Detroit Tigers prospect Riley Greene is starting to make it hard for people to forget him
LAKELAND, Fla. — Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire looked at the lineup card and noticed a problem.Riley Greene, the Tigers’ first-round draft pick, was on the bench and there were only 3½ innings left to play Tuesday afternoon against the New York Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium.“Mac almost forgot to put him into the game,” Gardenhire said laughing, teasing bench coach Lloyd McClendon. “Mac had everybody else in the game.”Gardenhire pointed at his lineup card.“Ah, Greene,” Gardenhire said.“Oh, crap,” McClendon said. (All right, that might not be his exact comment, but it’s close).So Greene...
Detroit Free Press
After an up-and-down season, Jose Quintana hopes fixing his changeup can lead to a successful 2020 with the Cubs
MESA, Ariz. — Jose Quintana’s name usually is accompanied with a sigh or wince when Cubs fans recall that top prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease were traded to acquire the left-hander from the White Sox.But Quintana merely is concerned with providing consistency in what could be his final season with the Cubs.“First, I want to be happy with what I’m doing on the mound,” Quintana said Wednesday after throwing a bullpen session. “I want to get my career in a good spot and show all the fans at Wrigley how I can be.“I want everyone to feel excited when I’m on the mound.”Quintana has plenty of ...
Royals pitcher Scott Blewett took a step back in Omaha but learned from failure
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Kansas City Royals tall right-hander Scott Blewett had never gotten hammered before like he did last year by Triple-A hitters in the Pacific Coast League.Blewett continued to pick himself up, dust himself off and make starts for the Omaha Storm Chasers for the majority of the season. Eventually, the organization sent him back down to Double-A in early August. That’s where he finished the 2019 season. While it was a tough pill to swallow at the time, he believes he’ll emerge a better pitcher.“Last year was a learning curve, I guess that’s really the only way you can really loo...
The Kansas City Star
Michael Rand: As Twins talk of World Series, should you get your hopes up?
MINNEAPOLIS — From 2011-2019, the question going into the season regarding the Twins was essentially, “Are they good?” (For a few years in the earlier part of last decade, you probably had to dial that back to, “Are the Twins decent?”)What makes 2020 particularly interesting is that we are starting from a different place and asking a different question. After a 101-win season and several notable offseason acquisitions, we know the Twins are good. The question instead is this: “How good are they?”The baseline expectation is that the Twins will win the AL Central as prohibitive favorites — even ...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Why a 'narrow' approach will expand Steven Duggar's chances with the Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — In the spring after the Giants traded for third baseman Evan Longoria and outfielder Andrew McCutchen, all eyes in Scottsdale were trained on a player who had yet to make his major league debut.Giants fans desperately wanted to see young prospect Steven Duggar seize the starting center field job in 2018, and despite limited opportunities, Duggar played his way into the conversation.With a tough early schedule featuring matchups with several left-handed starters, the club ultimately elected to send Duggar to Triple-A Sacramento to open the year. At the time, manager Bruce Bo...
The Mercury News
Yankees' Stanton shut down with right calf strain, might not be ready by Opening Day
TAMPA, Fla. — Giancarlo Stanton is out with a strained right calf and the Yankees are concerned the outfielder will not be ready for Opening Day.“He could be up against it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday.It was the second straight day of injury hits for the Yankees. Luis Severino was lost for the season when they announced Tuesday he would need Tommy John surgery.Stanton played just 18 regular-season games last season because of a long list of injuries. He suffered a biceps injury, shoulder issue, calf strain and knee issue. In the playoffs he missed games with a right quad strain...
New York Daily News
Emily Nemens' memories of Seattle-area baseball inspired her irresistible first novel, 'The Cactus League'
SEATTLE — Emily Nemens grew up in Seattle and loved going to baseball games with her dad. She remembers Mariners games at the Kingdome — “I have distinct memories of Ken Griffey Jr.’s rookie year” — and, on sunny days, going to Tacoma to watch the Rainiers play. When she was in middle school, she and her father started going to spring training in Arizona to watch the Mariners play in Peoria; they didn’t make it every year, but “often enough that it became a ritual, a routine.”Years later, that ritual inspired Nemens’ irresistible first novel, “The Cactus League,” set among “the carnival that I...
The Seattle Times
Move over Madison Bumgarner, Rangers' farm has its own calf roping pitcher
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Texas Rangers top pitching prospect Taylor Hearn has known for a while that Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner has been competitively calf roping for years under a pseudonym, because Hearn is a roper himself.“Yeah, he blew my cover,” Hearn said Monday morning.News broke from The Athletic on Sunday night that Bumgarner has been roping for years under the name “Mason Saunders.” The story is a big deal because it involves one of the better pitchers in baseball, and such activity could be (probably?) a violation of his contract with the Diamondbacks.Hearn is kidding t...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Bryce Harper on new-look Phillie Phanatic: 'Everybody needs a glam up'
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Bryce Harper may still be the main attraction at Phillies camp, but the outfielder is sharing some attention this spring with the Phillie Phanatic, whose new look has caused mixed reviews as the team continues to wage a legal battle to keep its iconic mascot.Harper made his Grapefruit League debut on Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after the creators of the Phanatic slammed the furry green mascot’s new look as an affront to their intellectual property rights. The Phillies altered the mascot’s look this spring as a response to an ongoing federal court battle with Bonnie Ericks...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Paul Sullivan: White Sox should make Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal their 1-2 punch
GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s understandable the White Sox plan to go into the season with Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada flip-flopping in the leadoff spot and No. 2 hole.If the Sox are ready to compete, as most expect, every game will matter from Opening Day on. So it makes perfect sense to insert a couple of experienced bats up top and let Luis Robert settle into the majors batting lower in the lineup.But the 1-2 punch of the future is likely Robert and fellow rookie Nick Madrigal, and the sooner the Sox go that route, the better off they’ll be.Madrigal had a .395 on-base percentage against right-ha...