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Spring Training Roundup: Bieber Fever In Cleveland

If there was any doubt that Shane Bieber would start for the Cleveland Indians when MLB kicks off, he showed this weekend why he’s the man for the job with a serious dose of Bieber fever.  He took out eight of nine batters in his second start of the season, and was fundamental in helping the team cruise passed the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-6.

Wasn’t Just Bieber Fever

It also didn’t hurt that Jose Ramirez put up two with a home run and a man on base, or that two players hoping to earn their Indians jerseys, Bryan Rocchio and George Valera, also had perfect swings at the plate.  Rocchio swatted the ball for a three-run homer and Valera picked up a homerun and two walks.

Corey Kluber is back on the mound, but not in an Indians jersey.  He is now with the Texas Rangers and appears to have healed nicely since his pitching arm was broken last year when a line drive smacked directly into it.  It seems to be healing nicely, as he was in for three innings against the LA Dodgers, allowing just two runs and two walks.  He also picked up for strikeouts, providing a significant amount of power that would let the Rangers take the win, 8-6.


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The Miami Marlins have woken up, ready to play some serious ball.  Banking on the arm of Jose Urena seems to be paying off, as he had three shutout innings against the New York Mets this weekend.  Rounding the bases on solo homers, Jonathan Villar and Magneuris Sierra made things look easy as the team went on to win, 7-1.

New York Teams are having a rough start.  First, the Mets get hammered by the Marlins, then the Yankees get rousted by the Detroit Tigers yesterday as Detroit sought revenge for an 8-2 loss on Saturday.  Spencer Turnbull struck out three Yankees jersey and allowed just a single hit while in the game for more than three innings, and Ryan Kreidler raised the roof when he smacked one out of the part for a grand slam.  The Tigers ended up winning 10-4, and the Yankees collected their third loss of the spring training games.

The San Diego Padres wrote off last season as a bad dream after finishing last in the National League West with 92 losses.  They’re hoping this year will be different, and are already in the right direction.  After picking up two-time Gold Glove winner Manny Machado in the offseason, being at the bottom means there’s only one way to go and the Padres are ready to make waves.  They’ve gotten off to a 7-1 start in spring season but, even more impressive, is their 24-plus run differential.

The Toronto Blue Jays are busy trying to figure out if they made the right decision bringing on Chase Anderson from the Diamondbacks.  Entering the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday, he was already a little shaky; however, he made things worse after being in for less than an inning.  He now has given up six runs – five earned – across two and two-thirds innings.  He is still expected to make the rotation, but, with this performance, his final spot isn’t certain.

If spring training is any indication, the Houston Astros are in for a long season.  Every game comes complete with a host of fans determined to heckle the players into submission, and it seems to be working.  One particular fan gave the dugout a piece of his mind during a rain delay in a game this weekend, causing the Astros bench to respond.  Then, on Sunday, another fan told Jose Altuve he should give his MVP trophy to Aaron Judge of the Yankees.  Altuve didn’t take the higher ground and lashed back at the fan, and there’s almost definitely going to be more of that throughout the entire season.

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Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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