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Ryan Garton Headshot

Garton will not pitch in the Rays' first spring training game Friday due to illness, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

He should be good to go in a couple days. Garton posted a 4.35 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP over 37 games in his rookie season and is expected to take over a middle-reliever role to begin 2017.
5:45 pm (EST)
Russell Martin Headshot

Martin will be eased into spring training by having a limited defensive workload, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports.

Manager John Gibbons says the plan is to "make sure he gets enough at-bats" before the season begins. Martin underwent minor knee surgery this offseason and it appears the organization is exercising caution regarding his return. In addition, the 33-year-old has a built-in break this March when he joins the Canadian WBC team as a coach for a few days. Martin is expected to start Toronto's Grapefruit League game this Sunday, but he should be well-rested when the regular season begins.
5:35 pm (EST)
Sean Doolittle Headshot

Doolittle threw his first bullpen session of spring training Friday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.

Plagued by shoulder issues over the past two seasons, Doolittle appears to be getting back on track as spring games begin. The left-hander has shown he still has potential, posting a 3.23 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and a 45:8 K:BB ratio in 44 games last year. Barring any setbacks, expect Doolittle to compete for a setup role in the Oakland bullpen when he returns to game action.
4:59 pm (EST)
Lance Lynn Headshot

Lynn (elbow), making his return after missing all of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, will start Monday's split squad game against the Nationals,Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.

Lynn will make his long-awaited return to the mound after missing all of last season. The 29-year-old right-hander is looking to earn a spot in the starting rotation and build on his streak of four straight double-digit victory seasons, with Monday's outing serving as his first chance to start building his case,
4:52 pm (EST)
Ross Detwiler Headshot

Detwiler, a non-roster invitee to spring training who spent time with the A's last season, developed a cutter this offseason, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "It's just another look, all my pitches fade off arm-side so I have something going the other way," Detwiler said. "It puts something in the hitters' heads, they can't necessarily dive out."

After tossing eight scoreless frames in his Oakland debut last Aug. 11, Detwiler struggled the rest of the way, finishing the 2016 campaign with a 6.10 ERA and 1.60 WHIP over 48.2 innings. The 32-year-old decided to add a cutter to his arsenal this offseason at the encouragement of A's coaches Curt Young and Scott Emerson and has had some early success with it in bullpens this spring. Bruce Maxwell, who's caught the veteran in those sessions, has noted the pitch has "got late break to it" and could be key in Detwiler's quest for a roster spot. The veteran southpaw is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut in Saturday's opener against the Cubs following starter Jesse Hahn.
4:31 pm (EST)
James Pazos Headshot

Pazos, a hard thrower who arrived in Seattle via trade on Nov. 18, could stick as a left-handed relief option out of the bullpen with a strong spring, Owen Perkins of MLB.com reports. "Pazos, being left-handed, would be a nice fit for us, if it clicks there," manager Scott Servais said Thursday. "You always get excited by power."

The 25-year-old southpaw spent five seasons in the Yankees organization, whiffing an impressive 243 batters over 215.1 innings in his minor league career. He hasn't fared anywhere near as well in multiple major league stints, however, generating a 5.40 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in 8.1 frames between the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Pazos' impressive stuff is somewhat sabotaged by his command, an area that he's trying to hone in on this spring in an effort to secure a spot as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen.
4:19 pm (EST)
Scott Kazmir Headshot

Kazmir, according to pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, looked far better in his second live bullpen session Friday, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.

The veteran has been working on his mechanics this spring, so the improvement serves as a positive sign. Kazmir is coming off his first season with the Dodgers, in which he posted a 4.56 ERA and an 8.9 K/9 over 26 starts and periodically dealt with neck/back issues. The 33-year-old was shut down last September with intercostal spasms, but he seems to be at full strength as Opening Day approaches.
4:17 pm (EST)
Jose Torres Headshot

Torres will be one of several pitchers competing for one of the Padres' remaining bullpen spots this spring, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The 23-year-old lefty played across five levels in 2016, but the majority of his work came at the High-A and Double-A levels where he finished with a collective 2.21 ERA and 9.0 K/9 over 61.2 innings. Torres will have to earn his spot in the bullpen with a strong spring, but the fact that he is a southpaw and is already on the 40-man roster bode well for his chances at making the cut.
4:06 pm (EST)
Kyle Schwarber Headshot

Schwarber will bat leadoff for the Cubs this season, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports.

He had been the frontrunner for the spot this offseason, but it was finally confirmed Friday. The strategy for manager Joe Maddon here is to bat Kris Bryant second and Anthony Rizzo third, thus forcing pitchers to face a deadly trio. It's unclear who will take over on Schwarber's off days, but Ben Zobrist, Albert Almora, and Addison Russell have been mentioned as options. Schwarber, meanwhile, will have an immediate chance to contribute after missing nearly the entire 2016 season with a torn ACL and MCL.
4:03 pm (EST)
Mason Melotakis Headshot

Melotakis (oblique) has shown improvement, but is not yet throwing, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The 25-year-old was held out of pitching activities this week, a trend which could continue in the coming days. Melotakis is competing for a spot in the Twins' bullpen after registering a 2.97 ERA and a 42:12 K:BB ratio last season with Double-A Chattanooga.
3:51 pm (EST)
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