Randy Choate Headshot

Choate has retired from baseball, Sweeny Murti of WFAN reports.

Added 02/17/17 11:37 am (EST)
Choate posted a career 3.70 ERA, with 348 strikeouts in 408 innings, but he churned out a longtime role as a LOOGY.
James Henderson Headshot

Henderson was released by the Cubs on Thursday, Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports.

Added 2:16 pm (EST)
Henderson was looking to earn a spot in the Cubs' bullpen as a non-roster invitee, however his 9.64 ERA in 4.2 innings this spring wasn't enough to get Chicago to bite. He's struggled since a 2014 shoulder injury, but he'll look to catch on with another team's bullpen.
Darrell Ceciliani Headshot

Ceciliani has heated up this spring and put himself back in the conversation for an Opening Day outfield role, Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star reports.

Added 2:08 pm (EST)
After a slow start to the Grapefruit League season, Ceciliani has earned a seat at the table with a recent stretch of solid production. He's driven in a team-high eight runs this spring while managing the second-most hits on the team (14). In fairness, Ceciliani's 51 at-bats significantly exceeds most of the team and there's no hiding the 29 percent strikeout rate. Realistically, a platoon in left field is the best it will get for the 26-year-old, and even for that, Ceciliani will need to beat out trusted veteran Ezequiel Carrera. On the positive side, the former fourth-round pick of the Mets is at least garnering some attention that could earn him some MLB playing time later in 2017.
Miguel Cabrera Headshot

Cabrera (back) said he won't play until Friday at the earliest, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.

Added 2:05 pm (EST)
Cabrera apparently felt a pop in his back during the first WBC game and has been receiving daily treatment ever since, though he also noted that it's feeling better. Friday may seem slightly optimistic for his return, as the Tigers don't have any plans to rush its star back. Detroit isn't worried about his status at this point, but that may change if he doesn't return to action relatively soon.
Jed Lowrie Headshot

Lowrie, who faces an imminent challenge from promising prospect Franklin Barreto despite the latter's recent return to the minors, feels confident in his ability to hang on to his second-base job for the duration of the season, John Hickey of the East Bay Times reports. "To get here, I had to perform," he said. "It's not any different now. The game doesn't change. I know I can help a team win, and it doesn't matter if it's here or somewhere else. That's what I do. I find a way to help teams win."

Added 2:02 pm (EST)
The 32-year-old has had a solid spring, hitting .290 with a pair of doubles, three RBI, three walks and five runs over 31 at-bats. However, Barreto was blasting the cover off the ball before being sent down to Triple-A Nashville, as he'd hit .481 (13-for-27) with a triple, home run and five RBI. Although Barreto's natural position is shortstop, there's not exactly an opening at the major league level considering that's the spot Marcus Semien, he of the career-high 27 homers in 2016, mans. That leaves Lowrie's position as the most logical alternative, and accordingly, Barreto will get plenty of time there at Nashville to start the season, with an eye on a leap back up to the big leagues at some point in 2017. Lowrie is up for the challenge, however, remarking that he's feeling as healthy as he has in years after offseason surgeries on his foot and a deviated septum, the latter procedure correcting an issue that had prevented him from getting restful sleep. "I'm as fit as I've been in a long time," he said. "It's a combination of the surgery and the work that I put in in the offseason. I'm feeling great."
Erick Aybar Headshot

Aybar went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Wednesday's loss to the Royals.

Added 1:55 pm (EST)
The veteran shortstop was brought into camp to compete for a roster spot. The 33-year-old has shown that he can still get the job done, batting .293 (12-for-41) with two RBI and a stolen base. Aybar is clearly outperforming other shortstop candidates, Luis Sardinas and Allen Cordoba, but his age and status as a non-roster invitee are working against him. The rebuilding Padres may be more inclined to give their younger options first crack at the job, which would leave the veteran without a job. Manager Andy Green hasn't laid out his plan for the shortstop position, so we have to continue to assume Aybar is still in the mix for the starting job.
Erik Gonzalez Headshot

Gonzalez, who's competing for the team's utility role, is hitting .295 (13-for44) with nine RBI and five runs through 19 spring games.

Added 1:49 pm (EST)
With Jason Kipnis (shoulder) unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, the Tribe could use the services of Gonzalez to begin the year. Manager Terry Francona has raved about Gonzalez's glove, even suggesting the 25-year-old had award-winning ability in the field. As of now, there remain a lot of moving parts when it comes to building the team's infield, but Gonzalez is at least on the radar. However, even if he can win the big-league job, he brings little to the table in terms of fantasy-league value.
Brandon Maurer Headshot

Maurer threw a perfect inning in Wednesday's spring training loss to the Royals.

Added 1:36 pm (EST)
The outing brought 26-year-old's ERA down to 3.00 through six Cactus League innings. Carter Capps (elbow) was expected to compete with Maurer for the Padres' closer role this spring, but the former has yet to make an appearance, while the latter has done nothing to relinquish the role. It looks like the veteran pitcher has a firm grasp on the job heading towards Opening Day.
Luis Valbuena Headshot

Valbuena is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his injured hamstring, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.

Added 1:36 pm (EST)
Valbuena was removed from Wednesday's Cactus League game with hamstring tightness, and seeing as he had surgery on the same hamstring last August, the Angels want to make sure it isn't anything overly serious. Manager Mike Scioscia still believes it is a 'mild' injury, but more should be known about the 31-year-old's status after the tests are done.
Chris Bassitt Headshot

Bassitt (elbow) threw another successful 30-pitch bullpen session Tuesday, John Hickey of The East Bay Times reports.

Added 1:33 pm (EST)
Bassitt was able to do the same in a session the prior Tuesday as he continues his recovery from last year's Tommy John surgery. The 28-year-old right-hander "was able to throw all his pitches" according to manager Bob Melvin, with the successful session ostensibly bringing him one step closer to a return to game action.
Frankie Montas Headshot

Montas, who earned a two-inning save in Wednesday's 5-3 Cactus League win over the White Sox with four strikeouts and only hit over two innings, is a contender for the final bullpen spot, John Hickey of the East Bay Times reports.

Added 1:29 pm (EST)
The young fireballer has racked up a sparkling 9:1 K:BB along with a 1.13 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over his four appearances and possesses the ever-coveted 100 mph fastball. While the A's would ideally like to have more than one southpaw in the bullpen, the struggles of Daniel Coulombe and Ross Detwiler, who each sport a 9.39 ERA, are making that possibility increasingly less likely. That leaves a potential spot open for Montas, who's projected as a starter over the long term but could serve as an excellent late-inning option in the interim.
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