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Manaea stands out with 'Samo-fro' and stuff
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It’s hard to miss Oakland’s can’t-miss prospect: Sean Manaea stands tall, at 6-foot-4, and the lefty pitcher looks even taller. A Samoan Afro — a “Samoa-fro,” he said — sits neatly atop his head, drawing just as much attention as his bullpen sessions.

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Fiers: Earning starter spot is 'No. 1 goal'
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The no-hitter he threw against the Dodgers last year will follow right-hander Mike Fiers for the rest of his life, and he’s cool with that. He also has so much more to prove in his career, and finds himself in what figures to be an intriguing battle for one of the final spots in the […]

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Ex-MLB player Navarro arrested in Japan for carrying bullet
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TOKYO (AP) Former Major League Baseball player Yamaico Navarro has been arrested in Japan for concealing a bullet in his luggage.

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Prospects Hoffman, Freeland aim to impact staff
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The baseball world began joining Rockies prospects Jeff Hoffman and Kyle Freeland at the hip since college. Now they’re trying to make Rockies’ pitching staff together.

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Weiss out to improve offensive efficiency
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If the axiom is “you coach what you tolerate,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss will preach intolerance — but in a fun way. He’ll attack last season’s lack of offensive efficiency.

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All systems go for recovering Mesoraco
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A few days into Spring Training and all seems to be fine thus far with Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco and his surgically repaired left hip. Mesoraco hasn’t been held back yet from drills or activity, and he has been rotated in and out of catching bullpen sessions.

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Vogelsong hopes second time is a charm
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Ryan Vogelsong was most recently with the Giants, where he was an integral part of two World Series championships. But 15 years ago, the Giants, who drafted him, traded him to the Pirates, where things did not go well. He’s hoping for better results during his latest stop with the Bucs.

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Melancon, Hughes test new protective caps
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Pirates closer Mark Melancon and reliever Jared Hughes tested out a new Major League Baseball-approved protective cap during Sunday’s Spring Training workout. Both pitchers came away impressed, albeit with a split decision about whether they’ll keep wearing it.

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Late-inning relief Phillies' biggest question mark
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The Phillies opened last season with Jonathan Papelbon, Ken Giles and Jake Diekman in the back end of the bullpen. Fast forward one year. Nobody can say with any certainty who the team’s closer will be Opening Day, much less hit the trifecta and name the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-inning guys.

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Who will emerge as leader in Phillies' clubhouse?
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Pete Mackanin has talked a little bit about the importance of leadership in the Phillies’ clubhouse this season. Do they have any vocal leaders in there?

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MacPhail upbeat about Phillies' future, front office
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The Phillies are not expected to challenge for a National League East title anytime soon, but it does not mean team president Andy MacPhail doesn’t expect to see some improvement in 2016.

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Hedges using strobe glasses to improve reflexes
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As a 22-year-old in the big leagues for the first time, there were, as you might expect, many times last season when Padres catcher Austin Hedges wished he could slow the game down. “It’s not that easy, though,” Hedges said. “There are only so many ways that you can slow the game down.”

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