MLB Rumors

Tigers' Victor Martinez expected to report to spring training Monday
by Brandon Wise |

Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez was in town for photo day Saturday and is expected to report to spring training Monday, manager Brad Ausmus told reporters.

Martinez is still rehabbing from a knee injury and has yet to be cleared to participate in baseball activities. The 36-year-old hit .335/.409/.565 over 561 at-bats last year. 

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Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava hitting only left-handed this spring
by Brandon Wise |

Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava is planning to only hit from the left side during this spring after hitting from both sides of the plate for most of his career, reports the Providence Journal.

"I'm definitely trying it out," Nava said. "I'm just really trying to see what becomes of it. I still have the right-hand swing; it's not in the garbage. Just knowing how the left-right splits are, I thought it would be a good shot to see with my approach if it could work."

Nava has hit .293 with a .385 slugging percentage from the left side in his career while hitting just .209 from the right.

"I just need more time to really get an idea. I might as well at least commit to it as long as I can, and we'll see what happens," Nava said. "I'm very realistic right now that it's going to be a challenge, but hopefully later down the road it might get a little easier."

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Tigers catcher Alex Avila expected to be back Sunday
by Brandon Wise |

Tigers catcher Alex Avila is still dealing with a back injury and will not participate in practice Saturday, reports It is the second consecutive day Avila will miss with the back injury.

Manager Brad Ausmus said he'd be shocked if Avila is not practicing Sunday. 

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Yankees' CC Sabathia expected to wear knee brace this season
by Brandon Wise |

Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is planning to pitch this year with a brace on his right knee to stabilize when he is on the mound this year.

Sabathia had multiple platelet-rich plasma injections in his knee during the offseason and is hopeful to avoid more injections by wearing the brace, reports the New York Daily News.

"You're really not going to know until we get into the season and he's going every fifth day, how his leg is going to do," manager Joe Girardi said. "I've said all along, it’s a concern of mine. The fact that he’s wearing a brace or not wearing a brace doesn't concern me anymore."

Sabathia said the wearing the brace was "nothing out of the ordinary."

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Goryks Hernandez expected to arrive at camp Saturday after visa delay
by Brandon Wise |

Pirates outfielder Gorkys Hernandez is expected to arrive at spring training Saturday after being delayed by visa issues, reports Hernandez, 27, last played in the majors in 2012 and hit .192 with three home runs and 13 RBI. 

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Rays pitcher Belisario out at least two weeks with fractured shoulder
by Brandon Wise |

Rays pitcher Ronald Belisario is expected to miss at least two weeks with a fractured left shoulder, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Belisario was involved in an accident before he reported to camp and has been seen with his arm in a sling.

Rays president of baseball operations Matthew Silverman said Belisario was injured getting out of a swimming pool a few weeks ago and won't be ready for the start of the season.

Belisario posted a 4-8 record with eight saves in 2014 with a 5.56 ERA in 66 1/3 innings pitched.

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Yankees' Garrett Jones ready for position battle with Alex Rodriguez
by Brandon Wise |

New Yankees infielder Garrett Jones knows third base currently belongs to Alex Rodriguez. However, the 33-year-old is envisioning a scenario where he and A-Rod are both able to play equally throughout the season.

"That's what it comes down to," Jones said to "When he's getting his opportunity, he'll do his thing. And when I'm getting my opportunity, I'm going to do what I do. In a perfect world, we're both swinging the beat well and we're both in their on a regular basis."

Jones struggled to hit the ball well in 2014, hitting .246 with 15 homeruns and 53 RBI.

"It can mess with you," Jones said. "As a hitter, do I need to do extra? Do I need to change my swing? Do I not have as much power as I used to? A lot of things are going through your head. You try to not let it bother you but for a guy that's supposed to be driving the ball and having home runs, it's part of my game. ... I was trying to pull everything and it turned getting around too much on the ball and I just lost. I was getting pounded (with) sinkers away and I lost that approach to drive the ball to left-center."

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Brewers' Khris Davis to work on being a patient hitter in 2015
by R.J. White |

Brewers outfielder Khris Davis realizes he didn't show patience at the plate last year in his first full major-league season, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

"I built a reputation in the organization of being a patient hitter," Davis said. "I felt like I wasn't a patient hitter at all last year. I was a little eager, wanting to please too much, too early. I found out I'm human."

Davis drew just 32 walks in 549 plate appearances while posting a .299 OBP in 2014, a number far away from his career .392 OBP in the minors.

"He was different last year," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Everybody goes through different phases. Guys change. (His walk total) was too low. He's a guy I think should be fairly patient. He sees pitches well. When he starts getting anxious, he becomes more aggressive and chases more. He realizes it, which is the first step. If you don't realize it and don't listen to other people when they tell you that, then you have issues. You have to have good self-awareness to be a good player. Sometimes these players don't have good self-awareness. But if they had better self-awareness they'd be a better player."

Davis is determined to fulfill the potential that caused the organization to move Ryan Braun to right field before the 2014 season and plug Davis into the regular left-field role.

"I can't thank them enough for having patience with me," Davis said. "I'm going to work it out. When you get here, you want to stay. That's the toughest part at first. I don't think this league has seen the best of me yet. I'm ready to pull that out and prove it day by day. I learned so many lessons there are too many to name."

Davis hit .244/.299/.457 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI in 501 at-bats.

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Indians' Francona keeping a close eye on Giovanny Urshela
by R.J. White |

Indians manager Terry Francona has been keeping a close eye on third-base prospect Giovanny Urshela, who was only recently cleared for a full range of activities after tweaking his knee during winter ball, reports.

"He has a tremendous reputation of being a really good defender," Francona said. "I think I've been more wanting to watch his gait, just to make sure he's not favoring that leg. He promised us that, if he was, he'd let us know, but I also know he's a young kid in his first major-league camp."

Urshela suffered the injury on Nov. 15 and has rehabbed the injured knee at the team's spring-training facility in Goodyear, Ariz.

"He's worked really hard to get himself to where he can go through a normal spring," said Indians' director of player development Carter Hawkins. "We're very excited about the spot he's in right now, given the possible outcomes of the injury."

Urshela saw his first action at the Triple-A level in 2014, hitting .276/.331/.473 with 13 home runs and 65 RBI in 395 at-bats with Columbus.

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Reds' Brennan Boesch to see time at first base this spring
by R.J. White |

Reds manager Bryan Price indicated Friday that outfielder Brennan Boesch would see time at all three outfield spots as well as at first base as he competes for a roster spot this spring, reports.

"We already know he's a terrific player," Price said of Boesch, who has never played first base professionally. "He kind of got banged up and lost his way a little bit, but I think he feels -- and we feel -- that he's back on top of his game, and maybe his best days are ahead of him."

Boesch said he doesn't see the battle for a reserve outfield role as a "competition."

"I only care about the competition against the pitcher, and that's really as basic as I keep it," Boesch said. "You aren't competing against other players. We're all on the same side here. We're all wearing Red jerseys. Let the chips fall where they may."

Boesch struggled in limited time with the Angels in 2014 but hit .332/.381/.636 with 25 home runs, 85 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 374 at-bats with Triple-A Salt Lake.

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