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11:00 AM ET, March 18, 2017

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com:
Saturday night survive: USA-DR win or else!  —  SAN DIEGO — Two teams, two countries, one game and the winner takes all.  The bragging rights will last at least four years.  —  Familiar chats of “USA!  USA!  USA!” will provide the soundtrack to a sold-out Petco Park.  The speedy and rhythmic chorus of “Dominicana!
Discussion: Forbes and NESN.com
RELATED:
Kyle Glaser / Baseball America:
Puerto Rico Holds Off U.S., Clinches WBC Semifinals Spot - 2017 World Baseball Classic  —  SAN DIEGO—Puerto Rico faced a pretty straightforward scenario Friday night: Win, and it'd be on the way to the World Baseball Classic semifinals.  —  With that situation prominent in their heads …
Discussion: DRaysBay
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Jordan Montgomery, who finishes off a spring no-hitter, is making the Yankees ‘curious’  —  LAKELAND, Fla. - After finishing off the Yankees' three-pitcher combined exhibition no-hitter on Friday with four perfect innings, Jordan Montgomery has put himself in contention to perhaps make an outside run at a starter job in the Bronx.
RELATED:
Erik Boland / Newsday:
Masahiro Tanaka excels again as Yankees no-hit Tigers
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley and Newsday
James Wagner / New York Times:
Zack Wheeler, Mets' Big Question Mark, Provides Some Answers  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The biggest question on the Mets' pitching staff took the mound Thursday afternoon for the second time this spring.  In his second outing, after sitting out for two seasons, Zack Wheeler allowed two runs on three hits in two and a third innings.
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
Evan Grant / Dallas Morning News:
Chi Chi Gonzalez has a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament  —  SURPRISE, Ariz. — Rangers pitching prospect Chi Chi Gonzalez will likely miss at least the first half of the season.  —  And that's the best-case scenario.  —  Gonzalez was diagnosed Friday with a partial tear …
Ben Frederickson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Mozeliak says Cardinals ‘open for business’ with Molina  —  St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak watches batting practice during St. Louis Cardinals spring training on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
Adam McCalvy / MLB.com:
Braun's Spring Training comment draws reaction  —  PHOENIX — The gaggle of reporters thought Ryan Braun was kidding, but the Brewers outfielder made clear he was serious when he uttered the quote that would go on to make the social media rounds Thursday.  —  It was Braun being Braun, at least when it comes to Spring Training.
Rustin Dodd / Kansas City Star:
Jason Hammel impresses, Raul Mondesi homers in 7-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox  —  The most impressive performance of Jason Hammel's spring was spoiled by one pitch to White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada.  Well, nearly spoiled.  —  “Save for the last pitch, it was a pretty good outing …
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Wilmer Flores crying over lack of set role with Mets  —  PORT ST. LUCIE — This isn't exactly what Wilmer Flores wanted.  The Mets' infielder, who broke into tears at the thought of being traded out of the organization two years ago, is not comfortable with his role, or more precisely, his lack of a consistent role.
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:
Mets' Steven Matz, who's focused on holding runners, finally picks one off  —  PORT ST. LUCIE — Steven Matz just reacted.  The lefthander allowed 20 stolen bases last season, contributing to the Mets' major-league-leading 135 bases stolen.  So he focused on trying to hold runners better this spring.
ESPN:
Michael Pineda learned English the hard way  —  TAMPA, Fla. — When New York Yankees starter Michael Pineda applied pine tar to his neck at Fenway Park three years ago, he might as well have added a “Kick Me” sign.  —  The oddity of the event, combined with the enormity of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry …
Discussion: FanRag Sports
Michael Rosenberg / SI.com:
Support System: Tom Crean may have fallen out of favor at Indiana, but his coaching family will be there to pick him up  —  Chris Mack, Archie Miller could land Indiana coaching job  — Indiana decided that Tom Crean no longer was the right coach to lead its program, but his coaching family is ready to support him.
 
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 More News: 
Eduardo A. Encina / Baltimore Sun:
Orioles release right-hander Logan Ondrusek
Discussion: FanRag Sports
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs starters cautious about plans for occasional six-man rotation
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Jeff Wilson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Profar, relievers among stars of Rangers' spring training
Roger Mooney / Tampa Bay Times:
Spin doctors: Pinpointing the reasons for a pitcher's success
 Earlier Picks: 
Fox Sports:
Surge at the 6-spot could signal end of the glove-first SS
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Michael Baumann / The Ringer:
The Quest to Determine the Second Best Pitcher in Baseball
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Bruce Schoenfeld / ESPN:
The complicated state of Haitian Dominicans in MLB
John Manuel / Baseball America:
2017 MLB Mock Draft: The First Ten
 

 
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