was his inability to keep the ball in the yard (1.8 HR/9 in 2016). Now healthy, Hatcher will compete for a middle relief role in Dodgers' bullpen this season.
Pablo Sandoval 3B BOS 15 hours ago
Sandoval cleanly fielded all three of his chances at third base and stretched a line-drive hit into a double during Thursday's exhibition game against Northeastern University.
Sandoval is motivated to prove himself after a couple of disastrous seasons in Boston, so Thursday's display was very encouraging. He showed up to camp in better condition and Thursday's hustle-double was an extension of the offseason commitment he put into his body. While manager John Farrell is not going to hand him the starting job, Sandoval merely has to beat out utility players Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge. It would take a monumentally horrible spring for him to get beat out for the starting job at third base.