Greg Holland Headshot

Red Sox are keeping an eye on Greg Holland this offseason.

Added 11/04/16 9:48 am (EST)   Source
Winter meetings start on Monday, and the Red Sox are looking to go after the former Royals closer in Greg Holland. He did not pitch last year due to Tommy John surgery, and before that, while playing injured, saw a decrease in his fastball velocity. When healthy, Holland is a shut down closer, and will have to wait and see what the market and health looks like for Holland this winter.
Matt Duffy Headshot

Duffy's current physical setbacks may not be directly related to his surgically repaired heel according to manager Kevin Cash, The Tampa Bay Times reports.

Added 1:54 am (EST)
Duffy's progress from his surgery has appeared to stagnate this spring, but Cash mentioned Friday that the issues may lie with the tendons and muscles in his ankle and calf. The atrophy that may have come about as a result of the post-surgical period could be the culprit behind Duffy's slow recovery, which has led to the shortstop missing all of spring training.
Yonder Alonso Headshot

Alonso, who went 2-for-3 with two home runs, three RBI, a walk and three runs in Thursday's 15-5 Cactus League win over the Brewers, is showing significant improvement at the plate this spring, Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area reports. "He's had a great approach from the minute he got here," manager Bob Melvin said. "He and Bushy (hitting coach Darren Bush) had a plan. He's using the whole field a little bit more, which keeps him on breaking balls, which allows him to track fastballs a little bit more. He's hit a couple balls good to left-center as well."

Added 1:39 am (EST)
Alonso has never hit double-digit homers in a major league career that dates back to 2010, but he's already smacked four round-trippers in 17 spring games, in part due to the revamped approach he's utilized at the plate. The veteran first baseman already brings excellent defensive skills to the table, so any notable measure of offensive improvement would boost his value even further. He remains slated for the left-handed side of a platoon role at first base with Ryon Healy and will look to improve on last season's mediocre .316 OBP in the coming season.
Danny Valencia Headshot

Valencia, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI single and run in Thursday's Cactus League win over the Giants, is now the everyday first baseman with the demotion of Dan Vogelbach to Triple-A Tacoma, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.

Added 12:28 am (EST)
Valencia was originally slated to be the right-handed side of a platoon with Vogelbach, but he'll now have an opportunity for a full workload. He's rightfully earned a reputation as a lefty masher throughout his career, slashing .321/.373/.500 with a .377 wOBA and 32 percent hard contact rate against southpaws. While his numbers against right-handers come nowhere close, they've notably improved the last two seasons, as he's posted respective averages of .285 and .275 over that span. While he's struggled overall this spring (.208 average over 53 at-bats), Valencia brings a body of work at the major league level that Vogelbach doesn't yet possess. "Danny has a real track record," general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "Over the last three seasons he's really hit, both righties and lefties. We talked about that as one of his main attractions. The versatility. He's pounded the lefties and over the last couple years he's hit the righties as well. He's transitioned to first quite well. He can really throw for a first baseman and here over the last week's he's actually started to pick it up., the barrel contact, he's starting to swing the bat better."
Jesse Chavez Headshot

Chavez will open the season in the Angels' rotation, the Orange County Register reports.

Added 12:21 am (EST)
Chavez was solid enough in spring to hold off competition from Alex Meyer and Bud Norris to make the rotation. His best years came in 2014 and 2015 with division rival Oakland, in which he posted a combined 3.83 ERA over 303 innings. If the Angels can get that level of performance from Chavez, they should be very happy with their investment.
Guillermo Heredia Headshot

Heredia, who's hitting .383 this spring, is facing stiff competition for the fourth outfielder spot from Ben Gamel, Greg Johns of reports.

Added 12:13 am (EST)
At one point this spring, Heredia looked like he had a clear inside track for the job based on his stellar play. While he's done nothing to hurt his cause, Gamel has made a strong push of his own, which is making it increasingly likely that the decision will come down to the wire. "Outfield-wise, Heredia is very comfortable anywhere you put him and has played an outstanding center field here this spring," Servais said. "With the bat, Gamel has more of a track record at the Minor League level than Heredia. The baserunning and some of the intangibles they bring are very similar. Heredia may be a little faster, Gamel may be a little better baserunner. It's very close. I like both players."
Alex Meyer Headshot

Meyer has been reassigned to Triple-A Salt Lake, The Orange County Register reports Friday.

Added 12:03 am (EST)
Meyer's best shot to make the team this year was as a reliever. Currently, the Angels feel his future is still as a starting pitcher, and he was too inconsistent this spring to unseat any of the club's stable of veteran hurlers. If Meyer can't start getting results consistently as a starter soon, though, a switch to the bullpen could be coming.
Byron Buxton Headshot

Buxton will not be the Twins' leadoff hitter this season because his bat is "too valuable" according to manager Paul Molitor, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Added Yesterday 10:26 pm (EST)
Buxton hit third in the spring game prior to Molitor's announcement, and that could be where he winds up come Opening Day. He has been showing solid power (.500 slugging percentage) this spring and his combination of speed and power would be a boon anywhere in the upper half of a lineup. Buxton hit 10 home runs in September alone last year, so it makes sense that the Twins would try and put him in a position to hit with more runners on base.
Ben Gamel Headshot

Gamel, who hit a two-run home run in three at-bats in Thursday's 9-2 Cactus League victory over the Giants, could be closing in on a roster spot due to his stellar spring play, Greg Johns of reports. "I wouldn't rule it out by any means," manager Scott Servais said. "Ben has had a good spring. I like how he plays."

Added Yesterday 8:52 pm (EST)
The left-handed hitting outfielder has been holding his own against southpaws this spring, which has increased his chances of sticking on the major league roster. Friday's demotion of fellow left-handed bat Dan Vogelbach also helps Gamel's chances, as the Mariners would ideally prefer to have a left-handed bat on the bench. Gamel is presumably battling the equally impressive Guillermo Heredia for the fourth outfielder role, and each player brings their own unique strengths to the table, meaning the decision is likely to come down to the wire. "Outfield-wise, Heredia is very comfortable anywhere you put him and has played an outstanding center field here this spring," Servais said. "With the bat, Gamel has more of a track record at the Minor League level than Heredia. The baserunning and some of the intangibles they bring are very similar. Heredia may be a little faster, Gamel may be a little better baserunner. It's very close. I like both players."
Kennys Vargas Headshot

Vargas left Friday's game after fouling a ball off of his foot and bruising it, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Added Yesterday 8:43 pm (EST)
Luckily for Vargas it doesn't sound like this will be a long-term injury, as he needs to get at-bats in before spring training ends. Still, his recovery will be worth watching, because every day Vargas misses is another chance for Byungho Park to make his case for the Twins' starting designated hitter job.
Felix Hernandez Headshot

Hernandez (2-0) pitched six innings of scoreless, one-hit ball in Thursday's 9-2 Cactus League victory over the Giants. He struck out five.

Added Yesterday 8:41 pm (EST)
Making his first start since returning from the World Baseball Classic, Hernandez thoroughly stymied the Giants, remaining perfect for his first 3.2 innings before Jarrett Parker's grounder to third while Seattle was in a shift made its way to left field for a double. The Mariners ace made 73 pitches overall and looked fully primed for his Opening Day start against the Astros, although he's scheduled for one more trip to the mound in the spring before that game.
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