James Paxton Headshot

Paxton (illness) will have his scheduled start Friday skipped due to a head cold, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.

Added Yesterday 7:36 pm (EST)
Hisashi Iwakuma will take Paxton's spot on the mound for Friday's game against the Royals. Fortunately, Johns is reporting that Paxton is just dealing with a case of the cold, so there's little reason for concern regarding the hard-throwing lefty's status heading into the season. Although Paxton has given up four earned runs over 9.0 innings this spring, he's sporting a strong 11:1 K:BB over that stretch.
Robinson Cano Headshot

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

Added Yesterday 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.
Jhan Marinez Headshot

Marinez was informed Thursday that he will open the regular season in the Brewers' bullpen, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports.

Added Yesterday 3:53 pm (EST)
It would have taken a rough spring for Marinez not to break camp with the big club -- he is out of options and was effective over 43 appearances after being claimed by the Brewers last season -- but he has had anything but, giving up just one earned run and allowing only seven baserunners over eight spring innings. Like last year, Marinez will work in middle relief for the Brewers.
Miguel Socolovich Headshot

Socolovich, who owns a 4.00 ERA over nine spring innings, sees command of his fastball as a pivotal part of winning a roster spot, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. "If I throw more fastballs for strikes, it's going to make my changeup and my slider better," Socolovich said. "They're not going to be able to be ready for just one pitch. They're going to have to be ready for three. I want to prove that I can throw my fastball for a strike and locate it, too."

Added Yesterday 3:20 pm (EST)
Socolovich owns a 1.89 ERA, .175 BAA, 0.94 WHIP and 8.1 K/9 since debuting with the Cardinals in 2015, with the first two figures tops among any relievers on the team with a minimum of 18 innings pitched over that span. That said, he's still fighting for the final bullpen spot, with the fact that he's out of minor league options potentially giving him a slight leg up. The team has encouraged Socolovich to throw his fastball with greater regularity and he's followed suit, firing it with 12 percent greater frequency in 2016 as compared to the season prior. The pitch was key in helping get off to a strong start this spring, and despite some struggles over his last three innings, he retains the confidence of manager Mike Matheny. "He's been terrific," Matheny said. "He's got a good enough fastball to come at anybody, and that will make his secondary pitches better. He was a hard thrower even before we got him. [We're] just making sure he knows he can trust the fact that that should be a good pitch."
Yadier Molina Headshot

Molina, who played for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, was a unanimous choice for All-WBC honors, Manny Randhawa of MLB.com reports.

Added Yesterday 3:08 pm (EST)
The veteran backstop became only the second two-time All-WBC honoree, joining Daisuke Matsuzaka, who accomplished the feat in the 2006 and 2009 editions of the tournament. Molina hit .333 (8-for-24) with two home runs and six RBI over six games. He hopes to bring some of that offensive prowess with him back to Cardinals camp, where he'd hit just .176 (3-for-17) with a double, two RBI, two walks and three runs over seven games before departing for the WBC.
Hisashi Iwakuma Headshot

Iwakuma will throw in a Friday minor league start, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.

Added Yesterday 2:57 pm (EST)
The veteran right-hander last pitched Saturday against the Giants, an outing in which he racked up five strikeouts over 3.2 innings but also surrendered three runs. Iwakuma is scheduled to go "five or six innings" in an effort to keep him on pace for the regular season.
Nick Vincent Headshot

Vincent, who's given up five home runs in 5.2 innings this spring, retains the confidence of manager Scott Servais, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. "I'm anxious to get him out of this environment. It's tough for him and how he pitches. He pitches up in the zone and is a fly-ball pitcher. It hasn't worked out so great for him this spring. But he's healthy, he feels fine."

Added Yesterday 2:54 pm (EST)
Vincent tends to give up plenty of flyballs and sported the worst HR/9 rate of his career last season (1.64), but the Mariners remain confident in their 30-year-old reliever. The dry air typically present in Cactus League games has not done Vincent any favors this spring, as he's seen the ball leave the yard in five of his six appearances thus far. However, he's being counted on as a key bullpen piece after amassing 17 holds and three saves over 60.3 innings last season, his first in Seattle.
Yovani Gallardo Headshot

Gallardo racked up seven strikeouts but gave up three runs over 4.2 innings in a minor league start against the Royals on Wednesday, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.

Added Yesterday 2:45 pm (EST)
Gallardo allowed four hits and a walk overall as he got his work in on his regular pitching schedule. The projected No. 5 starter had a rough outing in the World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico but bounced back in his return to spring action last Friday against the Diamondbacks, giving up two runs over 4.1 innings and 70 pitches.
Andrew Susac Headshot

Susac is undergoing medical examinations in Milwaukee on his neck and back stiffness, and the Brewers hope to know more Friday, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.

Added Yesterday 1:10 pm (EST)
Manny Pina already has made the club out of camp, and Susac looks to rank behind Jett Bandy as the second option because of this trapezius injury. Susac carries some offensive potential that had been hidden in San Francisco (Buster Posey's there, after all), though his chance to capitalize on this new opportunity may have to wait.
Manny Pina Headshot

Pina has made the Brewers' Opening Day roster, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.

Added Yesterday 12:43 pm (EST)
The 29-year-old boasts a .405/.421/.757 line through his first 38 spring plate appearances. He might be in the lead for Milwaukee's backstop work, considering he appears to have clinched a spot before Jett Bandy and Andrew Susac. Still, Pina probably be involved in a near split duty with whichever one of the alternatives isn't sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs or elsewhere. Two-catcher fantasy players could get some use out of Pina, especially if his power boost turns out to be real, but likely will find his contributions fleeting.
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