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Last Build Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 18:14:06 PST

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Harper homers, Ventura remembered, Bourn hurt (The Associated Press)

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 18:14:06 PST

Welcome to spring training, Bryce Harper. Harper hit a long solo homer and a single, helping the Washington Nationals to an 8-6 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Andrew Stevenson and Matt Skole also connected for Washington, and Gio Gonzalez struck out one in a scoreless first inning.



Royals and Rangers pay tribute to Yordano Ventura before spring opener (Big League Stew)

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:42:31 PST

Saturday was a bittersweet day in Surprise, Ariz. As the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers took the field for their Cactus League opener, there were mixed feelings and emotions. Sure, the excitement that’s always attached to the first spring training game was palpable.



Burns keeper of goldfish, mantis mascots (The Associated Press)

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:16:10 PST

Billy Burns keeps getting assigned to team mascot duty. When the Oakland Athletics first called up the outfielder in September 2014, he had to travel with a goldfish as part of his rookie hazing. ''I took it to all the clubhouses,'' Burns said.



FANTASY PLAYS: Sleeper picks for 2017 fantasy baseball (The Associated Press)

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:04:42 PST

Having a list of sleepers to queue up on draft day is not only an integral part of the draft prep process, it's a big part of what makes draft day fun. Davis' stock is down after losing 41 points in batting average and 103 points in slugging percentage in 2016. Soler has even bigger issues with making contact than Santana, but strikeouts were not a serious problem for him in his minor league career.



Cubs closer Wade Davis reunited with manager Joe Maddon (The Associated Press)

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 06:51:12 PST

Wade Davis was a promising starting pitcher when he made his major league debut for Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays almost eight years ago. Then he was a reliever, and then a starter again and then a reliever. Now he gets the ball from Maddon once again - only this time as the closer for the Chicago Cubs.



Orioles' Jones wants to do more than just get to playoffs (The Associated Press)

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:14:29 PST

Adam Jones and the Baltimore Orioles have been to the postseason three times in the past five years. Only once, in 2014 have the Orioles reached the American League Championship Series, and they were swept in four games by the Kansas City Royals. ''For us to be a very contending team and to get out of that first round and past that wild card, we need to improve,'' said Jones, a five-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner.



Royals hope Soria has a bounce-back season (The Associated Press)

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:46:03 PST

Joakim Soria shouldn't have any issue with confidence, not with 202 career saves. Only two relievers, Nate Jones of the White Sox and Tyler Thornburg of the Red Sox, had more blown saves in the American League. ''When he was pitching good, he was down in the zone and his timing was on and the confidence was there,'' Royals bullpen coach Doug Henry said as the club prepared for its spring training opener Saturday against Texas.



Shields still going, hits re-set button for White Sox (The Associated Press)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:22:52 PST

No one in Chicago White Sox camp is happier for a new season than James Shields. ''You're always learning, no matter how many years you've been in the game,'' Shields said Wednesday. Shields was 6-19 with a 5.85 ERA last year with San Diego and Chicago, including 4-12 with a 6.77 ERA in 22 starts for the White Sox.



World Baseball Classic 2017: Team China is just looking for a win (Big League Stew)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:56:22 PST

From now until the World Baseball Classic begins on March 6, we’ll be helping you get to know each team involved in baseball’s global tournament. As the 2017 World Baseball Classic is set to begin, Team China is keeping expectations low. Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Bruce Chen is the only player with major-league experience. There are some players on the roster who have minor-league experience, but none of them have a future in the majors.



Soler hopes to show Royals he can remain healthy (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 18:24:16 PST

Jorge Soler has made six trips to the disabled list since leaving Cuba and signing a $30 million, nine-year contract with the Chicago Cubs. Dealt in December to Kansas City for Royals closer Wade Davis, the outfielder hopes to show his new team he can stay healthy. ''It's very important for him to prove he can play every day,'' catching coach Pedro Grifol said as he translated for Soler.



MLB to push forward with process for rule changes (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 17:17:43 PST

Major League Baseball intends to push forward with the process that could lead to possible rule changes involving the strike zone, installation of pitch clocks and limits on trips to the pitcher's mound. While baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope the ongoing process would lead to an agreement, he said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract. Union head Tony Clark said last weekend he did not foresee players agreeing to proposed changes for 2017.



Royals working through grieving process after Ventura death (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:14:39 PST

Nearly a month after losing prized pitcher Yordano Ventura in a car accident, manager Ned Yost has thought about so much through all the pain and grief: What could the Kansas City Royals have possibly done to better support him? Yost and general manager Dayton Moore have spent hours discussing the loss of Ventura, and Moore had even offered Ventura the option to stay with him in Kansas City. It's a tough deal,'' Yost said.



New guy Jarrod Dyson to play key roles with Mariners (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:08:28 PST

Soon enough, Jarrod Dyson will be a vocal and emotional presence in the Seattle Mariners clubhouse. A former 50th-round pick, he spent the past seven seasons carving out a speed and outfield versatility role for himself on the Kansas City Royals. ''It's just my personality,'' Dyson said.



Super subs are now key players on pitching-dominated rosters (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:59:11 PST

The Atlanta Braves have two of them, in fact. Peterson can play second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions. Chase d'Arnaud does him one better, having added first base to his repertoire this spring.



World Baseball Classic 2017: Australia doesn't have stars but could play spoiler (Big League Stew)

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:50:39 PST

From now until the World Baseball Classic begins on March 6, we’ll be helping you get to know each team involved in baseball’s global tournament. Australia will not bring a star-studded team to the 2017 World Baseball Classic, but they will bring a team hopeful of making history. In their previous three WBC appearances, the Aussies were unable to advance beyond the first round of pool play.



Great expectations: Indians eye Series title after '16 run (The Associated Press)

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:31:14 PST

Above the small cactuses and flowering plants dotting the concrete-blocked plaza outside the doorway to Cleveland's training complex is a new sign that serves as both a reminder and motivator. The Indians have some unfinished business. One swing away from beating the Chicago Cubs in an epic World Series last year, the Indians, who pumped up their payroll to nearly $130 million by winning baseball's offseason with the surprise signing of free-agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion this winter, have their sights set on a return to the postseason - and this time winning it all.



Beltran returns to Houston in very different role (The Associated Press)

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:55:31 PST

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The last time Carlos Beltran shared a team with Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch they were playing together with the Royals in 2002.



Orioles' Machado practices at shortstop for world classic (The Associated Press)

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 13:50:15 PST

Before he leaves for the World Baseball Classic, Manny Machado is making the most of his short time at Baltimore Orioles camp. Machado, who was born in Miami, will play shortstop for the Dominican Republic in next month's WBC, and with the Orioles' everyday shortstop J.J. Hardy injured, he's getting to play as much short as he wants before his March 5 departure. ''I'm probably going to be playing 162 this year,'' Machado said.



Royals pitcher Maness opts for pioneer elbow surgery (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:27:33 PST

Kansas City Royals right-hander Seth Maness is like many pitchers in spring training, trying to earn a bullpen job. Maness opted to pass on Tommy John surgery to repair the right elbow that blew out last season and try a different procedure that could cut the recovery time significantly. It normally takes 12 to 18 months to return from the Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.



Yankees beat reliever Betances in final arbitration case (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 13:09:40 PST

New York Yankees president Randy Levine feels Dellin Betances was the victim of ''over the top demands based on very little sense of reality'' by his representatives at Friday's arbitration hearing won by the team. The Yankees beat Betances in the year's final salary arbitration case, and the relief pitcher will be paid $3 million rather than his $5 million request. ''What his agents did was make him a victim of an attempt to change a market place in baseball that has been well established for 30, 40 years, and I feel bad for him that he was used that way by his agents,'' Levine said Saturday after the decision was announced.



Pitcher Peter Moylan agrees to minor league deal with Royals (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:42:56 PST

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Right-hander Peter Moylan has agreed to a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals and will report to major league spring training.



Kansas City Royals have 4 candidates for second base job (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:34:32 PST

Christian Colon spent the offseason training with Kansas City Royal teammate Alex Gordon, who is known for his maniacal workouts. Manager Ned Yost listed four candidates for the job: Whit Merrifield, Cheslor Cuthbert, Raul Mondesi and Colon.



Ventura toxicology report treated as private (Reuters)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:31:40 PST

(Reuters) - The toxicology report on Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura following his fatal car crash will be released only to his family and attorneys, leaving the Major League Baseball (MLB) club wondering if they are obligated to pay the rest of his contract. Dominicans authorities told the Kansas City Star on Thursday that the toxicology report is not considered a public document. “Autopsies are performed by law to any person who has died violently,” Tessie Sanchez, spokeswoman for the Dominican attorney general's office wrote in Spanish in a text message to The Star.



Baseball-Ventura toxicology report treated as private (Reuters)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:20:34 PST

The toxicology report on Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura following his fatal car crash will be released only to his family and attorneys, leaving the Major League Baseball (MLB) club wondering if they are obligated to pay the rest of his contract. Dominicans authorities told the Kansas City Star on Thursday that the toxicology report is not considered a public document. “Autopsies are performed by law to any person who has died violently,” Tessie Sanchez, spokeswoman for the Dominican attorney general's office wrote in Spanish in a text message to The Star.



Yordano Ventura's toxicology report won't be released to public (Big League Stew)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:22:50 PST

Toxicology reports on Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura will only be released to his family and attorneys, according to the Kansas City Star. Ventura, 25, died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in late January. On Thursday, Tessie Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the Dominican attorney general’s office, said the toxicology report is not a public document.



Ventura toxicology report won't be released to public (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 06:58:50 PST

The toxicology report on Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura won't be released to the public following his death last month in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic. Tessie Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the Dominican attorney general's office, said the toxicology report is not a public document, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2ldVdLC ) reported Thursday. The findings only will be released to Ventura's family and attorneys.



Gibbons, Blue Jays have higher hopes (The Associated Press)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:49:51 PST

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is determined to guide his team into its third consecutive AL Championship Series. Recent flirtations with a pennant were satisfying for a franchise that failed to reach the postseason even once after winning a pair of consecutive World Series titles nearly a quarter-century ago. Gibbons wants greater satisfaction.



Travis Wood, Royals finalize $12M, 2-year deal (The Associated Press)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:28:46 PST

Travis Wood wanted to start, and the Kansas City Royals had a need. The 30-year-old left-hander and the Royals finalized a $12 million, two-year contract Wednesday. Coming off a World Series title with the Chicago Cubs, Wood hopes to earn a starting slot in a rotation shaken by the death of Yordano Ventura in a car accident.



High hopes as always in first spring training workouts (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:30:29 PST

Even for an accomplished veteran like Justin Verlander, the start of spring training can be special. Verlander's Tigers were among 15 teams with their first scheduled workouts for pitchers and catchers Tuesday. As major leaguers took the field in Florida and Arizona, that familiar sound of balls popping into mitts served as a reminder that in baseball at least, winter is finally over.



The first weird injury of spring training is here: A Royals pitcher fell through his barn (Big League Stew)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:09:39 PST

Spring training is upon us, which means baseball fans can count on a few things: Unrealistic enthusiasm about bad teams, questionable Twitter pictures from beat writers and — the best thing of all — weird injuries. Flynn, a 26-year-old vying for a spot in the Royals bullpen, is out eight weeks because … wait for it … he fell through the roof of his barn.