2014 MLB Spring Training

MLB Spring Training 2014: All 30 MLB Teams' Mid-March Status Report

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2014

MLB Spring Training 2014: All 30 MLB Teams' Mid-March Status Report

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    We're coming down the home stretch of 2014 MLB spring training, and Opening Day is now just around the corner.

    Teams have some big decisions at hand in the days ahead, as they look to whittle their roster down to 25 and put the best possible team together for the upcoming campaign.

    The following article will take a look at three key areas for each team here in mid-March:

    • Top Position BattleA check-in on how the top position battle in each camp is shaping up.
    • Top 10 Prospect Performance: A look at the Top 10 prospect, as ranked in the Baseball America Prospect Handbook, that were in big league camp this spring and how they performed. Prospects still in big league camp as of Mar. 17 indicated in bold
    • Key Injury NewsA quick rundown on all of the latest injury news for each team looking ahead to Opening Day.

     

    *Note: All stats courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Rob Tringali/Getty Images

    Top Position Battle: Shortstop

    • Didi Gregorius (8-for-39, 2 2B)
    • Chris Owings (12-for-44, 2 2B, 1 3B)

    The Diamondbacks traded for Didi Gregorius last offseason, and he went on to hit .252/.332/.373 while playing solid defense as a 23-year-old. Despite those solid numbers, he was still expected to be pushed by prospect Chris Owings this spring, after he hit .330/.359/.482 in 546 Triple-A at-bats last year. According to Jim Bowden of ESPN (insider), Owings is the favorite to take the job at this point, as he has had the superior spring.

    Prediction: Owings

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Archie Bradley (8.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 6 BB, 10 K)
    • 3. SS Chris Owings (12-for-44, 2 2B, 1 3B)
    • 8. RP Matt Stites (2.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K)
    • 9. 3B Brandon Drury (2-for-3, 1 2B)
    • 10. 3B Jake Lamb (4-for-12, 1 HR)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Patrick Corbin (elbow): Last year's breakout star and the likely Opening Day starter, Corbin looks to be headed for Tommy John surgery after an MRI revealed damage to his UCL, according to John Schlegel of MLB.com.
    • SP Bronson Arroyo (back): Arroyo has pitched just once this spring, back on Feb. 27, as he has been sidelined with a bulging disc in his back. He received an epidural injection on Mar. 6 and was expected to miss 7-10 days, according to ESPN.com. Manager Kirk Gibson was quoted as saying, "we still feel like there's enough time for him to be ready for the beginning of the season."

Atlanta Braves

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Position Battle: Starting Rotation

    • Freddy Garcia (11.2 IP, 9 ER, 12 H, 5 BB, 10 K)
    • David Hale (8 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 7 K)
    • Gus Schlosser (9.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 BB, 10 K)
    • Ian Thomas (6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 11 K)

    With injuries to Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy, the Braves have some decisions to make in the rotation this spring as they look to piece things together for the first month of the season. Julio Teheran and Alex Wood are locked into spots, but behind them the team will be forced to pick between non-roster invitees and prospects until recently-signed Ervin Santana and Minor join the rotation shortly after the start of the season.

    Prediction: #3 Garcia, #4 Hale, #5 Santana once the team needs a No. 5 starter on April 12.

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 2. C Christian Bethancourt (3-for-17)
    • 3. SP J.R. Graham (4 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K)
    • 4. SP Jason Hursch (5 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 4 K)
    • 7. SP David Hale (8 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 7 K)
    • 9. 2B Tommy La Stella (12-for-42, 4 2B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Kris Medlen (forearm): Medlen looks to be headed for his second Tommy John surgery, after leaving a start a week ago with ligament damage in his elbow, according to Kevin McAlpin (via Mike Axisa of CBSSports). He first underwent the procedure back in 2010.
    • SP Brandon Beachy (biceps): Beachy may also be on his way to a second Tommy John surgery, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He had his first operation just 21 months ago, returning for five starts down the stretch last year.
    • SP Mike Minor (shoulder): Minor showed up to camp behind in his throwing program after offseason surgery for a urinary tract infection, and he experienced some shoulder soreness as a result. He will throw live batting practice for the first time on Monday, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, and he could join the rotation by mid-April if he has no further setbacks.
    • RP Johnny Venters and SP Gavin Floyd (Tommy John recovery): Venters and Floyd both underwent Tommy John surgery last season, going under the knife within eight days of each other back in May. Both will start the season on the DL, but could be back in Atlanta by midseason.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Position Battle: Second Base

    • Ryan Flaherty (9-for-31, 3 2B, 1 HR)
    • Jonathan Schoop (12-for-30, 4 2B, 1 HR)
    • Jemile Weeks (4-for-27, 1 2B)

    With oft-injured Brian Roberts gone in free agency, there will be a new face at second base for the Orioles this season. The team acquired Jemile Weeks in a trade with the Athletics as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing last couple seasons, but top prospect Jonathan Schoop has had the far better camp to this point. Ryan Flaherty is an option as well, though he could open the season at third if Manny Machado is not ready to go.

    Prediction: Schoop

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 2. SP Kevin Gausman (7 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K)
    • 3. SP Eduardo Rodriguez (6 IP, 8 ER, 12 H, 2 BB, 6 K)
    • 5. 2B Jonathan Schoop (12-for-30, 4 2B, 1 HR)
    • 6. SP Tim Berry (3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 3 K)
    • 7. OF Henry Urrutia (9-for-29, 3 2B, 1 HR)
    • 8. SP Mike Wright (3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K)
    • 9. C Michael Ohlman (2-for-3, 2 2B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • 3B Manny Machado (knee surgery recovery): After suffering a gruesome injury when he stepped awkwardly on first base trying to leg out an infield hit, Machado underwent knee surgery in early October. His status is still up in the air for Opening Day, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.

Boston Red Sox

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Center Field

    • Jackie Bradley (6-for-33, 2 2B, 1 3B)
    • Grady Sizemore (8-for-21, 1 2B)

    With Jacoby Ellsbury gone to the rival New York Yankees in free agency, it looked as though prospect Jackie Bradley had a clear path to the everyday center field job this spring. However, the Red Sox decided to take a flier on the oft-injured Grady Sizemore with a one-year, $750,000 deal that could be worth as much as $6 million with incentives. He has looked healthy so far this spring, and is out-playing Bradley, and as long as he stays on the field he looks like he'll get a chance to hold onto the job.

    Prediction: Sizemore

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SS Xander Bogaerts (4-for-25, 2 2B, 1 HR)
    • 2. SP Henry Owens (4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K)
    • 3. CF Jackie Bradley (6-for-33, 2 2B, 1 3B)
    • 4. SP Allen Webster (12 IP, 7 ER, 10 H, 7 BB, 8 K)
    • 5. C Blake Swihart (3-for-7)
    • 6. 3B Garin Cecchini (3-for-16, 1 2B)
    • 8. SP Brandon Workman (8.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 H, 2 BB, 9 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Jake Peavy (finger laceration): Peavy has suffered the odd injury of the spring so far, as he cut his finger on a fishing knife getting ready to go on a fishing trip with his son. Peavy was also hit in the hand early-on in the spring, which also delayed his throwing program, according to Gordon Edes of ESPN. He's back throwing now, and looks to be on track to make his first start of the year.

Chicago Cubs

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Position Battle: Third Base

    • Donnie Murphy (7-for-28, 2 2B, 1 HR)
    • Mike Olt (7-for-19, 3 HR)
    • Luis Valbuena (5-for-19, 4 2B, 1 HR)

    While their platoon of Luis Valbuena and Donnie Murphy last season may not have been pretty, Cubs' third basemen combined to hit .221/.314/.434 with 30 home runs and 70 RBI last season. Those two are trying to hold off prospect Mike Olt, who was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Matt Garza trade and is looking to put a rough 2013 behind him. Olt has had a good enough spring to justify giving him the job, but he could have his work cut out for him holding off prospects Christian Villanueva and Kris Bryant.

    Prediction: Olt

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SS Javier Baez (9-for-32, 2 2B, 3 HR)
    • 2. 3B Kris Bryant (2-for-14, 2 HR)
    • 4. CF Albert Almora (6-for-13, 1 2B)
    • 7. 2B Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-15, 1 HR)
    • 10. RP Arodys Vizcaino (3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SS Starlin Castro (hamstring): Castro suffered a hamstring injury on Mar. 2, and he has dealt with fluid building up in the leg since then. Originally expected to be sidelined 7-10 days, the team has now backed off on that and given no timetable for his return, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com. Castro said, "if I can play in 10-12 games in spring training I think I'll be good for the season."
    • SP Jake Arrieta (shoulder): Expected to be in the running for a rotation spot this spring, Arrieta has dealt with shoulder issues and yet to make his spring debut. He threw a live bullpen session for the first time on Sunday, and he could be ready to go shortly after Opening Day, according to Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.

Chicago White Sox

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    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Position Battle: Third Base

    • Matt Davidson (7-for-30, 4 2B, 1 HR)
    • Conor Gillaspie (8-for-30, 2 2B, 2 HR)
    • Jeff Keppinger (2-for-16)
    • Marcus Semien (9-for-24, 3 2B)

    Third base was a question mark last spring for the White Sox when Jeff Keppinger went down with an injury, and Conor Gillaspie wound up seizing the job and holding his own as the primary option. The team traded closer Addison Reed to the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospect Matt Davidson, and the job will be his once he's deemed ready, but he may open the season in the minors. Keppinger is still on the roster but is injured, while shortstop prospect Marcus Semien could also be an option at third base down the road.

    Prediction: Gillaspie

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. 1B Jose Abreu (9-for-35, 2 2B, 1 HR)
    • 2. SP Erik Johnson (7 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 7 K)
    • 4. IF Marcus Semien (9-for-24, 3 2B)
    • 5. 2B Micah Johnson (7-for-19, 2 SB)
    • 7. CF Trayce Thompson (3-for-13)
    • 8. SP Chris Beck (3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    • IF Jeff Keppinger (shoulder): Keppinger had surgery to repair his rotator cuff in September, and he has dealt with tightness in the shoulder all spring. It is looking more and more likely that he will open the season on the DL, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Final Bench Spot

    • Roger Bernadina (11-for-25, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR)
    • Jason Bourgeois (4-for-17)
    • Chris Nelson (8-for-24, 2 2B, 1 HR)
    • Ramon Santiago (6-for-32, 2 2B)

    The Reds didn't make any huge additions this spring, but they did overhaul their bench, signing Skip Schumaker and Brayan Pena to multi-year deals. They also have one spot on the bench still up for grabs, with a foursome of non-roster veterans fighting it out for the spot. With Jack Hannahan slow in returning from offseason shoulder surgery, there is an outside shot that two of those guys could find their way onto the roster. Bernadina has the best numbers, while Santiago has the ability to play shortstop and fills the biggest need.

    Prediction: Santiago

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Robert Stephenson (4 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 K)
    • 2. CF Billy Hamilton (10-for-33, 2 2B, 9 SB)
    • 5. OF Yorman Rodriguez (2-for-17, 1 2B)
    • 6. SP Michael Lorenzen (3.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K)
    • 7. SP Carlos Contreras (3.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K)
    • 10. C Tucker Barnhart (4-for-14, 2 2B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Mat Latos (recovery from knee surgery): Latos had surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee on Feb. 14, and he threw live batting practice for the first time on Friday. According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, new manager Bryan Price is optimistic Latos will be ready to go in the No. 5 starter spot to open the year.
    • RP Sean Marshall (shoulder tendinitis): Limited to just 16 games last season due to shoulder injuries, Marshall has been slowed by tendinitis this spring. He threw his first bullpen session on Friday, as he looks to avoid opening the season on the DL.
    • RP Jonathan Broxton (recovery from forearm surgery): Broxton had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon last August, and he threw his first bullpen session of the spring on March 11. It is unclear at this point if he'll break camp with the big league club or not, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

Cleveland Indians

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    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    • Trevor Bauer (7 IP, 8 ER, 12 H, 5 BB, 8 K)
    • Carlos Carrasco (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 9 K)
    • Aaron Harang (9 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 6 K)
    • Josh Tomlin (14 IP, 4 ER, 13 H, 2 BB, 14 K)

    The Indians have a solid 1-4 in their rotation with Justin Masterson, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister and Danny Salazar, but following the departure of Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir in free agency, the final spot is up for grabs. Carlos Carrasco is out of options and could wind up with the job as a result. However, if the team opts to use him out of the bullpen, Josh Tomlin has been very good this spring and non-roster invitee Aaron Harang has also thrown fairly well.

    Prediction: Tomlin

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SS Francisco Lindor (4-for-15, 1 2B, 1 HR)
    • 3. SP Trevor Bauer (7 IP, 8 ER, 12 H, 5 BB, 8 K)
    • 4. CF Tyler Naquin (4-for-16, 1 HR)
    • 8. RP C.C. Lee (6 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 8 K)
    • 9. 2B Jose Ramirez (0-for-2)
    • 10. RP Austin Adams (3 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    • CF Michael Bourn (hamstring): Bourn left the Indians' game early this past Sunday with what has been called a "mild" hamstring strain, according to Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer.

Colorado Rockies

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    • Jordan Lyles (12.1 IP, 4 ER, 13 H, 3 BB, 9 K)
    • Franklin Morales (11.1 IP, 5 ER, 11 H, 2 BB, 13 K)

    An injury to right-hander Jhoulys Chacin has opened the door for someone to claim a spot in the Rockies' rotation behind Jorge De La Rosa, Brett Anderson, Tyler Chatwood and Juan Nicasio. The final spot comes down to Jordan Lyles and Franklin Morales. Morales was used as a reliever last year and could return to that role, but with Rule 5 pick Tommy Kahnle projected to be the long reliever, the team has some a few options.

    Prediction: Morales

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Jonathan Gray (6.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 5 K) 
    • 2. SP Eddie Butler (7 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 K)
    • 3. SS Rosell Herrera (5-for-14, 1 3B)
    • 4. OF Kyle Parker (7-for-26, 3 2B, 1 HR)
    • 5. SP Chad Bettis (6 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K)
    • 7. C Tom Murphy (3-for-16, 2 2B, 1 HR)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Jhoulys Chacin (right shoulder): Chacin was shut down this spring before he ever threw a bullpen session due to shoulder problems, and he has been slowly working his way back since. He will almost certainly open the season on the disabled list, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com.

Detroit Tigers

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Shortstop

    • Steve Lombardozzi (7-for-28)
    • Hernan Perez (5-for-30, 1 2B)
    • Eugenio Suarez (6-for-26, 1 2B)

    With the news that Jose Iglesias has a stress fracture in both legs and will be shelved indefinitely, the Tigers suddenly have a gaping hole at shortstop. Still unsigned Stephen Drew could certainly be an option if the team decides to go outside the organization, as the in-house options are somewhat unimpressive. Steve Lombardozzi is probably better served as a utility guy, while Hernan Perez and Eugenio Suarez could both use more time in the minors.

    Prediction: Team signs Drew to a one-year deal. If not, Lombardozzi and Perez split time to open the year.

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. 3B Nick Castellanos (17-for-41, 6 2B, 2 HR)
    • 2. 2B Devon Travis (5-for-18)
    • 3. RP Bruce Rondon (7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K
    • 7. SS Eugenio Suarez (6-for-26, 1 2B)
    • 9. 2B Hernan Perez (5-for-30, 1 2B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • LF Andy Dirks (back surgery): Dirks had back surgery at the beginning of the month, and he will miss roughly 12 weeks recovering, according to James Schmehl of MLive.com. He will be completely shut down for three weeks and then go through three weeks of therapy before beginning baseball activities again.
    • SS Jose Iglesias (shins): Sidelined by what was originally diagnoses as simple shin splints this spring, Iglesias is now expected to be sidelined until at least the All-Star break with stress fractures in both legs, and he could miss most or all of the 2014 season, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. The team could now consider making a run at Stephen Drew, with no clear-cut, in-house option to replace Iglesias.

Houston Astros

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Closer

    • Matt Albers (4 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K)
    • Jesse Crain (Injured, has not pitched)
    • Josh Fields (5 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K)
    • Chad Qualls (4 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K)

    The closer job remains wide-open in Houston, and on Monday manager Bo Porter named Matt Albers, Jesse Crain, Josh Fields and Chad Qualls as the four in the running, according to a tweet from Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. Qualls has 51 career saves, and has the most experience of the group, while Fields has by far the most upside of the group.

    Prediction: Qualls

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SS Carlos Correa (5-for-26, 2 2B, 2 HR)
    • 2. CF George Springer (5-for-26, 1 2B, 4 SB)
    • 3. SP Mark Appel (Could make spring debut next week)
    • 4. SP Mark Foltynewicz (8.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K)
    • 7. 1B Jonathan Singleton (3-for-23, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)
    • 8. OF Domingo Santana (0-for-5)

     

    Key Injury News

    • RP Jesse Crain (recovery from shoulder surgery): After a fantastic first half that saw him make the AL All-Star team, Crain missed the entire second half with a shoulder strain. He had surgery on the shoulder in October, and is still roughly two weeks from working off a mound, according to a tweet from Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

Kansas City Royals

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    Danny Duffy (9 IP, 11 ER, 15 H, 4 BB, 8 K)
    Yordano Ventura (9.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 9 K)

    The Royals overcame the loss of Ervin Santana in free agency by signing veteran Jason Vargas, and he joins incumbents James Shields, Jeremy Guthrie and Bruce Chen in the first four rotation spots. The No. 5 starter job was up for grabs entering camp though, and it has come down to Tommy John surgery returnee and top prospect Yordano Ventura.

    Prediction: Ventura

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 2. SP Yordano Ventura (15.1 IP, 3 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 15 K)
    • 4. RF Jorge Bonifacio (2-for-10, 1 HR)
    • 9. SP Jason Adam (3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    • RP Luke Hochevar (Tommy John surgery): Hochevar emerged as a fantastic setup man for the Royals last season, posting a 1.92 ERA in 58 appearances. He will be lost for the entire 2014 season though, as he was scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Final Bench Spots

    Brennan Boesch (6-for-26, 1 2B, 1 3B)
    Collin Cowgill (10-for-38, 4 2B, 2 HR)
    Matt Long (17-for-40, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)
    John McDonald (8-for-22, 1 2B)
    Carlos Pena (5-for-30, 1 2B)
    J.B. Shuck (9-for-36, 3 3B)
    Ian Stewart (8-for-30, 1 2B)
    Chad Tracy (7-for-28, 2 2B)

    The Angels brought in an interesting collection of non-roster veterans and in-house players to compete for bench jobs this spring, and two spots are still very much up for grabs. Two bench spots will go to Hank Conger and Grant Green, but the other two are still a question mark.

    Prediction: Cowgill and Pena

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. 2B Taylor Lindsey (1-for-10)
    • 2. 1B C.J. Cron (6-for-15, 1 HR)
    • 3. 3B Kaleb Cowart (1-for-8)
    • 5. SP Mark Sappington (0.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K)
    • 8. 2B Alex Yarbrough (2-for-5)

     

    Key Injury News

    • LF Josh Hamilton (calf): Hamilton strained his calf early-on in spring training, and he has been sidelined since. He is slated to make his spring debut on Monday at DH, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, giving him just two weeks to prepare for Opening Day.

    • RP Sean Burnett (recovery from forearm surgery): After signing with the Angels last offseason, Burnett was limited to just 13 appearances, and he underwent surgery to repair a flexor tendon. He took what he said was a "huge step" forward after throwing off the mound last week, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, though he is still likely to start the year on the DL.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Second Base

    Chone Figgins (6-for-36, 1 2B)
    Dee Gordon (12-for-42, 4 3B, 9 SB)
    Alex Guerrero (9-for-30, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)
    Miguel Rojas (12-for-27, 2 2B)

    The Dodgers signed Cuban defector Alex Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million deal, and while he was originally viewed as the likely starting second baseman, it is looking more and more like he will open his career in the minors to better acclimate himself with second base and shake off some rust. That leaves speedster Dee Gordon to battle non-roster invite Chone Figgins and prospect Miguel Rojas, who is having the best spring of the bunch.

    Prediction: Gordon

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. OF Joc Pederson (6-for-32, 1 2B, 2 HR)
    • 3. SP Julio Urias (1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K)
    • 4. SP Zach Lee (4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K)
    • 6. RP Chris Withrow (7.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 7 BB, 6 K)
    • 7. 2B Alex Guerrero (9-for-30, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)
    • 8. SP Chris Reed (2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 0 K)
    • 10. SP Ross Stripling (set to undergo Tommy John surgery)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Zack Greinke (stained right calf): After missing two weeks, Greinke returned to the mound last Wednesday to make his second start of the spring. He won't join the team in Australia, but his goal it to pitch in the team's first regular series back in the States, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN.
    • CF Matt Kemp (recovery from ankle surgery): Limited to just 73 games last year, Kemp underwent ankle surgery in October. He played the outfield for two innings in a minor league game last Wednesday, a small step forward, and he is expected to remain in spring camp through Opening Day and beyond, according to Barry Bloom of MLB.com.
    • SP Chad Billingsley (recovery from Tommy John): Billingsley has been rehabbing for the past 11 months, and he is expected to face live pitching for the first time this coming week. According to Saxon, he will begin a minor league rehab assignment when the season begins, with a chance at rejoining the Dodgers by May.

Miami Marlins

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    Brad Hand (12 IP, 1 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 15 K)
    Tom Koehler (12 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 11 K)

    The Marlins have one of the most promising young rotations in all of baseball, and Jose Fernandez, Jacob Turner, Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi are locked into the first four spots in the rotation. The No. 5 spot is still up for grabs though, as Brad Hand and Tom Koehler have both pitched incredibly well. Hand is out of options, so he'll likely be on the roster either way, but whether it's in the bullpen or rotation remains to be seen.

    Prediction: Koehler

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Andrew Heaney (7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K)
    • 2. 3B Colin Moran (0-for-6)
    • 3. CF Jake Marisnick (9-for-27, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 SB)
    • 4. SP Justin Nicolino (1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K)
    • 5. SP Andrew DeSclafani (2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K)
    • 6. SP Brian Flynn (10 IP, 6 ER, 11 H, 4 BB, 9 K)
    • 7. SP Jose Urena (1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K)
    • 8. SP Adam Conley (5 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 5 K)
    • 9. 2B Avery Romero (1-for-6)
    • 10. C J.T. Realmuto (1-for-5)

     

    Key Injury News

    • 2B Rafael Furcal (hamstring): Furcal has left two separate games this spring with hamstring tightness. He left a game on Mar. 10, and his first game back was last Saturday, but he wound up leaving that game in the third inning. There's at least a chance he'll start the season on the disabled list.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Rob Tringali/Getty Images

    Top Position Battle: Second Base

    • Scooter Gennett (8-for-37, 4 2B, 1 HR)
    • Rickie Weeks (8-for-23, 1 2B, 1 HR)

    Scooter Gennett took over for an injured Rickie Weeks down the stretch last season, and went on to hit a solid .324/.356/.479 line over 213 at-bats. Weeks is back healthy now though and set to make $11 million this coming season. Both will likely be on the Opening Day roster, but it looks like Weeks has a good shot at opening the season as the primary guy at this point.

    Prediction: Weeks

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Jimmy Nelson (3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K)
    • 3. OF Mitch Haniger (5-for-10, 1 2B, 1 HR)
    • 4. SP Johnny Hellweg (3 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 K)
    • 8. RP David Goforth (2.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 2 K)
    • 10. 1B Hunter Morris (2-for-16, 1 3B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • RP Tom Gorzelanny (recovery from shoulder surgery): Gorzelanny underwent shoulder surgery in December, after two separate stints on the disabled list for shoulder problems during the season. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, chances are he will open the season on the 15-day DL.

Minnesota Twins

18 of 31

    Hannah Foslien/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    • Samuel Deduno (9.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 8 K)
    • Scott Diamond (9.2 IP, 6 ER, 13 H, 7 BB, 11 K)
    • Kyle Gibson (9 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 2 K)
    • Vance Worley (8 IP, 9 ER, 11 H, 3 BB, 4 K)

    The Twins set to work rebuilding their rotation with the additions of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, and those two join Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia as guys locked into rotation spots. The No. 5 job is still open though, with Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond and Vance Worley all out of options and Kyle Gibson looking to get back on track as a top prospect.

    Prediction: Deduno

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. CF Byron Buxton (3-for-19, 1 2B, 1 HR)
    • 2. 3B Miguel Sano (Out for the Season, Tommy John surgery)
    • 3. SP Alex Meyer (2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 K)
    • 8. SP Trevor May (3 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 K)
    • 9. SS Danny Santana (9-for-23, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 SB)
    • 10. 2B Jorge Polanco (3-for-11, 1 2B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SS Pedro Florimon (appendectomy): Projected to be the team's starting shortstop, Florimon underwent an appendectomy in the middle of February, and he has yet to make his spring debut. He was slated to rejoin the MLB camp on Monday, according to Paul Casella of MLB.com, and his status for Opening Day is up in the air.

New York Mets

19 of 31

    Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Position Battle: First Base

    • Eric Campbell (10-for-32, 4 2B)
    • Matt Clark (8-for-31, 2 2B)
    • Ike Davis (1-for-6, 1 HR)
    • Lucas Duda (2-for-7, 1 2B, 1 HR)
    • Josh Satin (10-for-32, 2 2B, 1 HR)

    Incumbents Ike Davis and Lucas Dude were expected to battle for the starting first base job this spring, but both have been slowed by injuries. They are both back now, but their absence has allowed guys like Eric Campbell, Josh Satin and Matt Clark to see expanded action and they have each put up solid numbers.

    Prediction: Davis

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Noah Syndergaard (8.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 5 BB, 10 K)
    • 2. C Travis d'Arnaud (4-for-28, 2 2B)
    • 3. SP Rafael Montero (9 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K)
    • 5. C Kevin Plawecki (2-for-4, 1 2B)
    • 6. 3B Wilmer Flores (6-for-30, 1 2B, 1 HR)
    • 8. OF Brandon Nimmo (3-for-6)
    • 10. SP Jake deGrom (7.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Matt Harvey (Tommy John surgery): Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery in October, and is expected to miss the entire 2014 season.
    • SP Jon Niese (left elbow): Slated to be the Opening Day starter with Harvey on the shelf, Niese left his Sunday outing with discomfort in his throwing elbow. An MRI showed no structural damage, according to Jon Heyman (via Matt Snyder of CBSSports). There's a possibility he could open the season on the disabled list.
    • 1B Ike Davis (calf)/1B/OF Lucas Duda (hamstring): Both Davis and Duda returned to action on March 14, as both look to be ready for Opening Day. The two were expected to compete for the starting first base job, but have just 13 combined at-bats this spring.

New York Yankees

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    • Vidal Nuno (6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K)
    • Michael Pineda (4.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K)
    • David Phelps (13.2 IP, 4 ER, 15 H, 2 BB, 11 K)
    • Adam Warren (8.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 9 K)

    The Yankees have an interesting battle going for the No. 5 spot in their rotation, and it will likely come right down to the last days of camp before a winner is named. Micheal Pineda has the most upside of the candidates, but the team has been cautious with him this spring. David Phelps was the best of the bunch last year, while Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno both saw time in the majors as well and could also be competing for a long relief job.

    Prediction: Phelps

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. C Gary Sanchez (4-for-11, 2 HR)
    • 3. CF Mason Williams (4-for-23, 2 2B)
    • 4. C J.R. Murphy (2-for-24, 1 HR)

     

    Key Injury News

    None

Oakland Athletics

21 of 31

    Al Behrman/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    • Jesse Chavez (12.2 IP, 0 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 12 K)
    • Josh Lindblom (11 IP, 5 ER, 14 H, 3 BB, 8 K)
    • Drew Pomeranz (6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 11 K)

    The A's looked to have an abundance of starting pitching heading into spring training, but injuries to Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin have opened things up for an unexpected arm to emerge as the No. 5 starter. Jesse Chavez was a solid piece of the bullpen puzzle last year, while newcomers Drew Pomeranz and Josh Lindblom are both looking to turn a corner in Oakland.

    Prediction: Chavez

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SS Addison Russell (7-for-25, 2 2B, 1 3B)
    • 4. SP Raul Alcantara (4 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K)
    • 5. SP Michael Yona (3 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 3 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Jarrod Parker (forearm): Parker dealt with forearm stiffness at the end of last season, and it cropped back up this spring. He met with Dr. James Andrews on Monday, and will be lost for the season to Tommy John surgery, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
    • SP A.J. Griffin (elbow): Dealing with elbow discomfort, Griffin met with Dr. Doug Freedberg on Sunday and it was revealed that he has no structural damage. He will rest his arm for the next three weeks, according to a tweet from beat writer John Hickey.
    • RP Ryan Cook (shoulder): Cook has been slowed by shoulder problems this spring, but he has been making progress of late. He threw live batting practice on Sunday and is scheduled to pitch a simulated game on Wednesday, according to Slusser. His status for Opening Day is still up in the air.
    • OF Craig Gentry (back): Acquired in the offseason to be the team's fourth outfielder, Gentry has been slowed by a lower back strain this spring. He was scheduled to take full batting practice for the first time on Monday, but remains questionable for the start of the season.
    • RP Eric O'Flaherty (recovery from Tommy John): Signed to a two-year, $7 million deal as a free agent this offseason, O'Flaherty underwent Tommy John surgery on May 21 last season. He has is expected to be back around midseason.

Philadelphia Phillies

22 of 31

    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Third Base

    • Cody Asche (4-for-29, 2 2B, 1 HR)
    • Maikel Franco (7-for-34)

    For all of the aging players on their roster, it would figure that the Phillies' biggest position battle is between a pair talented young players at the hot corner in Cody Asche and Maikel Franco. Following the trade of Michael Young, Asche took over as the everyday guys last season, hitting .235/.302/.389 over 162 at-bats. Meanwhile, Franco turned in a monster season High-A and Double-A, posting a .926 OPS with 36 doubles, 31 home runs and 103 RBI. He's still just 21 though and could probably use more time in the minors.

    Prediction: Asche

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. 3B Maikel Franco (7-for-34)
    • 2. SP Jesse Biddle (3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K)
    • 4. SP Miguel Gonzalez (2.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 6 BB, 2 K)
    • 6. SP Ethan Martin (0 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 K, Shoulder Injury)
    • 7. 2B Cesar Hernandez (3-for-20)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Cole Hamels (shoulder): Hamels has been dealing with shoulder tendinitis all spring, and has yet to make his Grapefruit League debut. He threw a 33-pitch bullpen session on Sunday and was encouraged, according to a tweet from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly. He is expected back in mid-to-late April barring any setbacks.
    • RP Mike Adams (recovery from shoulder surgery): Lost for the season following shoulder surgery on June 20, Adams is still recovering from that this spring. He threw a live batting practice session last Wednesday, but he is not expected to be ready for Opening Day, according to Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Pittsburgh Pirates

23 of 31

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Final Bench Spot

    • Chris Dickerson (9-for-24, 2 2B)
    • Travis Ishikawa (4-for-13, 1 HR)
    • Andrew Lambo (2-for-31)
    • Chris McGuiness (6-for-25, 2 2B)

    The Pirates will likely open the season with Tony Sanchez, Clint Barmes, Josh Harrison and Travis Snider holding down bench spots, but the final position player spot on the Opening Day roster is yet undecided. A left-handed hitter to take some of the pressure off of Gaby Sanchez would make the most sense, and Travis Ishikawa, Andrew Lambo and Chris McGuiness all fit the bill. The wild card here is Chris Dickerson, as the 31-year-old outfielder has impressed as a non-roster invitee.

    Prediction: McGuiness

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. RF Gregory Polanco (6-for-22, 2 2B, 1 HR)
    • 2. SP Jameson Taillon (2.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 0 K)
    • 6. SS Alen Hanson (4-for-10, 2 SB)

     

    Key Injury News

    None

San Diego Padres

24 of 31

    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Position Battle: Final Bench Spot

    • Kyle Blanks (8-for-29, 3 2B, 1 HR)
    • Tommy Medica (19-for-48, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR)
    • Xavier Nady (10-for-32, 1 2B, 2 HR)

    The Padres have an interesting decision to make at the backup first baseman/right-handed pinch-hitter spot, as they will have to choose between Kyle Blanks, Tommy Medica and Xavier Nady. Blanks filled the role last season, Nady provides a veteran presence the other two don't and Medica is just learning the outfield but has been one of the breakout stars of the spring.

    Prediction: Medica

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. C Austin Hedges (4-for-16)
    • 2. SP Matt Wisler (7.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K)
    • 5. SP Casey Kelly (Recovering from Tommy John surgery)
    • 6. OF Rymer Liriano (6-for-22, 2 2B, 1 HR)
    • 7. SS Jace Peterson (4-for-25, 1 2B)
    • 8. SP Burch Smith (3.2 IP, 9 ER, 14 H, 1 BB, 2 K)
    • 9. SP Keyvius Sampson (5 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K)
    • 10. SP Joe Ross (3 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    • 3B Chase Headley (calf): Headley has yet to make his debut this spring, as he has dealt with a calf strain that he suffered back on Feb. 22. According to a tweet from Corey Brock of MLB.com, he could make his spring debut on Thursday. The injury obviously puts his status for Opening Day in question.
    • C Yasmani Grandal (recovery from ACL surgery): Grandal underwent ACL surgery on Aug. 6 of last season, and he was still recovering from that to start spring training. He made his Cactus League debut on Mar. 10, but his status for Opening Day is still uncertain.
    • OF Cameron Maybin (ruptured biceps tendon): Limited to just 14 games last season while dealing with knee and wrist issues, Maybin has been bit by the injury bug again this spring. A torn biceps tendon he suffered at the beginning of March didn't require surgery, but he will still miss 2-3 months, according to Matt Snyder of CBSSports.
    • SP Cory Luebke (Tommy John): After missing 141 games in 2012 and all of 2013 following flexor tendon and Tommy John surgery, Luebke finally looked ready to return this season. Instead, he will undergo a second Tommy John surgery after a UCL injury, and he'll miss all of 2014.

San Francisco Giants

25 of 31

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top Position Battle: Final Bench Spots

    • Tony Abreu (6-for-36)
    • Ehire Adrianza (6-for-31, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR)
    • Tyler Colvin (2-for-14, 1 2B)
    • Brandon Hicks (12-for-30, 7 2B, 1 HR)
    • Juan Perez (13-for-40, 6 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)

     

    The Giants figure to break camp with Hector Sanchez, Joaquin Arias and Gregor Blanco filling three of the bench spots, but the other two spots are still open. Tony Abreu and Ehire Adrianza are both out of options, and they will have to beat out Brandon Hicks for the utility infield job. Meanwhile, the team is expected to keep five outfielders, and will have to choose between Juan Perez and Tyler Colvin for that job.

    Prediction: Adrianza and Perez

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 2. SP Edwin Escobar (8.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 8 BB, 3 K)
    • 5. OF Mac Williamson (1-for-3)
    • 7. RP Heath Hembree (4 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K)
    • 9. 2B Joe Panik (1-for-6, 1 2B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • 2B Marco Scutaro (back): Sidelined by a bad back all spring, Scutaro made his preseason debut on Monday. He has a lot of catching up to do, but there is still a chance he could be ready to go for Opening Day.

Seattle Mariners

26 of 31

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Top Position Battle: Shortstop

    • Nick Franklin (8-for-29, 3 2B, 1 HR)
    • Brad Miller (11-for-30, 2 3B, 3 HR)

    After they signed Robinson Cano, many expected incumbent second baseman Nick Franklin to wind up as trade bait this offseason. He's still around though, and the team has given him every chance to beat out Brad Miller for the starting shortstop job in 2014. Both players showed flashes in their rookie season last year, and both still have very high ceilings.

    Prediction: Miller

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Taijuan Walker (Has not Pitched, Shoulder Injury)
    • 3. SP James Paxton (13 IP, 3 ER, 13 H, 1 BB, 8 K)
    • 9. SS Chris Taylor (3-for-20, 1 2B, 1 HR)
    • 10. SP Danny Hultzen (Recovering from Rotator Cuff surgery)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Hisashi Iwakuma (finger tendon): After a fantastic season last year that saw him finish third in AL Cy Young voting, Iwakuma has been sidelined by a strained tendon on his right middle finger. He has had a splint on his finger since the injury, and will meet with doctors on Tuesday to see if it is ready to come off, according to a tweet from Greg Johns of MLB.com.
    • SP Taijuan Walker (shoulder): Walker threw for the second time on Sunday since being shut down with shoulder inflammation. The 40-pitch bullpen session went extremely well, Walker said in an article written by Johns. "It went really well. I'm really happy," Walker said. "My arm felt great, and I was throwing about 85-90 percent." His status for Opening Day is still in question though.

St. Louis Cardinals

27 of 31

    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    • Joe Kelly (9.1 IP, 8 ER, 13 H, 4 BB, 6 K)
    • Carlos Martinez (10 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K)

    There is no such thing as too much pitching, and there may be no team with more pitching depth heading into 2014 than the Cardinals. Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn figure to fill the first four rotation spots, but the No. 5 job is still available. B/R lead writer Jason Martinez summed up the competition's likely outcome well in a recent article on the subject:

    "A healthy and effective (Jason) Motte returning by early May, combined with a struggling Kelly could result in the team moving Martinez into the rotation then. For now, there is no need to go away from the safe decisions of Kelly as the No. 5 starter and Martinez to the 'pen."

    Prediction: Kelly

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. RF Oscar Taveras (1-for-6, 1 2B)
    • 2. SP Carlos Martinez (10 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K)
    • 3. 2B Kolten Wong (13-for-33, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR)
    • 4. OF Stephen Piscotty (9-for-26, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)
    • 5. SP Marco Gonzalez (1.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 1 K)
    • 6. SP Tim Cooney (6 IP, 9 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 8 K)
    • 8. OF James Ramsey (1-for-16)
    • 10. OF Randal Grichuk (8-for-30, 4 2B, 1 3B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Jaime Garcia (shoulder): After making just nine starts last season, Garcia entered camp expected to battle for a rotation spot with Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn and Carlos Martinez. The shoulder that plagued him last year is an issue once again this spring, and he played catch for the first time on Friday since being shut down on Feb. 18. Chances are he'll open the season on the DL.
    • RP Jason Motte (recovery from Tommy John): One of the better closers in the league in 2012 when he led the NL with 42 saves, Motte missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery. He faced live hitters for the first time on Friday, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but there is still no clear timetable for his return to the big league roster.

Tampa Bay Rays

28 of 31

    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    • Erik Bedard (11.1 IP, 9 ER, 17 H, 5 BB, 6 K)
    • Jake Odorizzi (8 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 5 BB, 5 K)

    On the surface, Jake Odorizzi may be the clear choice for the No. 5 starter job based on the numbers, but don't be surprise if it is Erik Bedard who breaks camp with the team. The veteran left-hander pitched better his last time out, and the Rays are a team that likes to look at the big picture and not just the numbers. There's not much risk in breaking camp with non-roster invitee Bedard, and if he does struggle early the team can just as easily release him and turn to Odorizzi then.

    Prediction: Bedard

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Jake Odorizzi (8 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 5 BB, 5 K)
    • 2. SS Hak-Ju Lee (5-for-13, 1 2B)
    • 4. SP Enny Romero (2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K)
    • 5. SP Alex Colome (1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K)
    • 9. SS Tim Beckham (Recovering from Knee Surgery)
    • 10. CF Kevin Kiermaier (5-for-18, 1 HR)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Jeremy Hellickson (recovery from elbow surgery): After a rough 2013 season, Hellickson underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery in January and is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, according to Adam Berry of MLB.com. Jake Odorizzi will likely fill his rotation spot to open the season.

Texas Rangers

29 of 31

    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: Closer

    • Neftali Feliz (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 4 K)
    • Joakim Soria (5 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K)

    When Joe Nathan opted to decline a $9 million option for the upcoming season at the start of the offseason, a hole opened up in the ninth inning for the Rangers. With a deep bullpen and two viable closer options, the team opted to fill the void in-house with a competition between Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria. The job is still up for grabs at this point, as both pitchers were All-Star-caliber closers before injury struck.

    Prediction: Soria

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. 2B Rougned Odor (4-for-15)
    • 6. SS Luis Sardinas (4-for-15, 1 2B)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Derek Holland (recovery from knee surgery): A freak injury involving his dog resulted in torn cartilage behind the kneecap in his left knee, and the subsequent surgery is expected to sideline him until midseason, according to Richard Durrett of ESPN.
    • SP Matt Harrison (back): The Rangers' Opening Day starter last year, Harrison made just two starts last season before surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back sidelined him for the rest of the season. A stiff back has slowed him this spring, and while he pitched in a "B" game on March 11, he is still expected to miss at least one start at the beginning of the season.

Toronto Blue Jays

30 of 31

    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Top Position Battle: No. 3,4, 5 Starter

    • Kyle Drabek (8 IP, 8 ER, 10 H, 6 BB, 4 K)
    • J.A. Happ (1.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 5 BB, 3 K)
    • Drew Hutchison (9.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 16 K)
    • Brandon Morrow (5 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 K)
    • Todd Redmond (14 IP, 9 ER, 15 H, 3 BB, 9 K)
    • Esmil Rogers (9 IP, 7 ER, 11 H, 4 BB, 12 K)
    • Ricky Romero (7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 6 K)
    • Aaron Sanchez (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 6 K)
    • Marcus Stroman (9 IP, 8 ER, 13 H, 3 BB, 7 K)

    The Blue Jays opted against adding a starting pitcher this offseason, and they entered camp with a bevy of arms competing for the three open rotation spots behind R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle. A return to health for Brandon Morrow, J.A. Happ and Drew Hutchison made them early favorites, while Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond are both out of options. Top prospects Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman are still in camp too and have gotten an extended look this spring.

    Prediction: #3 Hutchison, #4 Morrow, #5 Redmond

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 1. SP Aaron Sanchez (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 6 K)
    • 2. SP Marcus Stroman (9 IP, 8 ER, 13 H, 3 BB, 7 K)
    • 10. SP Sean Nolin (5.1 IP, 7 ER, 13 H, 5 BB, 4 K)

     

    Key Injury News

    None

Washington Nationals

31 of 31

    David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    Top Position Battle: No. 5 Starter

    Ross Detwiler (7 IP, 5 ER, 14 H, 1 BB, 6 K)
    Taylor Jordan (10 IP, 7 ER, 16 H, 0 BB, 13 K)
    Tanner Roark (8 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 6 K)

    The Nationals boast arguably the best 1-4 of any rotation in baseball in Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and newly-acquired Doug Fister. They have plenty of depth behind them too, and three legitimate options for the No. 5 starter spot. Ross Detwiler is the veteran of the group and is also out of options, so he'll likely be on the Opening Day roster one way or another. Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan both pitched well in their time with the big league club last year and have some upside.

    Prediction: Roark

     

    Top 10 Prospect Performance

    • 2. SP A.J. Cole (6.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 7 K)
    • 3. CF Brian Goodwin (5-for-25, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR)
    • 4. 1B Matt Skole (5-for-15, 3 2B, 1 HR)
    • 6. SP Sammy Solis (4 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 K)
    • 7. OF Michael Taylor (3-for-16, 1 3B)
    • 10. OF Steven Souza (11-for-31, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR)

     

    Key Injury News

    • SP Doug Fister (elbow): The big pickup of the offseason, Fister made his first start of the spring but has been sidelined since with elbow inflammation. He threw two innings in a minor league game on Monday, and according to James Wagner of the Washington Posteverything went well. His next start will likely come in big league camp, and he could still be in position to make his first start of the spring.

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