Gordon Beckham Headshot

Beckham was granted his release from the Giants on Thursday, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Added 6:02 pm (EST)
Beckham initially joined the Giants in a September trade with the Braves last season, and the 30-year-old re-signed with a minor league deal with the club in February. He slashed just .194/.268/.250 through 36 spring at-bats, and the Giants proved to be too deep in the infield to keep him around. Beckham will now look to catch on as infield depth elsewhere.
Desmond Jennings Headshot

Jennings was scratched from the Reds' lineup on Thursday for undisclosed reasons, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Added 5:50 pm (EST)
Beau Amaral will get the start in Jennings' place. The reason for the late scratch hasn't been disclosed, so he'll be considered day-to-day until the Reds clarify his status.
Albert Pujols Headshot

Manager Mike Scioscia said that he has no plans to play Pujols -- who is coming off of foot surgery this past offseason -- at first base this spring, and that it will stay that way indefinitely, according to Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register.

Added 5:29 pm (EST)
Scioscia added that he felt comfortable with Pujols' defense if he needed to use him there in a pinch during the regular season. Luckily for most fantasy owners, the 37-year-old logged 28 games at first base last season, making him eligible for the position in most standard fantasy formats. For those that need him to make a start in the field to gain eligibility, it may be a while before that day comes. From a fantasy perspective, serving as the team's full-time designated hitter bodes well for the aging superstar's health, and should keep him a viable fantasy option based on his ability to smack home runs and drive in runs while hitting behind Mike Trout this season.
Jefry Marte Headshot

Marte's chances of making the Opening Day roster seem to have improved in light of Luis Valbuena's injury. Valbuena is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.

Added 5:25 pm (EST)
C.J. Cron figures to take on the primary share of the workload at first base in Valbuena's absence, but the door is now open for Marte to make the team as a bench option. Marte can help out at first base, third base and left field, while also providing right-handed pop in pinch-hit situations. The 25-year-old has been hot at the dish this spring, going 15-for-49 (.306 average) with three homers, nine RBI and eight walks to only four strikeouts.
C.J. Cron Headshot

With Luis Valbuena (hamstring) heading for an MRI on Thursday, Cron's chances of becoming the Angels' starter at first base increase, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.

Added 5:14 pm (EST)
Both veteran sluggers have been battling for playing time all spring, with neither taking a significant lead at any point. Even though Valbuena's hamstring injury wasn't considered serious at first, the timing of it could lead to Cron winning the job outright. The 27-year-old is slashing .340/.393/.640 in 54 spring training plate appearances after posting career-best numbers in 2016 (.278 with 16 homers and 69 RBI over 116 games). This news bumps his value up, as regular at-bats to start the year could lead to some cheap power numbers.
Luis Valbuena Headshot

Valbuena was diagnosed with a grade one right hamstring strain and will be out for 4-6 weeks.

Added 5:01 pm (EST)
Valbuena was lifted from a Cactus League game earlier in the week with hamstring tightness, and a recent MRI revealed he'll be forced to start the season on the DL with a grade one right hamstring strain. With the 31-year-old out for the beginning of the season, C.J. Cron will likely be named Angels' starting first baseman.
Robinson Cano Headshot

Cano was scratched from Thursday's lineup with a head cold, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.

Added 4:52 pm (EST)
Mike Freeman will start in Cano's place Thursday with the 34-year-old not feeling well. Assuming it's nothing more than a head cold, he shouldn't be out for too long.
Carlos Torres Headshot

Torres, despite allowing five earned runs over 5.0 innings with the Brewers this spring, is a lock to open the season in the Brewers' bullpen, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Added 4:34 pm (EST)
Torres' numbers this spring (9.00 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 6:3 K:BB) are unsightly, but they have come in just five innings over four outings, so they also carry very little weight in the long run, particularly when compared to the numbers (2.73 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 78:30 K:BB) he posted over 82.1 innings out of the Brewers' bullpen a year ago. Torres will begin the year as one of the top relievers in front of closer Neftali Feliz and figures to work in either the seventh or eighth inning.
Dan Vogelbach Headshot

Vogelbach was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday, Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com reports.

Added 4:34 pm (EST)
This comes as a bit of a surprise, as Vogelbach and Danny Valencia were expected to split time at first base to open the season. The 24-year-old struggled this spring, however, slashing just .228/.313/.333 with 19 strikeouts in 57 at-bats. He also went just 1-for-12 with six strikeouts in his major league debut last season, so it appears the Mariners believe he could use some work before making the full-time jump.
Alec Mills Headshot

Mills was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports.

Added 4:09 pm (EST)
Mills briefly appeared in the majors last season, allowing five runs in his only three appearances. He was then designated for assignment and dealt to the Cubs, where he accumulated a 6.00 ERA in six innings this spring. With the depth of the Cubs' pitching, Mills should serve as organizational depth in 2017.
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