By The Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Blake Treinen will begin the season as Washington’s closer, even though he has only one big league save.
After the Nationals lost Mark Melancon to the San Francisco Giants in free agency, Treinen won the job over Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
“Blake has that turbo sinker,” manager Dusty Baker said Thursday. “He may give up a hit or a walk, but he’s always one pitch away from getting two outs with one pitch.”
Detroit released right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who is guaranteed $8 million in the second season of a $16 million, two-year deal.
Pelfrey went 4-10 with a 5.07 ERA last season with the Tigers. He was 2-3 with a 7.94 ERA in three spring training starts and five relief appearances.
The 33-year-old Pelfrey is 65-91 with a 4.57 ERA in a career that started in 2002 with the New York Mets and included a three-season stint in Minnesota. He won 38 games from 2008 through 2010 with the Mets and has not won more than seven games in a season since that stretch.
Aaron Judge won the Yankees’ right field job, a decision that left Aaron Hicks as New York’s fourth outfielder, and Luis Severino has earned the fourth spot in the starting rotation.
“That was a very tough call,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It was a very good competition. In the end, we thought Judge won the competition.”
Judge, 6-foot-7 and 282 pounds, has a .344 spring training average. He hit .179 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 27 games following his August call-up to the Yankees last season. He also struck out 42 times in 84 at-bats.
“He had more consistent at-bats,” Girardi said. “There were less strikeouts. There was better contact, consistent contact. He got better and better as spring training went along.”
Severino, 23, went just 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA in 11 starts and 11 relief appearances last year. He gave up one run in five innings Thursday against Philadelphia.
ON THE DL
Milwaukee said it will place starter Matt Garza on the 10-day disabled list to the start the season because of a strained right groin.
The team also announced that Chase Anderson will open the season in the rotation. Anderson joins an all right-handed starting five of Junior Guerra, Zach Davies, Wily Peralta and Jimmy Nelson.
Garza went 1-1 with an 8.59 ERA in six spring training starts. Anderson was 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA in five games, including three starts.
Anderson will start for the Brewers in an exhibition game at Miller Park on Friday against the Chicago White Sox.
ByungHo Park was among Minnesota’s final roster cuts despite a strong spring training performance. The Twins decided to start with 13 pitchers.
With Kennys Vargas (left foot) injured and likely to be sent down or placed on the disabled list, backup outfielder Robbie Grossman is slated for now as the primary designated hitter.
Catcher John Ryan Murphy was optioned to Triple-A Rochester, and utility infielder Ehire Adrianza (right oblique strain) and left-handed reliever Ryan O’Rourke (left forearm strain) were placed on the 10-day disabled list. The Twins chose rookie left-hander Adalberto Mejia as the fifth starter over right-hander Tyler Duffey.
“Not that Duffey didn’t pitch well, but we were more intrigued by what he can do to help us in the bullpen,” manager Paul Molitor said. “I’d be surprised if you didn’t see Duffey start a game for us at some point.”
ZACK IS BACK
Zack Wheeler has earned a spot in the New York Mets’ rotation after missing two years while recovering from Tommy John surgery, and Robert Gsellman will begin the season as the team’s No. 5 starter in place of the injured Steven Matz.
Manager Terry Collins also said center fielder Juan Lagares will go on the disabled list because of an oblique strain and outfielder Michael Conforto will be with the Mets on opening day.
Collins chose to use Wheeler in a role he is familiar with rather than send him to the bullpen. Gsellman is scheduled to pitch out of the bullpen in the first couple of games before starting for the Mets on April 9.
St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he hopes to have a new contract for star catcher Yadier Molina before opening day but said a deal was “not done” as of Thursday night.
Molina homered in St. Louis’ 9-3 victory over its top minor league affiliate, the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, while reports surfaced that he’s nearing a new agreement. Fox Sports reported during the game that Molina and the Cardinals are finalizing a three-year deal worth between $55 million and $65 million.
“We’re optimistic. We’re hopeful,” Mozeliak said. “But it’s not complete yet.”
The 34-year-old Molina has said he wants a contract finalized before the season opens Sunday night. He said “nothing’s done” after the game but expressed optimism.
“It’s my main goal to stay here,” Molina said.
Molina’s five-year deal signed in 2012 is nearing an end. He is under contract for $14 million in 2017, with a $15 million mutual option and $2 million buyout for 2018.
ODD MAN OUT
San Francisco Giants general manager Bobby Evans informed 38-year-old infielder Jimmy Rollins he won’t make the team out of spring training and is waiting to hear back from him or his representatives about what options might be next. The 2007 NL MVP, who hoped to play at home in his native Bay Area for the first time after 17 major league seasons, was batting .119 (5 for 42) with eight strikeouts in 17 Cactus League games.
AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES:
YANKEES 14, PHILLIES 1
Gary Sanchez hit his fifth home run and Ronald Torreyes, who earned the shortstop job while Didi Gregorius recuperates from an injured throwing shoulder, went 2 for 2 with a homer and four RBIs.
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff recorded just two outs and was charged with six runs and four hits.
TIGERS 7, ORIOLES 3
Omar Infante, Tyler Collins and James McCann homered off Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, who gave up five runs and six hits in six innings. Tigers starter Matt Boyd allowed two hits in four scoreless innings.
Chris Davis and Chris Dickerson connected for Baltimore.
RED SOX 8, NATIONALS 1
Nationals starter Joe Ross allowed four runs, eight hits and two walks in three innings, while Boston’s Kyle Kendrick gave up one run and six hits in four innings.
Boston star Dustin Pedroia went 2 for 2 with two RBIs, and touted prospect Andrew Benintendi added a pair of hits and drove in a run.
TWINS 6, RAYS 6, 9 INNINGS
Joe Mauer hit a two-run homer, and Minnesota’s Hector Santiago gave up one run and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Rays starter Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs and three hits in 3 1/3 innings. Steven Souza Jr. and recently acquired Peter Bourjos had two hits apiece.
METS 5, TRIPLE-A LAS VEGAS 4
Jay Bruce homered off Jacob deGrom, pitching for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, while Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson both drove in runs for the Mets. DeGrom gave up one run and two hits over three innings.
New York closer Jeurys Familia, who will miss the first 15 games while serving a domestic violence suspension, threw a perfect inning for Las Vegas.
ROCKIES 10, PADRES 5
DJ LeMahieu had three hits and two RBIs for Colorado, which had 17 hits. Charlie Blackmon drove in three runs.
Hector Sanchez had two RBIs for San Diego, and Alberth Martinez homered. Clayton Richard allowed three runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings.
The game was briefly delayed in the ninth inning by a swarm of bees in the infield.
ASTROS 8, CUBS 6
Addison Russell homered and drove in three runs, an encouraging sign for Chicago. The All-Star shortstop had been sidelined by back soreness.
Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer for the Astros, and Jose Altuve belted a solo shot for his first homer of the spring. Right-hander Lance McCullers, who will start Houston’s second game of the season Tuesday against Seattle, allowed five hits and five runs over four innings in his longest start this spring.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, INDIANS 3
Taijuan Walker ended his excellent spring training on a high note, pitching five scoreless innings to help Arizona beat Cleveland.
Walker struck out four and allowed four hits in the penultimate exhibition game for both teams.
The right-hander, acquired from Seattle in an offseason trade, finished the spring with a 3.29 ERA, 32 strikeouts and two walks over 27 1/3 innings. He is scheduled to face the San Francisco Giants next Wednesday in Arizona’s third game.
ANGELS 3, DODGERS 2
Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced that Ricky Nolasco will be the team’s opening day starter after his team edged the Dodgers in the Freeway Series opener.
The Angels lack a defined ace, but Nolasco has already made three opening day starts in his 11-year career.
Austin Barnes homered in the ninth for the Dodgers, and pitchers Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling and Luis Avilan combined to hold the Angels hitless through six innings.
GIANTS 3, ATHLETICS 0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Oakland youngster Sean Manaea pitched four perfect innings during a scoreless duel with Johnny Cueto in the preseason Bay Bridge Series opener.
The 25-year-old Manaea threw 31 of 43 pitches for strikes and was thrilled with his spring finale.
Cueto, an 18-game winner in his first season with the Giants a year ago, allowed six hits in five scoreless innings. New closer Mark Melancon finished with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced his platoon plans in left field to start the season: Chris Marrero against lefty starters, and Jarrett Parker facing right-handers.
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