MLB Player News

  • Rockies' Charlie Blackmon: Expected to be primary DH

    Blackmon is expected to serve as the Rockies' primary designated hitter in 2024, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports.

    Blackmon signed a one-year, $13 million extension with the Rockies just before the close of the 2023 campaign. Given that financial commitment, he's expected to keep a significant role on the team. Blackmon has stated a desire to play regularly in right field, but manager Bud Black is prioritizing carefully managing the veteran's workload.

  • Cubs' Christopher Morel: Starts spring with homer

    Morel went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in Friday's Cactus League game against the White Sox.

    Morel started at third base, which is where he's slated to see most of his playing time, at least in the early going. The 24-year-old got off to a flying start in the power department last season and now has his spring campaign started on the right foot as well. If Morel sees regular time at the hot corner and can build on the positives from his 2023 campaign, a big 2024 could be in store.

  • Mike Ford DH | CIN

    Reds' Mike Ford: Joins Cincy on MiLB deal

    Ford signed a minor-league contract with the Reds on Friday that includes an invite to big-league camp, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.

    Ford had a .228/.323/.475 slash line with 16 home runs in 84 games with the Mariners last season before being cut loose in November. The Reds already have a logjam of quality bats, so Ford is unlikely to see much playing time even if he manages to crack the big-league roster.

  • Shohei Ohtani DH | LAD

    Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani: Spring debut could be next week

    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Thursday that Ohtani (elbow) could make his Cactus League debut next week, Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times reports.

    While Ohtani will be held out of game action through the weekend as he eases into things following right elbow surgery, his spring debut isn't far off. It would still give the designated hitter about three weeks of game action ahead of the Dodgers' March 20-21 series in South Korea against the Padres.

  • Shohei Ohtani DH | LAD

    Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani: Set for live batting practice

    Ohtani (elbow) will take live batting practice Monday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.

    There seems to have been some confusion over the last few days as to when Ohtani was taking live BP, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has confirmed that it will be Monday. It will be the first time Ohtani has faced live pitching since he underwent surgery on his right elbow in September.

  • Shohei Ohtani DH | LAD

    Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani: Not yet taking live BP

    Ohtani was originally scheduled to take live batting practice Sunday, but he won't do so after all, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.

    Ardaya reported earlier Sunday that Ohtani would be facing Michael Grove in a live batting practice session, but that plan has apparently been scrapped. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts insisted that the change of direction has nothing to do with Ohanti's health and suggested that the slugger is simply being given the freedom to direct his own schedule. Ohtani has been taking normal batting practice and may do so again Sunday, per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.

  • Cubs' Christopher Morel: To focus on playing third base

    Cubs manager Craig Counsell said Saturday that he wants Morel to concentrate on playing third base to begin spring training, Maddie Lee of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

    Counsell remains open to Morel's role changing over time but emphasized giving Morel consistency from the beginning of camp. Morel played just five games at third base last season, with most of his starts coming between DH, the outfield and second base. A move to third base for Morel would likely spell fewer at-bats for Nick Madrigal while opening the door for Matt Mervis or Michael Busch to see opportunities at DH.

  • Jesse Winker DH | WAS

    Nationals' Jesse Winker: Healthy to begin spring

    Winker says his struggles last season were due to a prolonged recovery from multiple surgeries in the prior offseason, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.

    The 30-year-old underwent knee surgery in October 2022 and followed it up with disc replacement surgery in his neck, so it's perhaps not surprising in retrospect that he never seemed comfortable at the plate in 2023. "I think the recovery was a little bit harder than I thought it was going to be," Winker said Friday. "It took me a little bit longer than I thought, but I think I'm in a really good spot now. For me, that's all that matters. Obviously, I learned a lot going through those, and I'm happy I did." Winker signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals last week as he looks to make a comeback, and he posted a .305/.394/.556 slash line in 110 games for the Reds as recently as 2021. If he is 100 percent healthy again, he could quickly move into a regular role as the primary DH on a Washington roster in dire need of offense.

  • Shohei Ohtani DH | LAD

    Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani: Live BP scheduled for next week

    Ohtani (elbow) is scheduled to take live batting practice next week, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.

    It had been reported that Ohtani would take live BP on Friday, but evidently that was a scheduling snafu. The two-way superstar has been hitting this week without restrictions and is almost ready to face live pitching for the first time since September surgery on his right elbow.

  • Shohei Ohtani DH | LAD

    Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani: Taking live BP Friday

    Ohtani (elbow) is slated to take live batting practice Friday, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.

    Ohtani has been hitting on the field without issue this week and is ready to take the next step. Working his way back from an internal brace procedure on his right elbow, Ohtani is on track to be ready to serve as the Dodgers' designated hitter when they open their season March 20-21 in South Korea.

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