If you had March 28 as the first day we’d truly question something Alex Rodriguez did on or off the field this spring, you’d be rolling in a lot of money. Things have been going very smoothly for A-Rod on basically every level, and they’ve gone especially well for him on the field.¬†Well enough, in fact, that he may have the inside track to become the Yankees full-time designated hitter . That’s a decision that will ultimately come down to manager Joe Girardi, with perhaps some influence from general manager Brian Cashman and others in the Yankees front office. Unfortunately, none of the above had any say over A-Rod’s decision to challenge the cannon that long-time major league outfielder Jeff Francoeur possesses for a right arm during Friday’s game in Clearwater. If only A-Rod was ten years younger and ten years healthier, that would have been far less embarrassing. He still would have been out, possibliy with a cringe-worthy and potentially injury-inducing slide, so it’s probably a good thing he’s actually not ten years younger.¬† [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today! ] A quick glance on the scouting report wouldn’t have hurt either. This wasn’t Francoeur’s first major league assist, and he’s working hard to make sure it’s not his last for the Phillies. At 31, Francoeur’s looking to make Philadelphia’s rebuilding roster as a reserve outfielder after spending two seasons in limbo, bouncing back and forth between the majors and minors with the Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. He even made a few relief appearances for San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate last season looking to carve out a niche in that role. No doubt, Francoeur brings an interesting skill set if he could put everything together at once. He hit 29 home runs for the Atlanta Braves in 2006. He posted a .311 batting average in 75 games for the New York Mets in 2010. He stole 22 bases for the Royals in 2011. He has perhaps the strongest outfield arm in the game. And he seems like a good guy to have around the clubhouse . Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of all those skills in the coming months. It could make for a fun story More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 30th, 2015
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Chase Utley hit his first two home runs of spring training and drove in three runs for the Philadelphia Phillies in a 4-4 tie against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. He hit a two-run homer in the first off Anibal Sanchez and connected again on the first pitch of the fourth. ”Chase swung the bat very well,” Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. Philadelphia’s Aaron Harang gave up four runs – three earned – and five hits in 5 1-3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 29th, 2015
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Joe Mauer isn’t known for his pull-side power, but that could change this season. The three-time AL batting champion connected for his first home run of the spring and the Minnesota Twins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-1 Saturday. He has spent extra time working off a tee with hitting coach Tom Brunansky, often focusing on getting the lefty-hitting Mauer to pull the ball hard to right. Brunansky, in fact, called Mauer’s homer before he walked to the plate to face Phillies right-hander Jerome Williams.

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 29th, 2015
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Nathan Karns is excited about an opportunity to open the season in Tampa Bay’s pitching rotation. The Rays right-hander had a rough outing during a 9-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. Mike Napoli homered and Hanley Ramirez also drove in two runs off Karns, who allowed six runs over four innings in what likely was his second-to-last appearance before starting either the second or third game of the regular season. ”It’s one of those days I didn’t have much,” Karns said after throwing 72 pitches, 48 strikes.

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 28th, 2015
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Gregory Polanco and Tony Sanchez hit solo home runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to rain-shortened 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday. ”He’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. He came to make the club, regardless of what personnel was in place.” Both Pirates homers came off Trevor May, who was making his final bid to open the season in the big league rotation. Left-hander Tommy Milone appears to have the upper hand in that three-way competition with May and veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey.

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 28th, 2015
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Stephen Drew had a two-run single and Chris Young added a run-scoring double in a seven-run fifth inning, and the New York Yankees romped past the Philadelphia Phillies 10-0 in a game called in the top of the sixth because of rain. Michael Pineda gave up five hits in five impressive innings for New York. The Yankees began the fifth with five straight hits off Jake Diekman. Diekman only got out one of the eight batters he faced, Carlos Beltran on a flyball to right field.

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 27th, 2015
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Cole Hamels allowed two hits in five scoreless innings during the Philadelphia Phillies’ 4-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday. A focus of trade speculation, Hamels didn’t allow a hit until Kevin Pillar reached on an infield single leading off the fifth. Hamels picked off Pillar, Dalton Pompey tripled to left-center field and Hamels struck out Jose Reyes on three pitches. With one exhibition start remaining before Philadelphia’s opener against Boston on April 6, the lefty said his primary objective will be to lessen his pitch count early for a longer outing.

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 27th, 2015
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Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco homered off Danny Salazar to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 13-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday. Joey Votto drove in three runs with a two-run single and a RBI ground out. Billy Hamilton doubled and scored and made a diving catch to rob Lonnie Chisenhall in the second inning. The outing was a setback for Salazar, who is trying to earn a spot in the Indians rotation.

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 26th, 2015
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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 26th, 2015
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Shortstop prospect Carlos Correa hit his second home run of the spring, leading the Houston Astros to a 7-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. With one out in the fourth inning, the No.1 pick of the 2012 draft, hit a curveball from right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez over the left field fence. ”He worked our guys very, very well,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. He had a good all-around day.” STARTING TIME Phillies: Gonzalez did not improve his chances of earning a very-wide open competition for the fifth spot in the Phillies’ rotation.

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Post info: By PhillyFanatic on March 25th, 2015
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