Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says free agent slugger Jose Bautista is "keenly interested" in playing for the Rays.

Bautista is a longtime Tampa resident and is one of many still looking for a job a few days into spring training. Given his .203/.308/.366 batting line last season, the 37-year-old should also be in the price range for the cost-cutting Rays. It will be interesting to see if the two sides are a match.
Feb 24 - 11:25 PM

Twins top prospect Fernando Romero struck out three over two innings in Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles, which ended in a 1-1 tie.

Romero, who showed up on numerous top-100 prospect rankings earlier this year, was flawless, striking out the first two batters he saw and not allowing a baserunner in his two innings of work. The 23-year-old is no stranger to strikeouts, fanning 120 in 125 innings at Double-A last season. There's a good chance we'll see him in Minnesota in some capacity in 2018.
Feb 24 - 9:48 PM

Austin Wynns went 1-for-2 with a solo home run in a tie with the Twins on Saturday.

The backstop took Twins lefty reliever Gabriel Moya deep in the seventh inning, tying the game at 1-1. That's how it would end. The O's put Wynns on the 40-man roster this past November to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, a sign of what they think of him as a potential future contributor. The 27-year-old earned it after batting .281/.377/.419 with Double-A Bowie last year.
Feb 24 - 9:42 PM

Adalberto Mejia threw two scoreless innings in Saturday's Grapefruit League tie against the Orioles.

The southpaw gave up two hits and a walk without striking out a batter over his two innings of work, but all in all it was a good first outing of spring. Mejia was a surprising contributor to the Twins' postseason run last season, making 21 starts with a 4.50 ERA across 98 innings. The 24-year-old is one of the few written in pen into the Twins' rotation heading into 2018.
Feb 24 - 9:27 PM

Austin Hays was held out of Saturday's Grapefruit League contest against the Twins due to a sore lat.

It's an issue that has plagued the 22-year-old for a few days, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said, but he's expected to serve as the team's designated hitter for Sunday's game, so it's not overly serious. Hays made his way into 20 games for the O's last season and is considered the team's top prospect by most accounts. If he shows well in spring, he could earn a prominent role with the team in 2018.
Feb 24 - 9:16 PM

Alec Asher struck out four over two scoreless innings in Saturday's Grapefruit League tie against the Twins.

Asher came in to start the third inning and immediately fanned the first two batters he faced before a fielding error and a flyout finished the frame. He gave up a two-out single in the fourth before striking out Gregorio Petit to end the inning and his afternoon. The 26-year-old posted a 5.25 ERA in 24 appearances, including six starts, for the O's in 2017, but he's better than that number suggests. He could carve out a role with the big club this spring.
Feb 24 - 9:12 PM

Eric Haase went 2-for-2 with an RBI double and a solo home run in Saturday's Cactus League win over the Diamondbacks.

Haase hit an RBI double in the eighth inning and followed that up with a solo home run in the ninth. The 25-year-old showed off slick power a year ago, slashing .260/.352/.578 while bashing 27 homers in 97 games between Double- and Triple-A. He'll likely open the coming season down in the minors.
Feb 24 - 8:09 PM

Dan Vogelbach was wearing a walking boot on his right foot Saturday after being hit by a pitch in Friday's Cactus League game against the Padres.

Vogelbach was hit in the foot by a pitch in the first inning but stayed in the game, eventually being replaced by a pinch-runner five innings later. "Once I took my shoe off, it got real sore and this morning it was really stiff," Vogelbach said. "Hopefully, it's just a bruise and I'll be back on the field sooner than later." That's certainly the hope, but he'll at least be out the next few days as a result. More clarity should be gained as time goes on.
Feb 24 - 8:08 PM

Tyler Naquin went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a double in Saturday's Cactus League win over the Diamondbacks.

A fine game for Naquin, who put his stamp on the exhibition via a two-run home run in the third inning. After hitting a sweet .296/.372/.514 in 116 games with the Indians during the 2016 season, the outfielder saw his playing time plummet in 2017, when he appeared in just 19 games. He failed to impress in that small space. He'll be fighting for a bench role this spring, but may very well end up at Triple-A Columbus to open the 2018 season.
Feb 24 - 8:03 PM

Zack Godley allowed two hits over 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in Saturday's Cactus League loss to the Indians.

Godley walked one in addition to the two hits surrendered, but none of these baserunners would come around to score. The 27-year-old right-hander made 25 starts in 26 appearances during the 2017 season, posting a 3.37 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 165/53 K/BB ratio over the course of 155 innings. It was a breakout campaign for Godley and it wouldn't surprise if he managed to top that innings number from a year ago now that he has one (close to full) season starting under his belt.
Feb 24 - 7:57 PM

Willson Contreras went 1-for-2 with a solo home run in Saturday's Cactus League win over the Rangers.

Contreras followed up an Anthony Rizzo dinger with a tater of his own in the fourth inning of Saturday's contest. The backstop is looking to build off a rock-solid 2017 campaign in which he slashed .276/.356/.499 with 21 homers and 74 RBI across 377 at-bats. Those numbers could have been even more robust had he not missed over a month with a hamstring injury.
Feb 24 - 7:51 PM

Clayton Blackburn didn't allow a run over two innings of work in Saturday's Cactus League loss to the Cubs.

Blackburn surrendered a pair of hits while striking out one in his scoreless debut appearance. Once a respected prospect, the 25-year-old right-hander managed just a 4.97 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 96 innings at Triple-A in 2017. All but three of those innings came in Texas' system, after he was traded over from the Giants in April. He could potentially see a few spots of major league action for the Rangers during the upcoming season, but figures to open the campaign down at Triple-A Round Rock.
Feb 24 - 7:45 PM

Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run in Saturday's Cactus League win over the Rangers.

Rizzo rocked his first homer of the spring in the fourth inning of Saturday's exhibition affair. His power has been remarkably consistent over the past four seasons, as the slugger has never hit fewer than 31 bombs but also never more than 32 in a given season over that span. He figures to land around the 30-homer mark once more this year.
Feb 24 - 7:37 PM
Jose Siri - OF - Reds

Reds prospect Jose Siri sustained injured ligaments in his left thumb when he crashed into the outfield wall during Friday's spring training game.

"He'll be immobilized for some time," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We don't know how long. But he won't be in the lineup in the near future." Siri is the team's No. 22 prospect according to MLB.com, so his future with the club is just that -- in the future. The 22-year-old hit .293/.341/.530 with 24 homers and 46 stolen bases at Low-A Dayton in 2017.
Source: Reds.mlb.com
Feb 24 - 7:32 PM

Cody Bellinger went 1-for-3 with a double in Saturday's split-squad Cactus League loss to the Giants.

The double was Bellinger's first of the spring. The young first baseman rolled to the tune of 26 two-baggers in 2017 as part of his masterful NL Rookie of the Year campaign. On the whole, he slashed .267/.352/.581 while bopping 39 homers, driving in 97 runs and stealing 10 bases. Bellinger is a legitimate threat to win the home run crown this year and may well be in the MVP conversation by year's end assuming that he stays healthy and does not run into too much of a sophomore slump.
Feb 24 - 7:32 PM



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