Martinez shines in final spring start

Delivers six innings of three-hit ball after named fifth starter

Martinez shines in final spring start

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Carlos Martinez vindicated Mike Matheny's decision to name him the Cardinals' fifth starter, delivering six shutout innings Wednesday in a 5-4 win over Bartolo Colon and the Mets.

Making his final start in Florida before the Cardinals break camp, Martinez struck out five and walked one, snapping the Mets' four-game winning streak. New York had won four straight Grapefruit League games by a combined score of 22-5, before running into Martinez and a trio of Cardinals relievers.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matheny sets Cardinals' rotation behind Wainwright

Matheny sets Cardinals' rotation behind Wainwright

PORT ST. LUCIE -- Having already announced Adam Wainwright's placement atop the rotation and Carlos Martinez's inclusion in the fifth spot, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny filled in the blanks between on Wednesday.

Wainwright will be followed, in order, by Lance Lynn and John Lackey in the season-opening three-game series against the Cubs. Michael Wacha will then take the mound to begin a series against the Reds on April 10. Martinez and Wainwright will also pitch in that three-game set.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals look to turn power back on in '15

Last years squad hit fewest homers since 1992

Cardinals look to turn power back on in '15

In the days leading up to Opening Day, MLB.com is examining various aspects of each team's roster. Today, the time has come to focus on a key number for the upcoming season. For the Cardinals, it's 105: their National League-low home run total in 2014.

JUPITER, Fla. -- So exasperated by the persistent peppering of questions about his team's power drought last summer, manager Mike Matheny finally turned to humor to deflect the inquiries.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Trademark intensity makes Carpenter a model Cardinal

Not one to take success for granted, third baseman paved his way with hard work

Trademark intensity makes Carpenter a model Cardinal

JUPITER, Fla. -- Maybe a guy appreciates his career just a bit more when it almost didn't happen.

"I've been pushed to the brink of it ending," St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter said.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spot secured, Martinez makes statement

Lackey tosses six scoreless in Minors game

Spot secured, Martinez makes statement

PORT ST. LUCIE -- Perhaps it was that he knew he had already secured a rotation job or simply that he had done all the fine-tuning in his previous five Grapefruit League appearances, but Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez wrapped up his spring looking his sharpest yet.

While twirling six shutout innings on 82 pitches, Martinez displayed his expanded pitch repertoire, an ability to tap into his gregarious pitching personality without compromising command, and improved efficiency. All three had been on his Florida to-do list.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wainwright named Opening Night starter

Ace right-hander will be on the mound when the Cardinals face the Cubs on Sunday

Wainwright named Opening Night starter

JUPITER, Fla. -- Having delayed the announcement in order to make sure Adam Wainwright made it through his third and final Spring Training start, manager Mike Matheny, after watching Wainwright's 6 2/3-inning performance on Tuesday, finally made official what everyone has known.

Wainwright will take the mound at Wrigley Field on Sunday at 7 p.m. CT as the Cardinals' Opening Night starter. He will be opposed by Chicago lefty John Lester.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wacha's rise a memory Cards hope to relive

Hero of 2013 postseason can avenge abbreviated '14 with another statement

Wacha's rise a memory Cards hope to relive

In the days leading up to Opening Day, MLB.com is examining various aspects of each team's roster. Today, the time has come to focus on a key player for the upcoming season. For the Cardinals, that's right-hander Michael Wacha.

JUPITER, Fla. -- Before they became rotation-mates and fawned over their love of all things Texas, John Lackey and Michael Wacha stared each other down from opposing sides during the 2013 World Series.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wainwright looks ready for season as Cardinals fall to Marlins

Wainwright looks ready for season as Cardinals fall to Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. -- Ichiro Suzuki's two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth inning broke a 2-2 tie and helped the Miami Marlins pick up a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium.

Both team's Opening Day starters were on the mound, and each turned in strong performances. Henderson Alvarez went six innings, allowing one run on six hits, while boosting his pitch count up to 85.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez driven to remain a starting pitcher

Martinez driven to remain a starting pitcher

JUPITER, Fla. -- A day after telling manager Mike Matheny it was his "dream" to earn a place in a Major League rotation, right-hander Carlos Martinez began to shift his priorities.

He is no longer driven by his desire to be a starter, but now rather by his intent to stick as one.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals finalize their Opening Day roster

Cardinals finalize their Opening Day roster

JUPITER, Fla. -- Upon informing Pete Kozma and Randal Grichuk that they will begin the season on the Major League team, manager Mike Matheny all but finalized their 25-man roster on Tuesday.

Barring any injuries, the Cardinals will open the season Sunday in Chicago with the following players:

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Holliday drives in two to rally Cardinals

Outfielder helps dig St. Louis out of early hole vs. Nats; Wacha goes five innings

Holliday drives in two to rally Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. -- Matt Holliday's two-out, two-run single off Nationals reliever Xavier Cedeno finished the Cardinals' climb out of an early two-run hole and lifted St. Louis to a 6-2 win at Roger Dean Stadium on Monday.

Facing the Cardinals for the fourth and final time this spring, the Nationals jumped on Cardinals starter Michael Wacha for runs in both the second and third. Leadoff doubles by Ian Stewart and Dan Uggla set up each of those run-scoring innings.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals name Martinez fifth starter

St. Louis picks righty over lefty Gonzales, who will start season in Triple-A

Cardinals name Martinez fifth starter

JUPITER, Fla. -- After two seasons of proving himself in the bullpen, a winter of healing from the loss of a best friend and a spring in which he watched Jaime Garcia temporarily leapfrog him in the rotation competition, Carlos Martinez received the news he's been waiting a lifetime to receive.

Speaking to Martinez in Spanish, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny informed the 23-year-old righty on Monday that he will open the season as the team's fifth starter. It was news to which Martinez responded, "That's my dream."

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Several players catching Matheny's eye at camp

Manager expects Cards to face stiff competition in National League Central

Several players catching Matheny's eye at camp

JUPITER, Fla. -- With most of Spring Training in the rearview mirror and the start of the regular season quickly approaching, manager Mike Matheny visited with MLB.com to discuss a variety of team topics. To watch the full interview, click on the video link. Below are some of the highlights.

MLB.com: Which players caught your eye this spring in terms of spring performance or overall improvement?

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Viera a constant inspiration for Cardinals

10-year-old with rare condition visits camp; he was an honorary coach for State College last year

Viera a constant inspiration for Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. -- Outside his grandson's hospital room, Dave Bohner knew nothing except that he needed to pray.

On the second floor of the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania, 1-year-old Josiah Viera was fading. His life had already been a perpetual fight of regular surgeries and an exhausting search for a diagnosis. When one finally came, it offered no solution and little hope. At best, Josiah might live another decade. At this moment, it seemed he'd likely not make it another day.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Villanueva lands role in Cardinals' bullpen

Right-hander could be used as long man, in short stints or as a spot starter

Villanueva lands role in Cardinals' bullpen

JUPITER, Fla. -- Pressed to make a decision before Carlos Villanueva would, the Cardinals informed the veteran right-hander on Monday that they have a spot for him in their Opening Day bullpen. In doing so, the Cards have all but determined the seven relievers who will open the season with St. Louis.

That bullpen will feature five right-handers -- Trevor Rosenthal, Jordan Walden, Seth Maness, Matt Belisle and Villanueva -- as well as lefties Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist. With the seven spots filled, the Cardinals will send the starter who doesn't win the final rotation spot, either Carlos Martinez or Marco Gonzales, down to Triple-A.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wong sees positives despite down spring

Cardinals second baseman focused on getting swing ready for Opening Day

Wong sees positives despite down spring

JUPITER, Fla. -- In one of his better games of the spring, second baseman Kolten Wong drew two walks and scored a run in the Cardinals' 6-2 win against the Nationals on Monday. The fact that such a performance is notable is indicative of the tough time Wong has had in Grapefruit League play.

With three spring games remaining, Wong is 5-for-36 with two doubles. He opened the spring season hitless in his first nine at-bats, similar to the slow start (0-for-10) he endured a year ago. This year, though, Wong said he is much more focused on the process than the lack of results.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gonzales, Heyward set pace for Cardinals

Starter continues stellar spring with strong 4 2/3 innings

Gonzales, Heyward set pace for Cardinals

JUPITER, Fla. -- Infielder Matt Reynolds, who is making a final push for a spot on the Mets' bench, singled and scored the go-ahead run during the sixth inning of New York's 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

Reynolds opened the inning with a hit off Cardinals reliever Seth Maness and moved to third on an Anthony Recker double. He then scored on a fielder's choice to push the Mets toward their Grapefruit League-best 16th win.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arm fatigue to keep Garcia off Opening Day roster

Visit with team physician reveals no new injury

Arm fatigue to keep Garcia off Opening Day roster

JUPITER, Fla. -- A Sunday morning visit with a team physician revealed no new injury for Jaime Garcia, but rather confirmed that the left-hander had trouble recovering from an 80-pitch simulated game on Tuesday.

Garcia, speaking a day after the club announced he'd be scratched from his next scheduled spring start, said he has been feeling left arm soreness and fatigue over the last few days, including during a side session on Thursday. When the discomfort didn't subside, Garcia alerted the Cardinals' medical staff.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards trim roster, send 4 to Minors

Cards trim roster, send 4 to Minors

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals whittled down their list of bench candidates by reassigning four position players from Major League camp following Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Mets.

Catcher Ed Easley, infielder Dean Anna and first baseman Xavier Scruggs were optioned to Triple-A, while infielder Jacob Wilson, a non-roster invitee, was reassigned to the Minors. He, too, is expected to begin the season with Memphis.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Challenge for Choate is getting in work vs. lefties

Cards to start scripting chances for reliever on back fields

Challenge for Choate is getting in work vs. lefties

JUPITER, Fla. -- Knowing they'll be deploying reliever Randy Choate primarily against left-handed batters this season, the Cardinals are about to get creative so that he can face a flurry of them to finish spring.

It's been a challenge to script those matchups recently, as opposing managers have often utilized their limitless spring rosters to pinch-hit for any lefty batters that Choate has been scheduled to face. As a result, the Cardinals intend to start scripting some opportunities for Choate to face a line of lefties on a practice field. Manager Mike Matheny said that will likely start as early as Monday.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solid Lynn holds Tigers' lineup in check

Righty strikes out five, walks none in five innings vs. Detroit

Solid Lynn holds Tigers' lineup in check

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera hit his second home run in as many games before Alex Avila's game-tying solo homer and Jordan Lennerton's go-ahead double led the Tigers to a 4-3 win over the Cardinals Saturday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Cabrera continues to swing with little if any rust from an offseason of rehab from foot surgery. After hitting a line-drive home run two days earlier and taking Friday off, Cabrera came back Saturday and lofted an opposite-field shot that the wind carried to the batting cage building beyond right field.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lynn battles elements in second spring start

Lefty adjusts, looks sharp against Tigers

Lynn battles elements in second spring start

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Despite needing 40-plus pitches to navigate through his first two innings, Lance Lynn looked sharp against a fairly formidable Tigers lineup in his second start of the spring and ended up finishing five innings with a pitch count of 81.

Lynn's biggest foe may have been the wind gusting out to right field. It carried what looked to be a routine fly ball off Miguel Cabrera's bat over the wall for a two-run homer in the first.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman trade starts to bring clarity to Cards' bullpen

With no Minor League options remaining, Cardinals send lefty to Rangers

Freeman trade starts to bring clarity to Cards' bullpen

LAKELAND, Fla. -- His roster status complicated by being an out-of-options player, lefty Sam Freeman, a 32nd-round draftee of the Cardinals in 2008, was traded to the Rangers on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

The move, while offering Freeman the chance to be on an Opening Day roster for the first time, also begins to clarify the Cardinals' own bullpen picture. Finding a trade partner for Freeman became necessary once the club decided it would carry lefties Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist in its 'pen.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals HOF candidacy brings back fond memories for Morris

Now removed from baseball, former righty's 22-win season was highlight of successful career

Cardinals HOF candidacy brings back fond memories for Morris

This is the fourth in a series of stories profiling the eight modern candidates on the Cardinals' 2015 Hall of Fame ballot.

More than 700 miles from the nearest Major League Baseball city, in Big Sky, Mont., lives Matt Morris.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ortega's homers back Lackey's seven strong

Right-hander helps split Cardinals squad edge Mets with 84-pitch gem

Ortega's homers back Lackey's seven strong

JUPITER, Fla. -- Starters Matt Harvey and John Lackey each looked sharp in their penultimate starts of Grapefruit League play on Friday, though it was the Cardinals who came away with a 5-4 split-squad victory.

Efficiency allowed Lackey, in his third start of the spring, to become the first Cardinals pitcher this spring to cover seven innings in a Grapefruit League outing. He scattered six hits and didn't allow the Mets to advance a runner past second until the seventh, when New York used back-to-back hits by Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Michael Cuddyer to foil the shutout bid.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lackey virtually ready for season after gem

Seven-inning, 84-pitch start against Mets leaves right-hander confident

Lackey virtually ready for season after gem

JUPITER, Fla. -- After using his first two spring starts to focus on specific pitches, John Lackey met with catcher Yadier Molina on Friday morning, asking him to call the game as he would in the regular season.

What followed was a seven-inning performance from Lackey that the Cardinals would certainly take in such a setting.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ortega finds power stroke in breakout for Cards

Lackey mum on reason for scant swings during at-bats; Bourjos tallies pair of hits

Ortega finds power stroke in breakout for Cards

JUPITER, Fla. -- Outfielder Rafael Ortega went 2-for-22 in Grapefruit League play before the Cardinals sent him out to Minor League camp as part of their most recent wave of cuts on Monday. He returned on Friday and made the impression that he probably wished he could have made sooner.

With a two-homer game, Ortega produced four of the runs in the Cardinals' 5-4 win over the Mets. He provided that production, too, despite not entering the game until the sixth inning. His second homer elicited a curtain call at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Regardless of role, Martinez pleased with progress

In competition for Cardinals' final rotation spot, righty shuts down Nationals

Regardless of role, Martinez pleased with progress

VIERA, Fla -- If Friday was indeed the final chance for Carlos Martinez to make his case to the Cardinals that he should earn the final spot in their rotation, the right-hander went out with a flourish, closing with what he considered his best outing of the spring.

Martinez limited the Nationals to five hits and one run over five innings, striking out six and walking two, during Friday's 1-1 tie at Space Coast Stadium.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.