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Joe Maddon goes deep on impact of limiting mound visits – Chicago Cubs Blog

MESA, Ariz. — Unlike many who have spoken out about baseball’s new rules, Joe Maddon isn’t as worried about a limit to mound visits making it easier to steal signs as much as he’s concerned about what it does to the Cubs’ game plan. He wants his catchers to be able to communicate a strategy to his pitchers — but now they’ll be limited to six trips per game. “I get upset in the dugout for two reasons: missed signs, and when the catcher doesn’t go out and talk to…

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Colorado Rockies prospect and Parkland native Colton Welker dons alma mater’s ‘SD’ cap in spring training game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Players throughout Major League Baseball wore caps with an “SD” logo Friday to honor the 17 victims of the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. For Colorado Rockies minor leaguer Colton Welker, the gesture hit especially close to home. Welker, a top infield prospect in the Rockies’ system, played for Stoneman Douglas’ state title team in 2016 and was a fourth-round draft pick by Colorado in June of that year. Along with Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Oakland Athletics…

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Francisco Liriano agrees to $4 million, 1-year deal with Detroit Tigers

TAMPA, Fla. — Detroit agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract with left-hander Francisco Liriano, giving the Tigers added pitching depth. Liriano, 34, was 6-7 with a 5.66 ERA last season. He made 18 starts for Toronto and 20 relief appearances with World Series champion Houston, which acquired him at the July 31 trade deadline. He is 102-99 in a 12-year big league career. Tigers general manager Al Avila said it has not been decided whether Liriano will start or pitch in relief. “He told us he would like to…

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Shohei Ohtani to make debut for Los Angeles Angels on Saturday

Multitalented Japanese pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani will make his spring training debut for the Los Angeles Angels on the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. “I feel that this is a big step forward,” Ohtani told reporters Thursday, via an interpreter. “I’m really happy at this point. “This will be my first start in the States; I’m pretty sure a lot of things aren’t going to go my way. That’s OK. I just need to find what I need to adjust and feel where I’m at, and it’s going to…

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Tampa Bay Rays prospect Brent Honeywell sidelined by right forearm

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays prospect Brent Honeywell left the mound during a live batting practice session with what the team diagnosed as a right forearm strain. The 22-year-old right-hander got hurt Thursday while facing major league batters for the first time this spring. Manager Kevin Cash would not speculate on the severity of the injury, adding Honeywell would undergo further evaluation. Cash says “It’s frustrating whether he’s going to miss a week or a month or whatever it is.” Honeywell is regarded as one of the top…

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Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa looks to take another step in 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — At just 23, Carlos Correa is already considered one of baseball’s best shortstops. He thinks he can get better, too. The Houston star is far from satisfied. “I still have some holes in my game that people might not notice, but I do,” he said Thursday. “I want to get better at that to have an even better season than last year. Last year was my best year yet by far, it was a great year, but I think I can do so many things…

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Remember 2016? These Chicago Cubs could be just as good – Chicago Cubs Blog

MESA, Ariz. — Steve Cishek took the mound for his first live batting practice session with his new team earlier this week. As the reliever stood on the mound against the Chicago Cubs‘ A-list of hitters — a former MVP (Kris Bryant), a perennial candidate for the award (Anthony Rizzo), a former All-Star starter (Addison Russell) and an emerging star (Willson Contreras) — he realized exactly what he got himself into when he signed as a free agent during the winter. “It’s ridiculous,” the righty said later that day. “Our…

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Cleveland Indians, reliever Carlos Torres agree to minor league deal

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league contract with free-agent reliever Carlos Torres, who could fill a bullpen opening. Torres pitched in 67 games last season for the Milwaukee Brewers. The right-hander will join the Indians in training camp once he passes a physical. The 35-year-old went 4-1 with a 4.21 ERA last season, his second with Milwaukee following three with the New York Mets. Torres has a 4.00 ERA in 348 career major league games with the Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Mets and…

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Tampa Bay Rays agree to 1-year, $4 million deal with OF Carlos Gomez

The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with outfielder Carlos Gomez, MLB.com reported Wednesday. Gomez, who turned 32 in December, appeared in 105 games for Texas last season and was the primary center fielder after All-Star Ian Desmond left in free agency. Gomez is expected to play right field in Tampa. A right-handed batter, Gomez had a .255 batting average with 17 home runs and 51 RBIs last season. The Dominican Republic native came to Texas as a free agent in 2016 after being released…

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Minor league pitcher Forrest Whitley of the Houston Astros suspended 50 games

Houston Astros minor leaguer Forrest Whitley, one of the game’s top pitching prospects, has been suspended 50 games for a violation of minor league baseball’s drug program, according to baseball sources. Whitley, 20, was the Astros’ first-round pick in 2016 (17th overall). A product of Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, Texas, Whitley advanced from from low-A ball to Double-A last season; he had a 1.84 ERA in four appearances for Double-A Corpus Christi in 2017. Astros prospect Forrest Whitley was a combined 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA and…

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