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Angels’ Richards Won’t Be Ready For Season Opener

Angels’ Richards Won’t Be Ready For Season Opener

Rob Carr/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards will not be ready to pitch Opening Day for the team according to manager, Mike Scioscia.

Richards is expected to begin pitcher fielding drills in a week as he continues to make progress from August knee surgery.  The Angels remain hopeful he could be pitching in games two or three weeks into the season.

"It's not going to be Opening Day, let's put it that way," Scioscia said Sunday. "He knows it, and it's great that he's not going to be able to rush it because our medical staff's not going to let him. There's a progression. He has to pass every plateau. It's great that he's going to shoot for being ready. He's working very hard to be ready Opening Day, but he's not going to be ready Opening Day."

Before the injury, Richards was 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 28 starts for the team.

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Minoso, Chicago’s 1st Black MLB Player Dies

Minoso, Chicago’s 1st Black MLB Player Dies

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(CHICAGO) --  Minnie Minoso, Chicago's 1st African-American Major League Baseball player has passed away.  

Minoso established himself in his first at-bat in the majors in 1951 by hitting a two-run home run.

"We have lost our dear friend and a great man," White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in a release. "Many tears are falling."

The medical examiner's office did not offer details right away, however, there is some question about his age, but the White Sox say he was 90.

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Juan Pierre Retires

Juan Pierre Retires

Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Three-time stolen base champion Juan Pierre announced that after playing 14 years in the major leagues, he will retire.The 37-year-old Pierre finishes his career 18th in career stolen bases (614). He was also a member of the 2003 Florida Marlins World Series championship team.Pierre was selected in the 13th round of the amateur draft by the Colorado Rockies. He finishes his career playing three seasons with the Rockies, four with the Marlins, one with the Chicago Cubs, three with the Los Angeles Dodgers, two with the Chicago White Sox and one with the Philadelphia Phillies. During that time Pierre hit .295, scoring 1,075 runs while accumulating 2,217 hits. He also had 18 home runs, something Pierre poked fun at on Twitter."I do have one regret I finished with 18 homeruns really wanted to get 20 so if any team wants to sign me for 3yrs that should be enough time," Pierre tweeted.While Pierre wasn't a power-hitter, he did hit over .300 six times.

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Chris Sale Out At Least 3 Weeks

Chris Sale Out At Least 3 Weeks

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) -- Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale suffered a foot injury in an accident at his home and he is expected to miss at least three weeks of preparation time for the regular season.

Sale was diagnosed with an avulsion fracture to the side of his right foot, however, Sale declined to comment on how the injury happened.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Sale landed awkwardly when he got off the back of his truck unloading items.  His status for Opening Day won't be determined until a later date.

Sale finished third in the American league Cy Young Award voting last year, going 12-4 with a 2.17 ERA.

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Ryan Braun’s Ready to Rebound in 2015

Ryan Braun’s Ready to Rebound in 2015

Robert Binder/MLB Photos via Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is ready to rebound in 2015.

Braun underwent an offseason procedure on his thumb to get rid of nerve issues and is looking forward to spring training.

"I feel good. I'm only 31; I should be good," Braun said. "I expect to go out there and be one of the best players in the league."

"I've been able to do everything I would typically do over the course of an offseason, which is encouraging," Braun continued. "Hopefully I'll be healthy. But aside from that, I don't think I'll be limited or anything. I'll have to be conscious about how many extra swings I take and stuff like that, but aside from that I should be able to do everything."

The 2011 MVP struggled last season and finished with a .266 batting average, 19 homers, and 81 RBIs.

Braun's struggles last season was a major part of the Brewers' giving away the N.L. Central and watching the playoffs from home.

"When you show up this year, you know you can't do anything about last year. None of us can change what happened. We wish things would have ended differently than they did but they didn't," Braun said. "Hopefully, the focus is on this year and doing everything we can to prepare the best that we can every day to be successful and to get off to a good start in April."

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David Ortiz Not a Fan of MLB’s New Pace of Play Rules

David Ortiz Not a Fan of MLB’s New Pace of Play Rules

G. Fiume/Getty Images(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz isn't happy about the new pace of play rules that the MLB has instituted for this year.

The rule states that a batter must keep one foot in the box at all times with some exceptions.

"It seems like every rule goes in the pitcher's favor. After a pitch, you got to stay in the box? One foot? I call that bulls**t," Ortiz said Wednesday.  

"When you come out of the box, they don't understand you're thinking about what the [pitcher] is trying to do," he continued. "This is not like, you go to the plate with an empty mind. No, no, no. When you see a guy, after a pitch, coming out of the box, he's not just doing it. Our minds are speeding up."

"I saw one pitch, I come out, I'm thinking, 'What is this guy going to try to do to me next?' I'm not walking around just because there are cameras all over the place and I want my buddies back home to see me and this and that. It doesn't go that way," Ortiz added. "When you force a hitter to do that, 70 percent you're out, because you don't have time to think. And the only time you have to think about things is that time. So, I don't know how this baseball game is going to end up.''

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner was a member of the committee charged with improving the pace of play, but Ortiz said that he was never asked about what he thought of the new rule.

"It doesn't matter what they do, the game is not going to speed up," Ortiz said. "That's the bottom line. When you argue for a pitch and they got to review it, that takes some time. Is that our fault? No. It's their fault. But we still got to play the game.''

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Angels Say Josh Hamilton Facing Discipline from MLB

Angels Say Josh Hamilton Facing Discipline from MLB

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton was scheduled to meet with MLB officials on Wednesday in regards to a disciplinary issue.

Hamilton is expected to be out until May due to a recent shoulder surgery and he has not participated in the team's spring training in Arizona.  He's also been advised to stay at a friend's house in Houston while rehabbing from the surgery.

Hamilton was suspended from February 2004 to June 2006 due to issues related with cocaine and alcohol addiction.  He also had alcohol relapses in 2009 and 2012, but bounced back, leading the Rangers to back-to-back World Series appearances -- and he won the AL MVP award in 2010.

Hamilton signed a five-year deal with the Angels prior to the 2013 season.

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Hank Aaron Says He’s Rooting for Alex Rodriguez

Hank Aaron Says He’s Rooting for Alex Rodriguez

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While many have recently come after New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, one of the greatest players in the history of Major League Baseball is in his corner. Hank Aaron has come out and offered his public support towards A-Rod.

"I am rooting for him," Aaron told Newsday. "Despite all of the things that people say he had been involved in, I'm rooting for him to come back and have a great year. I am very much anxious to see what he's going to do."

Rodriguez sat out the entire 2014 season after he was suspended for violating Major League Baseball's drug agreement and labor contract.

"If I wanted to go to the game and A-Rod was playing, I certainly would go to the game," Aaron said. "I've met A-Rod, and to be honest, between him and me, he's been nothing but a friend to me. I liked him."

Rodriguez' 654 career home runs ranks fifth all-time, and he trails Willie Mays by six home runs for fourth on the all-time list.

The 39-year-old Rodriguez is owed $61 million over the final three years of his contract.

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Wainwright to Be Sent Back to St. Louis for Examination

Wainwright to Be Sent Back to St. Louis for Examination

Elliot J. Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(JUPITER, Fla.) --  St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will be sent back to St. Louis to be examined by a doctor after suffering from abdominal pain after his workout on Tuesday.

Cardinals General Manager, John Mozeliak told Cardinals.com that Wainwright would be seen by Dr. Michael Brunt of Washington University on Thursday, and the Cardinals will provide an update after Wainwright's visit.

Wainwright participated in his first bullpen session of spring training on Friday.  The Cardinals said discomfort began when Wainwright participated in other drills and running.

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Orioles Sign Infielder Everth Cabrera

Orioles Sign Infielder Everth Cabrera

Rich Pilling/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The Baltimore Orioles have signed free agent infielder Everth Cabrera to a one-year $2.4 million contract.

Last season the 28-year-old batted .232 in 357 at bats and struck out 86 times across 90 games. Cabrera also hit 13 doubles and stole 18 bases.

Cabrera has spent the last six seasons with the San Diego Padres, before the team non-tendered him. His best seasons came during the 2012-2013 stretch when he batted .264 while hitting 34 doubles and stealing 81 bases.

Cabrera has been dealing with trouble off the diamond. In 2013 he was suspended 50 games for a positive PED test and is potentially facing jail time for resisting arrest.

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B.J. Upton Is Now Melvin Upton Jr.

B.J. Upton Is Now Melvin Upton Jr.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- B.J. Upton hasn't lived up to his five-year, $75 million dollar contract he signed with the Atlanta Braves after the 2012 season so he's making a change.The 30-year-old Upton has changed his name back to his birth name, Melvin Upton Jr. B.J. was short for Bossman -- his father's nickname -- Junior, according to multiple reports.

Upton, who was the second overall pick in the 2002 amateur draft, followed up the 2013 season, where he set career-lows in batting average, RBIs, stolen bases and on-base percentage, with a very poor 2014 season during which he hit .208 with 12 home runs in 141 games.During Upton's final season in Tampa Bay in 2012, he played in 146 games hitting .246 with a career-high 28 home runs and 31 stolen bases.

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Red Sox Extend Manager John Farrell

Red Sox Extend Manager John Farrell

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

(FORT MYERS, Fla.) -- The Boston Red Sox have extended the contract of manager John Farrell through the 2017 season, the team announced Saturday at the beginning of its spring training camp.

"I'm ecstatic to have the extension," Farrell said. "This is a very special place and to be able to be here for a number of years that are in place, we don't take for granted one moment what the expectations are and how we have to deliver on those expectations."

Coming off a 71-91 season the team also announced that it will also extend general manager Ben Cherington past the 2015 season. The exact duration is unknown.

Farrell also addressed several concerns about position players leading into the season; notably Shane Victorino and new third basemen Pablo Sandoval.

"If Shane Victorino is fully capable and fully healthy, he is our right fielder," Farrell explained. "He was one of the best right fielders in the game two years ago. When you come back from injury, you shouldn't have lost your job because of an injury."

After pictures surfaced showing Sandoval with a large protruding gut, some questioned the fitness of the former San Francisco Giant.

"His body type hasn't changed since signing with us," Farrell said. "He's a guy that converted from a catcher to third base position. He's transitioned successfully at it a number of years ago. His body works for him."

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Cardinals Plan to Limit Adam Wainwright’s Workload

Cardinals Plan to Limit Adam Wainwright’s Workload

Elliot J. Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(JUPITER, Fla.) -- Entering his 10th Major League season, the St. Louis Cardianls plan on limiting the workload this spring for starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.

This is something that could go into effect during the regular season as well.

One of the best starters in baseball, Wainwright has averaged just under 226.0 innings his past five seasons.

"It will just be him continuing to get the work, but it just might not be work on the game field," manager Mike Matheny said.

Wainwright though, is not fully on board with the plan.

"If I take starts off we may not get to the postseason," Wainwright said. "And getting there, to me, seems pretty important."

"I'm getting paid to play every five days as it is, not every day," Wainwright jokingly added. "If I'm skipping my one every five days, good Lord, what am I getting paid for?"

In 2014, Wainwright went 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA, 179 strikeouts, and a 1.03 WHIP.

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Blue Jays Sign OF Chris Dickerson to Minor-League Contract

Blue Jays Sign OF Chris Dickerson to Minor-League Contract

Photos.com/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a minor league contract with outfielder Chris Dickerson with an invitation to spring training, the club announced on Saturday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 32-year-old Dickerson appeared in 41 games with the Cleveland Indians last season, where he hit .244 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Dickerson was originally selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 16th round of the 2003 amateur draft. During his seven-year major league career (2008-2014) with the Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Indians, he has batted .257 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs in 355 regular season games. He also has scored 105 runs and has an OBP of .335.

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The Mets Won’t Push Back Matt Harvey’s Season Debut

The Mets Won’t Push Back Matt Harvey’s Season Debut

Norm Hall/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Back in December, Mets manager Terry Collins said ace starting pitcher Matt Harvey might not make his debut until the team's home opener on April 13th, but it looks as if plans may change.

According to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin, Collins said that the current plan for Harvey is to start one of the team's first five games.  Harvey was expected to be on an innings limit this season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery last year, however, Collins says they are more inclined to give him five-inning starts instead of skipping his turn in the rotation.

Harvey will look to regain 2013 form in 2015, where he went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA, striking out 191 batters in 178.1 innings pitched.

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After Initial Reservations, Dan Haren Ready to Pitch for the Marlins

After Initial Reservations, Dan Haren Ready to Pitch for the Marlins

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images(JUPITER, Fla.) -- Despite initially claiming he'd rather retire than play for the Miami Marlins, starting pitcher Dan Haren has reported to spring training and will pitch for the team this season.

Haren was part of the deal the Marlins made with the Los Angeles Dodgers that also netted them shortstop Dee Gordon. Haren preferred to play on the west coast, and seriously considered retirement as a result.

"The trade surprised me," Haren said. "My family had a tough time with it."

Marlins officials had even given up on the prospects of convincing Haren to join the team, but he decided that he wanted to come back for a 13th season.

"I wanted to make sure I was going to be 100 percent committed," he said. "I didn't want to give a halfhearted effort. Once I was committed in the offseason to putting in the work, I was ready to go for the year.

"I'm here, I'm happy to be here. I'm ready to get going."

Haren is 142-122 with a 3.77 ERA during his career.

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Angels’ Josh Hamilton Could Miss More Time than Expected

Angels’ Josh Hamilton Could Miss More Time than Expected

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After originally being expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing shoulder surgery, it turns out that Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton could miss even more time than previously thought.

"It could be six to eight weeks, it could be as much as 12 weeks," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto told The Los Angeles Times. "He had a bone shaved down to create less friction in an arthritic shoulder. Until he gets on site and on the field, it's tough to determine how long it will take."

Prior to the start of the 2013 season, Hamilton signed a five-year, $125-million contract with the team. Despite the lofty contract, he has yet to live up to the deal.

"Surgery is always complicated," Manager Mike Scioscia told the paper. "We have to take it one step at a time and make sure he's ready to go before we start to project when he can do some of the things he used to do."

The 33-year-old Hamilton played in just 89 games last year and batted .263 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs.

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Major League Baseball Announces Pace-of-Play Rule Changes

Major League Baseball Announces Pace-of-Play Rule Changes

Photos.com/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In an effort to help speed up the game, Major League Baseball on Friday announced pace-of-play rule changes for the upcoming 2015 season.

Back in September, Major League Baseball put together a pace-of-game committee after the average MLB game rose to a record average of 3 hours, 2 minutes in 2014.

In the new rules, managers must stay in the dugout during replay challenges, and batters must keep at least one foot in the batter's box during an at-bat, as well as a prompt return to play after TV commercial breaks and timed pitching changes.

"These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter's box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game."

Players/managers who violate the new rules will initially receive a warning, and "flagrant violators" are subject to fines that could reach $500.

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Royals and Hosmer Agree to Two-Year Deal, Avoid Arbitration

Royals and Hosmer Agree to Two-Year Deal, Avoid Arbitration

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer agreed Wednesday to a two-year deal worth $13.9 million. The deal also allowed the two to avoid arbitration.

Hosmer's defense was key in their World Series run last year, and he batted .270 with 35 doubles and just nine homers. He also took home a Gold Glove award. The 25-year-old batted .351 with two homers and 12 RBIs in the postseason.

Hosmer was drafted with the third overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft by Kansas City.

With this deal, Hosmer won't be eligible for free agency until 2018.

The Royals avoided an arbitration hearing with all their players this year.

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Dodgers Closer Kenley Jansen Out 8-12 Weeks

Dodgers Closer Kenley Jansen Out 8-12 Weeks

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen underwent surgery on his left foot and is expected to be out indefinitely, according to the team.

Jansen reported discomfort after running last week, and tests showed there was a growth on a bone in his foot.  Jansen will be on crutches for the next 10 days and in a protective walking boot for another 3-4 weeks.  The entire healing process is expected to take between eight to 12 weeks.

The Dodgers' closer is expected to miss the entire first month of the 2015 regular season.

Last year Jansen had a 2.76 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a 101/19 K/BB ratio over 65 1/3 innings.  Jansen also converted 44 saves in 49 opportunities.

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