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Angels catcher Martin Maldonado knows the value of a good presentation

The value of major league catchers’ ability to frame pitches has  become clearer in recent seasons, and one of the stars of that movement was Jonathan Lucroy, the longtime Milwaukee Brewer. By some measurements, Lucroy’s ability to favorably present pitches to umpires saved as much as 50 runs over...

  • Whether on the mound or for refugees in need, relief is a calling for the A's' Sean Doolittle

    Whether on the mound or for refugees in need, relief is a calling for the A's' Sean Doolittle

    Sean Doolittle wasn’t trying to make a political statement in November 2015, when the Oakland Athletics reliever and his now-fiancee, Eireann Dolan, sponsored a Thanksgiving dinner for 17 Syrian refugee families in Chicago. His motive was strictly humanitarian. “We just felt it was a way we could...

  • Notre Dame pitcher and slugger Hunter Greene is a teenage star in the making

    Notre Dame pitcher and slugger Hunter Greene is a teenage star in the making

    “Heads up!” is the warning echoing around the Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High School baseball stadium as Hunter Greene sends balls flying over the left-field fence with an effortless swing during batting practice. It reaches the point at which a teammate squeals, “Holy guacamole” as a ball rockets...

  • Cameron Maybin vows to bring passion, energy to Angels' clubhouse

    Cameron Maybin vows to bring passion, energy to Angels' clubhouse

    Cameron Maybin has always viewed himself as a center fielder. That will change this season as an Angel. He also viewed himself as the center of the Detroit Tigers’ clubhouse in 2016, and that, he said, will not change on his new team. “I was, like, the heartbeat to that locker room last year,”...

  • Dodgers trade Vidal Nuno for minor leaguer

    Dodgers trade Vidal Nuno for minor leaguer

    The Dodgers have traded left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno to Baltimore for minor league reliever Ryan Moseley. The team needed to clear space for the impending signing of outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, and Nuno appears to be the casualty. The Dodgers acquired Nuno from Seattle in November in exchange...

  • Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal hones right-handed hitting skills in off-season

    Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal hones right-handed hitting skills in off-season

    In late October, days after the Dodgers crashed out of the playoffs, Manager Dave Roberts called Yasmani Grandal. The organization had spent the last two seasons transitioning Grandal from a platoon player to a full-time performer. As he pondered the blueprint of a World Series run in 2017, Roberts...

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu says he's ready to prove he belongs in the Dodgers' rotation

    Hyun-Jin Ryu says he's ready to prove he belongs in the Dodgers' rotation

    As Hyun-Jin Ryu clomped down a rain-slicked hill, headed for his first session of live batting practice this spring, a group of fans gathered nearby perked up. “Good luck this year,” one said as Ryu walked by. “Stay healthy! Stay healthy!” That task has proved challenging for Ryu in the last two...

  • Owner Arte Moreno believes Angels can compete

    Owner Arte Moreno believes Angels can compete

    Sixty-nine Angels gathered Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium for their first full-squad workout of 2017.  Unseasonable rain pounding the Phoenix area nixed that. But, in a rare instance of public comment, their owner, Arte Moreno expressed excitement about the Angels’ chances this season. He said...

  • Chase Utley officially rejoins Dodgers, willing to accept bench role

    Chase Utley officially rejoins Dodgers, willing to accept bench role

    The text messages reached Corey Seager as both a greeting and a warning. “Watch out when I come into second base next year,” Chase Utley wrote on occasion this past winter, when a reunion with the Dodgers looked so unlikely. Even his jokes contain a hint of menace. Seager idolized Utley during...

  • Angels to stay in Anaheim through at least 2029

    Angels to stay in Anaheim through at least 2029

    In his first news conference since October 2015, Angels owner Arte Moreno said Saturday that his team is staying at Angel Stadium for the foreseeable future. The franchise holds the right to opt out of its Angel Stadium lease in 2019 and has long been considering a move within Orange County around...

  • Angels' Andrew Heaney won't rule out return from surgery this season

    Angels' Andrew Heaney won't rule out return from surgery this season

    Andrew Heaney has already played catch at least 20 times this year, from farther and farther distances. His recovery from Tommy John surgery is humming along at its expected pace. The timing of that operation and his continued progress has created an interesting question: Could the Angels’ left-hander possibly...

  • Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts expects Yasiel Puig to play 'the majority of the time'

    Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts expects Yasiel Puig to play 'the majority of the time'

    The package greeted Yasiel Puig upon his arrival in the Dodgers clubhouse. It was a wooden crate, stamped with the logo of the television network AMC. Inside was a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, a prop from the zombie apocalypse series “The Walking Dead.” Puig posed for photos with the gift,...

  • Adrian Gonzalez shut down for two weeks with elbow inflammation

    Adrian Gonzalez shut down for two weeks with elbow inflammation

    Adrian Gonzalez slipped a compression sleeve over his right elbow as he finished up his first day this spring at Camelback Ranch. From a few lockers away, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager pondered his teammate’s outfit. The garb screamed golf. “Where you going to play?” Seager asked. “No, no,” Gonzalez...

  • Dodgers outfielder Darin Ruf headed to Korean league

    Dodgers outfielder Darin Ruf headed to Korean league

    With position players set to report to Camelback Ranch on Monday, the Dodgers have yet to announce the signings of second baseman Chase Utley and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. The team needs to clear space for them on the 40-man roster, although one spot has opened up. The Dodgers have sold the...

  • After losing weight, Angels' Huston Street is ready to shed a difficult 2016 season

    After losing weight, Angels' Huston Street is ready to shed a difficult 2016 season

    As the Angels assembled for their first team meeting of 2017 this week, their owner filtered through the Tempe Diablo Stadium clubhouse to offer handshakes and salutations across the room. When Arte Moreno reached the locker of Huston Street, the 33-year-old reliever he will pay $9 million this...

  • After years with the San Francisco Giants, Sergio Romo ready to wear Los Angeles Dodgers blue

    After years with the San Francisco Giants, Sergio Romo ready to wear Los Angeles Dodgers blue

    In the summer of 2008, friends and relatives of Sergio Romo flocked to Dodger Stadium. Romo had never before pitched in the ballpark of his childhood favorites, so the game classified as an event for the group from Brawley. His friends decked themselves out in Dodgers garb, a fashion choice that...

  • Cardinals’ Alex Reyes faces surgery, done for year

    Cardinals’ Alex Reyes faces surgery, done for year

    An off-speed pitch during a pre-spring training bullpen session effectively ended Alex Reyes’ season before it began. The St. Louis Cardinals said Wednesday the 22-year-old right-hander will have Tommy John surgery to replace a ruptured elbow ligament in his pitching arm. Reyes took a pre-spring...

  • Angels won't set a specific innings limit for left-hander Tyler Skaggs

    Angels won't set a specific innings limit for left-hander Tyler Skaggs

    Every year, many Angels staffers and players spend spring training at an expansive resort along a golf course near the team’s facilities at Tempe Diablo Stadium. As his teammates traversed the 2016 regular season, Tyler Skaggs spent six extra weeks there last May and June, marooned at extended...

  • Dodgers mailbag: Who will be in the rotation on Opening Day?

    Dodgers mailbag: Who will be in the rotation on Opening Day?

    Greetings from the desert, where the pitchers and catchers of the Dodgers will report Wednesday for the start of the 2017 season. After an expensive offseason, the Dodgers reloaded in hopes of snapping their lengthy World Series drought. While the Chicago Cubs are the sport’s reigning champions,...

  • MLB report: Braves acquire Brandon Phillips from Reds for two pitchers

    MLB report: Braves acquire Brandon Phillips from Reds for two pitchers

    The Atlanta Braves have acquired three-time All-Star Brandon Phillips from the Cincinnati Reds for two pitchers.  The Braves traded left-hander Andrew McKirahan and minor league right-hander Carlos Portuondo on Sunday.  Phillips, a 35-year-old second baseman who has repeatedly blocked trades, is...

  • Marlins fans hopeful about possible change of ownership

    Marlins fans hopeful about possible change of ownership

    One of several long lines at the Miami Marlins' fanfest stretched past the beer and pizza kiosks, beyond a stairwell, an elevator, rest rooms and the team store, as fans waited more than 30 minutes for an autograph from Severino Gonzalez, a pitcher with four career victories.  But then Marlins...

  • Dodgers re-sign Chase Utley and add outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on one-year deals

    Dodgers re-sign Chase Utley and add outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on one-year deals

    When the Dodgers acquired Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe in January, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was asked about the dwindling likelihood of re-signing veteran infielder Chase Utley. “You never say never with a guy like Chase,” Friedman said, “just because of the type...

  • MLB report: Families of men killed with Jose Fernandez file lawsuits

    MLB report: Families of men killed with Jose Fernandez file lawsuits

    The families of the two men who were with Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez when his boat crashed into a Miami Beach jetty — killing all three — are suing the All-Star's estate.  Attorney Christopher Royer, who is representing the families of 25-year-old Eduardo Rivero and 27-year-old Emilio...

  • Several big-name players with big-money pedigrees still available in MLB free-agent market

    Several big-name players with big-money pedigrees still available in MLB free-agent market

    If you were a fan of the Angels’ 2013 rotation, you could acquire a big chunk of it for a fraction of what the team paid four years ago. Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Joe Blanton and Jerome Williams, who made 102 starts in Anaheim while commanding $35.5 million in salary in 2013, are still available...

  • Angels' Matt Shoemaker feels good as he comes back from line drive to the head and brain surgery

    Angels' Matt Shoemaker feels good as he comes back from line drive to the head and brain surgery

    Matt Shoemaker and his wife were raised near Detroit and they do not intend to move from the area any time soon, but spending baseball off-seasons in the cold presents problems. Most weekdays, the Angels right-hander makes the 35-minute drive from his suburban home to the campus of either Wayne...

  • Red Wings, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch dies at 87

    Red Wings, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch dies at 87

    Mike Ilitch, founder of the Little Caesars Pizza empire and owner of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers, has died. He was 87.  Ilitch, who was praised for keeping his professional hockey and baseball teams in Detroit as other urban sports franchises relocated to new suburban stadiums,...

  • Angels acquire right-handed pitcher Austin Adams from Indians

    Angels acquire right-handed pitcher Austin Adams from Indians

    The Angels on Friday agreed to send a player to be named later or cash to Cleveland in exchange for right-hander Austin Adams. Adams, 30, has a 6.29 earned-run average in 53 career appearances, all in relief. He split last season between the Indians and their triple-A affiliate. To make room for...

  • Clayton Kershaw won't pitch in World Baseball Classic

    Clayton Kershaw won't pitch in World Baseball Classic

    The best pitcher on the planet will not play in the sport’s premier international competition. The World Baseball Classic rosters were announced Wednesday, and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was not included on the United States roster.  The best player in baseball, Angels outfielder Mike Trout, also...

  • Want to own a share of the Dodgers? This could be your chance

    Want to own a share of the Dodgers? This could be your chance

    The Dodgers’ owners are interested in selling a small share of the team and have retained an investment banker to solicit bids. There is no timetable for a possible sale, said the banker, Sal Galatioto. He added that Mark Walter would remain the Dodgers’ controlling owner, with his partners from...

  • Angels move Alfredo Griffin back to first-base coach role

    Angels move Alfredo Griffin back to first-base coach role

    The Angels will replace Gary DiSarcina as their first-base coach by moving Alfredo Griffin back to the role he held for 16 seasons, a team spokesman confirmed Tuesday. DiSarcina, a longtime club shortstop, departed to become Boston’s bench coach in November. Griffin, himself a former shortstop,...

  • Angels could quietly be building a playoff contender

    Angels could quietly be building a playoff contender

    The anticipation is so great among Dodgers fans that nearly 30,000 fans showed up at Dodger Stadium on a Saturday in January. Not for a game. For a party — for balloons, music, autographs and interviews. The Dodgers have won the National League West four years running. They still have Clayton Kershaw,...

  • Kansas City to add Jason Hammel to rotation

    Kansas City to add Jason Hammel to rotation

    The Kansas City Royals, in an attempt to fill the gaping hole in their starting rotation left by the unexpected death of Yordano Ventura, have agreed with right-hander Jason Hammel on a $16-million, two-year contract, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the Associated Press.  The 34-year-old...

  • Dodgers agree to terms with former Giants reliever Sergio Romo

    Dodgers agree to terms with former Giants reliever Sergio Romo

    The Dodgers have agreed to terms on a one-year, $3-million contract with veteran reliever Sergio Romo, according to people familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity because Romo must pass his physical before the deal becomes official. Romo, 33, missed two months with San Francisco in...

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