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    Player Notes

    • Joe Blanton being looked at as reliever
      Royals manager Ned Yost said Thursday that the team is looking at Joe Blanton exclusively as a reliever this spring.

      Advice: "The only way he is really going to help us is in the bullpen," Yost said. "We're not going to stretch him out [to be a starter]." It's possible Blanton could be looked at to fill a starting role at some point should injury strike, but for now he's battling for a long relief role. The veteran made just two appearances at Triple-A for the A's last season before shutting things down. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 4:23 pm
      Not Active
    • Morrow, Despaigne lead for No. 5 spot
      Padres manager Bud Black said Thursday that Brandon Morrow and Odrisamer Despaigne are "maybe out there a touch" in the competition for the No. 5 starter spot.

      Advice: It's not a surprise, as Morrow signed a deal over the winter that could be worth up to $7.5 million and Despaigne put up a 3.36 ERA last season in 16 starts. Robbie Erlin and top prospect Matt Wisler are the other main candidates, though Wisler almost surely will head back to the minors unless he really wows in camp. Josh Johnson (elbow) hopes to be ready for the rotation at some point in May. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 3:45 pm
    • Blue Jays sign Johan Santana to minors deal
      Blue Jays signed LHP Johan Santana to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

      Advice: Santana last pitched in the majors in 2012 before undergoing a second major shoulder surgery. He then had his comeback attempt last season sabotaged by a torn Achilles. The veteran left-hander experienced shoulder soreness while pitching in winter ball last month, but he didn't have any structural damage and the Jays decided to take a shot on him. Slated to turn 36 next month, Santana is obviously a long shot but is worth a gamble on a minor league deal. He'll compete for the final spot in Toronto's rotation. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 3:06 pm
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    • Red Sox have 'no sense of urgency' for Hamels
      Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com hears that "there's no sense of urgency" for the Red Sox to trade for Cole Hamels.

      Advice: The Red Sox are said to be closely monitoring the situation, but they still refuse to part with either Blake Swihart or Mookie Betts as part of a deal. They reportedly made an offer two weeks ago which centered around mostly major league players, but the Phillies understandably rejected it, as they prefer to acquire young prospects to jumpstart their rebuilding effort. Hamels could very well remain with the Phillies to begin the season, but there's no question that it would be awkward. The southpaw is guaranteed $96 million over the next four seasons, but the Phillies haven't expressed a willingness to eat any of his contract as a way of getting higher quality prospects in return. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 1:09 pm
    • Richards (knee) throws 50-pitch 'pen session
      Garrett Richards (knee) tossed a successful 50-pitch bullpen session Thursday in Angels camp.

      Advice: It was his first time throwing out of the windup since he tore his left patellar tendon last August at Fenway Park. Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher watched Thursday's workout and said Richards "did well." The right-hander is still aiming to make his 2015 debut in the first week of the regular season, but mid-April seems more realistic. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 11:57 am
    • Matt Cain (elbow) ready for Cactus start
      Matt Cain (elbow, ankle) is on track to make a start during the first week of Cactus League play.

      Advice: Cain was a bit behind the Giants' other starters when he arrived at spring training in Arizona, but that was by design. The right-hander needed surgery in August to remove painful bone chips and spurs from his right elbow and then underwent a minor procedure in September on his right ankle. He should be 100 percent for the beginning of the 2015 regular season. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 11:37 am
    • Wainwright diagnosed with abdominal strain
      Adam Wainwright has been diagnosed with an abdominal strain and will rest for the next 4-5 days.

      Advice: Wainwright felt some discomfort in his abdomen earlier this week while placing a 45 lb. weight back on a rack at the Cardinals' spring training complex in Jupiter, Florida and flew back to St. Louis on Thursday to meet with a specialist. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said the diagnosis of a strain is the "best news we could have gotten." Wainwright's elbow is the bigger concern heading into the 2015 regular season, but he can still be penciled in as the team's Opening Day starter. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 10:04 am
    • Josh Johnson (elbow) nearing mound work
      Josh Johnson (elbow) could throw his first bullpen session as early as next week.

      Advice: Johnson underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last April -- the second such procedure of his career -- and probably won't be an option for the Padres' rotation until mid-to-late May. He signed a one-year, $1 million contract with San Diego in late December. The deal also carries $6.25 million in performance-based bonuses. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 7:54 am
    • Tanaka (elbow) throws 40-pitch 'pen session
      Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Thursday morning in Yankees camp.

      Advice: Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said the ball was coming out of Tanaka's hand well and that he's pleased with the right-hander's progress since last year's diagnosis of a partially-torn elbow ligament. Tanaka has been able to avoid Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery with a successful rehab plan, but he remains a risky fantasy bet for the 2015 season. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 6:57 am
    • Ryu (back) will have another light day Thurs.
      Hyun-Jin Ryu (back) will have another light day Thursday in Dodgers camp.

      Advice: Ryu tweaked a muscle in the middle of his back Tuesday during a fielding drill, but it's not believed to be a serious issue. An MRI taken Thursday showed no structural damage. The 27-year-old left-hander owns a terrific 3.17 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 293/78 K/BB ratio in 344 innings since joining the Dodgers from Korea. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 6:36 am
    • Harvey to make Grapefruit debut on March 6
      Matt Harvey (elbow) is expected to make his first Grapefruit League start on March 6.

      Advice: It's a home game in Port St. Lucie, Florida against the visiting Tigers. Harvey is 16 months removed from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and should be a full-go when the 2015 regular season opens, though the Mets will probably limit his workload in some fashion after he missed all of 2014. Harvey can still be a top-tier fantasy starter even if he only logs 160-170 innings this summer. The 25-year-old right-hander owns a fantastic 2.39 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 261/57 K/BB ratio in 237 2/3 major league frames. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 6:23 am
    • Wacha (shoulder) faced live hitters on Wed.
      Michael Wacha (shoulder) faced live hitters Wednesday for the first time this spring.

      Advice: "Obviously, nobody’s command is what it’s going to be, but it was a really good day for Michael," said Cardinals pitching coach Derek Lilliquist. Wacha was limited to 19 starts in 2014 due to a stress reaction in his right shoulder and carries lingering question marks into the 2015 campaign. But he'll be hugely valuable if he is indeed over that injury. The 23-year-old boasts a 3.04 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 159/52 K/BB ratio in 171 2/3 major league innings. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 6:10 am
    • Peacock (hip) ran for 20 minutes Wednesday
      Brad Peacock ran for 20 minutes Wednesday without experiencing any discomfort in his hip.

      Advice: Peacock needed hip surgery last October, but his rehab has gone smoothly up to this point and he should be ready for the beginning of the 2015 regular season. The right-hander has already completed two bullpen sessions. He will be competing for the fifth spot in the Astros' starting rotation this spring. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 5:42 am
    • Smyly on different throwing schedule
      Drew Smyly will throw bullpen sessions every third day as opposed to every other day like the other pitchers in Rays camp.

      Advice: Smyly is fine physically, but he just prefers a different schedule where he throws more in each session. Because he's not throwing as often, he won't make his Grapefruit League debut until around March 10-11, but he will still have plenty of time to get stretched out before the season begins. Smyly had a 3.24 ERA and 133/42 K/BB ratio across 153 innings last season between the Tigers and Rays and appears poised to take another step forward in 2015. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 11:59 am
    • Cliff Lee (elbow) throws batting practice
      Cliff Lee (elbow) threw batting practice Wednesday and said he felt good.

      Advice: It was his first time throwing to hitters since he aggravated the flexor pronator strain in his left elbow last July 31. The veteran left-hander is a bit behind schedule due to a bout of bronchitis, so he might not start one of the first Grapefruit League games, but he still has plenty of time to get stretched out before the season. The 36-year-old could be a trade candidate if he proves his health. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 11:14 am
    • Johnson throws off mound, feels good
      Steve Johnson threw off a mound Wednesday and said that his finger felt good.

      Advice: Johnson skipped his throwing session on Monday due to a jammed middle finger, but he's back on track now. He'll try to secure a bullpen spot this spring, but appears more likely to serve as minor league depth. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 10:55 am
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    • Meyer leaves Twins camp after death in family
      Alex Meyer will leave Twins' camp following the death of his grandfather.

      Advice: Meyer will miss two workouts and should be back in a few days. The 25-year-old right-hander is one of the Twins' top prospects and should make his major league debut this year. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 10:12 am
    • Harrison (back) throwing from 120 feet
      Matt Harrison (back) will start throwing from 120 feet on Wednesday.

      Advice: Harrison, who is recovering from spinal fusion surgery, has previously been limited to throwing from 90 feet. He's making progress, but the Rangers aren't expecting him to be ready to contribute until around late May. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 8:34 am
    • Hernandez expected in camp this week
      Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Wednesday that Roberto Hernandez is expected in camp later this week.

      Advice: Hernandez is having visa issues in his native Dominican Republic, but the Astros believe it will be resolved soon. The veteran right-hander will be in the mix for the fifth spot in Houston's rotation this spring, but he might have to settle for a swingman role. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 7:17 am
      Not Active
    • Moore (elbow) throws bullpen session
      Matt Moore (elbow) threw a 29-pitch bullpen session Tuesday.

      Advice: Moore, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery threw all fastballs during the session. He threw his changeup on flat ground on Monday, so it's likely just a matter of time before he incorporates the pitch into his bullpen sessions. The young left-hander is currently on track for a return around June. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 5:54 am
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