MLB Rumors: MLB position battle

Position battle: Diamondbacks SS 

March, 21, 2014
Mar 21
9:17
AM ET
It's been a back-and-forth battle for much of the spring, but with the Arizona Diamondbacks involved in games that count this weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia, the time has come for a decision to be made in this shortstop competition... or has it?

Position battle: Red Sox CF 

March, 20, 2014
Mar 20
1:45
PM ET
It's 2014. Jacoby Ellsbury has gone to the New York Yankees, and while Shane Victorino and Daniel Nava are both scheduled to get some reps in Ellsbury's old stomping grounds over the next week of games for the Boston Red Sox, neither one of them is expected to end up as the team's everyday center fielder.

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Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams threw a curveball in the competition for the team's fifth-starter role Monday when he decided to have Ross Detwiler start the season in the bullpen. The Nationals had been tossing around the idea of using Detwiler in relief, and the decision may have been made easier by the lefthander's lackluster spring performance thus far; opposing hitters had a .412 batting average against the southpaw in Grapefruit League play. But with less than two weeks to go until Opening Day, three pitchers remain in the hunt:

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Back in February, ESPN.com's Buster Olney said that the Arizona Diamondbacks have "a good ol' fashioned showdown" on their hands this spring for their starting shortstop job, and whoever wins "bears a lot of responsibility, considering how the D-Backs have loaded up and taken their payroll over $100 million." It's now mid-March, and the winner of that competition may finally be in sight.

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Position battle: Orioles second base 

March, 16, 2014
Mar 16
12:17
PM ET
The oft-injured Brian Roberts, who for years the Baltimore Orioles would turn to at the second base position when healthy, is no longer with the team; he's with the New York Yankees trying to fill Robinson Cano's shoes. While the footprint Roberts leaves behind in Baltimore is much smaller than Cano's, there's still a need for someone to step up and claim the everyday role.

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Position battle: Rangers closer 

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
12:26
PM ET
Last season, Joe Nathan saved 43 games for the Texas Rangers. This season, he won't save any, as the reliever opted for free agency and will now be closing out victories for the Detroit Tigers. That leaves manager Ron Washington with a problem that needs solving, and so far this spring, he's yet to find a solution.

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The Minnesota Twins are believed to have made an offer to free-agent pitcher Ervin Santana to help improve a rotation that currently looks likely to include Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey. However, in the event Santana decides against accepting the Twins offer, the identity of the team's final starter remains unknown.

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Position battle: Orioles second base 

March, 11, 2014
Mar 11
11:28
AM ET
The oft-injured Brian Roberts, who for years the Baltimore Orioles would turn to at the second base position when healthy, is no longer with the team; he's with the New York Yankees trying to fill Robinson Cano's shoes. While the footprint Roberts leaves behind in Baltimore is much smaller than Cano's, there's still a need for someone to step up and claim the everyday role.

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Alex Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million contract, it was assumed that he would be the everyday second baseman for the defending National League West champs. However, the Cuban import has yet to impress this spring, and there's an ever-growing chance Guerrero won't start the season with the major league team.

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Several teams, including the New York Yankees, have been keeping their eye on the Milwaukee Brewers and how their battle at second base plays out this spring in the hopes of potentially making a play for the loser of that duel (assuming both players look worthy of starting). How are things looking so far? Let's take a look.

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The names may change, but the Braves remain a franchise that relies heavily on its starting pitching rotation. Atlanta starters ranked fifth in the majors in ERA among starting pitchers last season (3.51), and GM Frank Wren made news earlier this spring by signing Julio Teheran to a long-term deal. The big question this spring is whether another young phenom can outpitch a 37-year-old veteran for the fifth spot in the rotation.

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Position battle: Dodgers 2B 

March, 2, 2014
Mar 2
11:31
AM ET
When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Alex Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million contract, it was assumed that he would be the everyday second baseman for the defending National League West champs. However, the Cuban import has yet to impress enough this spring, and there's even an outside chance Guerrero won't start the season with the major league team.

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Position battle: White Sox closer 

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
11:19
AM ET
With Addison Reed having been traded to Arizona, the Chicago White Sox enter this spring without a clear-cut favorite to replace the pitcher who successfully closed out 40 games for the team in 2013. Pitching coach Don Cooper has said he expects one pitcher to eventually "step up and set himself apart" and win the job outright before the start of the 2014 season.

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Position battle: Indians 3B 

February, 23, 2014
Feb 23
12:33
PM ET
With the emergence of Yan Gomes behind the plate, the Cleveland Indians are now faced with the problem of finding a spot in the lineup on an everyday basis for Carlos Santana. The question the team is asking this spring is whether or not that spot is at third base.

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Position battle: Rockies left field 

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
1:52
PM ET
The Colorado Rockies enter spring training with a pretty good sense of their starter at every position with the exception of one -- left field. In the words of Rockies' longtime beat writer Troy Renck of The Denver Post, "the competition in left field will be one of the best storylines this spring."

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