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11:05 AM ET, March 15, 2019

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Associated Press:
Dodgers' Seager plays SS for 1st time since April  —  GLENDALE, Ariz. — Corey Seager played shortstop in a game for the first time since April 29, logging three innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a minor league exhibition.  —  The 2016 NL Rookie of the Year had surgery May 4 to repair …
RELATED:
Jorge Castillo / Los Angeles Times:
Dodgers' split squads defeat Reds and Padres at spring training  —  Dodgers 3, Cincinnati 3 (SS)  —  Dodgers 12, San Diego 0  —  ON THE MOUND: Hyun-Jin Ryu started the first game against the Reds and gave up two runs on five hits in four innings before throwing a simulated inning in the bullpen.
Discussion: True Blue LA
Jon Tayler / Sports Illustrated:
The Tao of Yasiel Puig: The Reds' New Star Riffs on Bat Flips, Life and His Rocky End With the Dodgers
Adam Grosbard / Orange County Register:
Jordan Roberts' game-winner completes Long Beach State's comeback win over Hawaii at Big West Tournament  —  ANAHEIM — An 18-point deficit in the opening minutes seemed to spell doom for Long Beach State against Hawaii in the Big West Tournament quarterfinals Thursday night.
RELATED:
Bob Keisser / Orange County Register:
UC Irvine rides stingy defense past UC Riverside, into Big West tourney semifinals  —  ANAHEIM — Some teams play tough defense because it's a necessity.  UC Irvine plays defense because it loves the sound of breaking an opponent's heart.  —  That has been the Anteaters' style since Russell …
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Another strong outing for Wacha, who might be in Cards camp for last time  —  JUPITER, Fla.  • Michael Wacha seems to be having more fun in the Cardinals' clubhouse this spring than he probably ever has.  —  Part of that surely could attest to his side feeling good …
RELATED:
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Cardinals narrow their focus to Hudson vs. Gant for final rotation spot  —  JUPITER, Fla.  • With the Cardinals' search for a fifth starter narrowing and innings starting to vanish in Grapefruit League games, righthander John Gant went to the back fields for the team called a “reboot” of his schedule.
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Theo Epstein is impressed by the Cubs' bullpen depth, and they'll need it after so many injuries  —  Who does what for the Cubs?  A look at the franchise's organizational flowchart, from the front office to the dugout to the bullpen.  —  Chicago Tribune  —  After their pleas …
RELATED:
Paul Sullivan / Chicago Tribune:
Column: Win now and win later: The Cubs and White Sox are eyeing different goals as opening day nears  —  Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish discusses his struggles with his fastball after a spring training game against the Rangers on March 14, 2019, in Mesa, Ariz.  —  Chicago Tribune
Discussion: South Side Sox
Mark Zuckerman / Nationals Pastime:
Taylor injures left knee making diving catch (updated)  —  FORT MYERS, Fla. - Michael A. Taylor was forced to prematurely depart today's exhibition game in the third inning, shortly after the Nationals center fielder injured his left knee making a diving catch.
Discussion: Federal Baseball
RELATED:
David Schoenfield / ESPN:
Predicting the next top-100 player for all 30 teams
Discussion: NESN.com
Eddie Matz / ESPN:
Life after Harper? Juan Soto can be what Bryce was ... and more
Discussion: NBCSports.com
Tim Healey / Newsday:
Zack Wheeler picking up where he left off for Mets  —  JUPITER, Fla. — Long on talent and short on on-field production for years, Zack Wheeler reached another level last summer, posting a 1.59 ERA in his last 10 starts and consistently pitching into the late innings.
RELATED:
Mike Puma / New York Post:   Mets backup shows why he is a ‘dangerous weapon to have’
Charlotte Knights / The Charlotte Observer:
Gabriel Burns: Why can't Ronald Acuna be the 2019 MVP?  —  BY GABRIEL BURNS THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION  —  Tuesday was the typical afternoon for Ronald Acuna.  Before homering in his second consecutive game, he drew oohs and awes in batting practice, twice putting balls over the mountainous scoreboard in center field.
Discussion: Talking Chop
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:
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
5 takeaways from Cubs spring training, including the future of left-handed specialists …
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:   MLB's new rule could force pitching specialists to become extinct
Bradford Doolittle / ESPN:
Can anyone catch Mike Trout as baseball's best player?  —  play  —  Mike Trout has been baseball's consensus best player for a long time now.  That was reflected this week in the unveiling of our annual MLB Rank Top 100, which once again placed Trout at the top of the heap.
New York / Boston Globe:
MLB changes All-Star selection process and pace-of-play rules for 2019  —  PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — In a tangible sign of cooperation between the commissioner's office and a skeptical players' association, MLB and the union announced several rule changes Thursday that will affect the trading deadline …
Deesha Thosar / New York Daily News:
The Pete Alonso Dilemma: games in April count as much as games in September  —  PORT ST. LUCIE — Pete Alonso is the type of slugger Mets fans would pay to see from Opening Day to the end of his tenure.  —  The reality is, if the Mets hold Alonso in the minors until a few weeks into the regular season …
Ken Davidoff / New York Post:
What Judge, Yankees think about HR Derby winner getting $1 million  —  TAMPA — A pinstriped update on the 2019 Home Run Derby, in the wake of Thursday's announcement there will be $2.5 million in prize money, including $1 million for the winner, added to the proceedings:  —Aaron Judge is very likely out.
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Joe Noga / Plain Dealer:
Which of the new MLB rules changes will impact the Cleveland Indians the most?  —  CLEVELAND, Ohio — Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced Thursday sweeping rules changes that will be implemented in the next two seasons.  But how will the announced new rules impact …
Discussion: Let's Go Tribe
RELATED:
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:   Former Indians OF Coco Crisp signs one-game contract with Lake Erie Crushers
 
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 More News: 
Adam Jude / The Seattle Times:
A bromance blooms between Mariners prospects Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Why do managers and coaches sit outside the dugout during spring training games?
Don Brennan / Toronto Sun:
Improved discipline at plate paying off for Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez
Jason Henry / Orange County Register:
Santa Anita announces tighter rules on medication, whips in wake of 22nd horse death
Associated Press:
Tigers shelve RHP Fulmer to work on mechanics
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Watch Hunter Pence and Joey Gallo battle in ‘Game of Thrones’
 Earlier Picks: 
Keith Law / ESPN:
Former top-10 pick Carter Stewart having delivery issues
Andy McCullough / Los Angeles Times:
MLB eliminates multiple trade deadlines, 40-man September rosters
Daily Record:
Yankees' Dellin Betances feels he's headed in the right direction
Associated Press:
Chacin to start Brewers' opener against Cards
Discussion: Brew Crew Ball
Daily Record:
Masahiro Tanaka is headed in the right direction toward Yankees' opening day start
Dave Sheinin / Chicago Tribune:
Manny Machado and the Padres already feels like a solid marriage
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
Coley Harvey / ESPN:
Is Estevan Florial ‘a young Bernie Williams’ or a future bust?
 

 
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