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2:15 AM ET, March 15, 2019

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 Top News: 
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 eying different goals as opening day nears  —  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
Discussion: South Side Sox
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
RELATED:
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  — Yasiel Puig isn't entirely bitter about his departure from the Dodgers, but the polarizing Reds outfielder is unafraid of saying that trading him was a mistake and an insult.
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 …
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
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 …
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
Daily Record:
Masahiro Tanaka is headed in the right direction toward Yankees' opening day start  —  TAMPA, Fla. — Above all, Masahiro Tanaka felt that Wednesday's start gave him an indication that things are moving in the right direction.  —  Nearly two weeks away from his scheduled opening day start …
RELATED:
Pete Caldera / USA Today:   Bryce Harper: ‘Never heard’ from Yankees, New York unlikely after Giancarlo Stanton trade
Associated Press:
Harper goes 0-for-2 against Yankees' Tanaka
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 …
RELATED:
Tim Healey / Newsday:
Mets' Todd Frazier, Jed Lowrie likely won't be ready for start of regular season
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
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 …
Discussion: MLB Baseball News …
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 …
RELATED:
Jeff Passan / ESPN:
Sources: MLB, union agree to 1 trade deadline
Rob Bradford / WEEI:
Nathan Eovaldi explains why there was little doubt he would land back with Red Sox  —  Nathan Eovaldi has been one of the revelations of Red Sox camp thus far.  And to think some thought it would be a longshot that the pitcher would actually find himself living life in Fort Myers this time of year.
Discussion: NBCSports.com and NESN.com
RELATED:
Justin Leger / NBCSports.com:
Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi doesn't miss a beat in spring debut
Discussion: Over the Monster, The Athletic and WEEI
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. …
Discussion: MLB Baseball 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 …
Don Brennan / Toronto Sun:
CHEAPSEATS: Improved discipline at the plate paying off for Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez  —  DUNEDIN, Fla. — Teoscar Hernandez did absolutely nothing at the plate on Thursday.  —  He didn't hit, he didn't walk.  And, for the first time in 11 Grapefruit League games, he did not even reach base.
Associated Press:
Tigers shelve RHP Fulmer to work on mechanics  —  LAKELAND, Fla. — Detroit Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer will not pitch in games in the near future, focusing on lower-body mechanics.  —  “He took a step back to refine his lower-body mechanics,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said after Thursday's 4-4 tie with Boston.
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Bader to lead off; Fowler bats third in Cards' game vs. Mets  —  JUPITER, Fla.  • The Cardinals, who are averaging under four runs a game this spring, are resting several regulars for Thursday's exhibition with the New York Mets but the top four names in the lineup are familiar ones.
RELATED:
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Hits remain scarce for Cardinals
Discussion: Viva El Birdos
 
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 More News: 
Jason Henry / Orange County Register:
Santa Anita announces tighter rules on medication, whips in wake of 22nd horse death
Discussion: Daily Breeze and SGV Tribune
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Watch Hunter Pence and Joey Gallo battle in ‘Game of Thrones’
Matthew Florjancic / WKYC-TV:
Former Indians OF Coco Crisp signs one-game contract with Lake Erie Crushers
Keith Law / ESPN:
Former top-10 pick Carter Stewart having delivery issues
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
Kelly Doyle / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
This Rangers pitcher has over 45,000 Instagram followers and jokes for days
 Earlier Picks: 
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Ben Zobrist bats leadoff and Yu Darvish faces former teammates as the Cubs take on the Rangers
Dave Clark / Cincinnati.com:
Cincinnati Reds' ‘Born to Baseball’ videos feature Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin
Evan Grant / Dallas Morning 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
Bill Baer / NBCSports.com:
Collin McHugh calls out White Sox for manipulating Eloy Jiménez's service time
Lynn Worthy / Kansas City Star:
Royals not taking catching for granted as they groom M.J. Melendez, Sebastian Rivero
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Ed Potton / The Times & The Sunday Times:
Barbra Streisand at 76: dog cloning, art collecting and being a grandma

TMZ.com:
Jordyn Woods Causes Massive Scene with Paparazzi

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

 
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