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5:35 PM ET, March 14, 2019

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Coley Harvey / ESPN:
Is Estevan Florial ‘a young Bernie Williams’ or a future bust?  —  TAMPA, Fla. — When the prospect rankers began unveiling their annual lists of baseball's best up-and-comers, a common theme emerged regarding one of the New York Yankees' prized players.  —  Estevan Florial …
RELATED:
Daily Record:
Yankees' Dellin Betances feels he's headed in the right direction  —  Yankees' Dellin Betances gives up a triple in exhibition game vs. Pirates at Tampa, during another rocky spring training outing  —  DUNEDIN, Fla. — Away from the crowds, absent of a scoreboard flashing radar gun readings …
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:   Dellin Betances' pitching arm is ‘normal’ despite his lack of spring training play
Pete Caldera / Daily Record:
Yankees lineup: A revised look at the potential opening day batting order
Discussion: Pinstripe Alley
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Sources: MLB, union agree to 1 trade deadline  —  A single trade deadline and an All-Star Game Election Day will be implemented in 2019 while roster expansion will happen in 2020 as part of a deal Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are set to announce Thursday, sources familiar with the agreement told ESPN.
RELATED:
Andy McCullough / Los Angeles Times:
MLB eliminates multiple trade deadlines, 40-man September rosters  —  After a winter of bickering about the distribution of the sport's wealth, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Assn. announced a series of rule changes to be made over the next two seasons …
Associated Press:
Harper goes 0-for-2 against Yankees' Tanaka  —  TAMPA, Fla. — Bryce Harper went 0-for-2 against New York Yankees Opening Day starter Masahiro Tanaka on Wednesday night in his third spring training game, and first on the road, since signing baseball's biggest contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Discussion: Daily Journal
RELATED:
Pete Caldera / USA Today:   Bryce Harper: ‘Never heard’ from Yankees, New York unlikely after Giancarlo Stanton trade
Daily Record:   Masahiro Tanaka is headed in the right direction toward Yankees' opening day start
Kristie Ackert / New York Daily News:   Closing the Yankees, Bryce Harper chapter that never was
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Hits remain scarce for Cardinals  —  • All was well with the Cardinals' offense.  Cleanup man Marcell Ozuna (one for 20) doubled his hit total with a single and a double Wednesday.  “I liked Ozuna's day quite a bit,” manager Mike Shildt said.  —  The Cardinals showed they could manufacture …
Discussion: Viva El Birdos
RELATED:
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Bader to lead off; Fowler bats third in Cards' game vs. Mets
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   JUPITER, Fla.  • For the seventh time in 19 spring games, the Cardinals scored two runs …
David Schoenfield / ESPN:
Predicting the next top-100 player for all 30 teams  —  This won't shock you if you have last year's standings memorized, but the premium talent in baseball isn't exactly spread evenly across the sport.  The Yankees had nine players crack the MLB Rank top 100, the Astros had seven …
Discussion: NESN.com
Eddie Matz / ESPN:
Life after Harper?  Juan Soto can be what Bryce was ... and more  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — If you think Juan Soto is feeling pressure, think again.  —  Last May, Soto exploded onto the scene as a 19-year-old outfielder with the Washington Nationals.  Due to injuries in D.C. …
Bob Nightengale / Corpus Christi Caller-Times:
MLB's new rule could force pitching specialists to become extinct  —  MESA, Ariz. — The left-handed relief pitchers, particularly the specialists, fear it will cost them their jobs.  —  The managers believe it will ruin strategy.  —  And baseball traditionalists despise it.
RELATED:
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:   MLB's new rule could force pitching specialists to become extinct
Dave Sheinin / Chicago Tribune:
Manny Machado and the Padres already feels like a solid marriage  —  Photos of Manny Machado, one of the top free agents this season.  —  The Washington Post  —  The world at large, the greater baseball community and the members of the 2019 San Diego Padres all found out at roughly the same time …
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Ben Zobrist bats leadoff and Yu Darvish faces former teammates as the Cubs take on the Rangers  —  Cubs pitcher Jon Lester discusses the struggles he experienced in a spring training game against the Athletics on March 13, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz.  —  Chicago Tribune
RELATED:
Mark Gonzales / Baltimore Sun:   Cubs may need to rely on a more complete Carl Edwards Jr. with Pedro Strop's status uncertain
Tim Healey / Newsday:
Mets' Todd Frazier, Jed Lowrie likely won't be ready for start of regular season  —  PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets haven't publicly acknowledged that Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie won't be ready for the start of the regular season, but it's probably safe for everybody else to.
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
RELATED:
Deesha Thosar / New York Daily News:
This pitcher could be one of the Mets' deadliest bullpen weapons
Discussion: Beyond the Box Score
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:
Former Indians OF Coco Crisp signs one-game contract with Lake Erie Crushers  —  Former Cleveland Indians outfielder Coco Crisp will play one game for the Lake Erie Crushers during the 2019 season.  —  CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland Indians outfielder Coco Crisp is set for a return to the baseball diamond, for a limited engagement.
Keith Law / ESPN:
Former top-10 pick Carter Stewart having delivery issues  —  Right-hander Carter Stewart was No. 2 on my draft board last spring and went No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Braves in the 2018 draft, but didn't sign with the team after a disagreement over something that arose in his post-draft physical.
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Watch Hunter Pence and Joey Gallo battle in ‘Game of Thrones’  —  When Tim Dillard's baseball career is over he has a second career waiting for him at FunnyOrDie.com.  —  The 35-year-old right-hander has a large online following (more than 45,000 followers on Twitter) for his wacky, comedic videos starring among others, his teammates.
Justin Leger / NBCSports.com:
Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi doesn't miss a beat in spring debut  —  Nathan Eovaldi made his spring debut on Wednesday and picked up right where he left off last October.  —  The Red Sox right-hander tossed three innings against the Twins, allowing one hit (a solo home run), walking one, and striking out another.
RELATED:
Rob Bradford / WEEI:
How Dave Dombrowski views Red Sox bullpen blueprint
 
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 More News: 
Associated Press:
Chacin to start Brewers' opener against Cards
Kelly Doyle / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
This Rangers pitcher has over 45,000 Instagram followers and jokes for days
Dave Clark / Cincinnati.com:
Cincinnati Reds' ‘Born to Baseball’ videos feature Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin
Evan Grant / Dallas-Fort Worth Sports News:
Writing college papers in full uniform?  That's just one step in Chris Woodward's path to becoming Rangers manager
Gabe Lacques / USA Today:
MLB 2019: Two weeks from Opening Day, what to watch as spring training hits home stretch
Discussion: NorthJersey.com
Susan Slusser / San Francisco Chronicle:
A's finish Cactus League play, head to Japan
 Earlier Picks: 
Bill Baer / NBCSports.com:
Collin McHugh calls out White Sox for manipulating Eloy Jiménez's service time
Discussion: The Crawfish Boxes
Lynn Worthy / Kansas City Star:
Royals not taking catching for granted as they groom M.J. Melendez, Sebastian Rivero
Don Brennan / Toronto Sun:
Blue Jays name Marcus Stroman opening day starter
Joey Kaufman / Daily News:
Jaylen Hands' big night helps UCLA top Stanford in Pac-12 tourney opener
ESPN:
Angels' Heaney shut down with inflamed elbow
Bobby Nightengale / Cincinnati.com:
Answering the FAQs around Cincinnati Reds spring training: Will Nick Senzel start in center?
Discussion: Red Reporter
 

 
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TMZ.com:
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People.com:
Porsha Williams Is a Mom! RHOA Star and Fiancé Dennis McKinley Welcome a Daughter

 
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