Lyle Spencer has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2005, covering the Padres and Angels. He has covered Major League Baseball as a reporter and columnist since 1971.
|Camp Boomer, presided over by Dodgers coach Steve "Boomer" Yeager, just opened, but newcomer Yasmani Grandal -- the centerpiece in the Matt Kemp trade with the Padres -- already has opened eyes.
More»Grandal pumped to be in Dodgers camp this spring|
|Angels manager Mike Sciosica, who had Joe Maddon as his bench coach with the 2002 World Series champions before the Rays hired him in '06 to manage their floundering outfit out of darkness, calls his buddy "a Renaissance Man."
More»Maddon is excited to see the energy in Cubs camp|
|With the national media focused on Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz, the key to the Mariners' whole operation could be Austin Jackson, the center fielder Seattle acquired from Detroit last July 31.
More» Jackson will have opportunity to make impact|
|As one of the centerpieces in the Padres' boldly remarkable makeover, Matt Kemp is bringing his bat, glove, legs, arm and charm down south from Los Angeles. Judging by the clubhouse crowd gathered around him, Kemp has swiftly won over his new teammates at Spring Training.
More»Kemp on healthy hips, fresh outlook with Padres|
|Feeling like a king, "100 percent" in his recovery from neck surgery nine months ago, Prince Fielder grabbed a bat early Tuesday for a morning workout, pausing to spend a few minutes in praise of Rangers teammate Adrian Beltre.
More»Rangers pick up Beltre's 2016 contract option|
|The toughest relief pitcher in the National League to hit in 2014 with runners in scoring position was the Reds' Aroldis Chapman. No surprise there. But the man from Cuba with the golden arm wasn't the No. 1 shutdown artist in the Major Leagues in those game-changing situations.
More» O'Day has impressive stats versus righties|
|There are no perfect, foolproof formulas for evaluating comparative performances by players and teams. Too many variables come into play. But if you're looking to get as close to the truth as possible, take to the road. It provides the fairest, truest test.
More» Posey continues to provide elite production|
|It was obscured somewhat by a flurry of activity at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, but it was a big deal indeed when the Dodgers acquired Howie Kendrick from the Angels in exchange for Andrew Heaney on Dec. 11.
More»Hot Stove on Angels-Dodgers swapping Kendrick, Heaney|
|Given patience and quality time with manager Don Mattingly, Dodgers top prospect Joc Pederson could be a productive player in 2015 for a reshaped team putting more emphasis on defense.
More» Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers|
|We might have to go back to New York and the golden era of the 1950s to find a time and place comparable to what Southern California has now with the Dodgers, Angels and Padres. Stars abound, and all three teams are legitimate contenders, linked by Interstate 5 running from Los Angeles through Anaheim down to San Diego.
More»Brock talks Padres GM Preller, Shields on Hot Stove|
|One of the most underrated stats in connection with relievers is inherited runners left stranded. A reliever's ERA can be blasted out of all proportion by one or two bad outings. Leaving potential runs out on the bases is the best way for any reliever to endear himself to teammates, especially starters who depart with their ERA in danger of getting damaged.
More» Black enters game, escapes bases-loaded jam|
|Platooning has been part of the game's fabric since it was popularized by Casey Stengel during his reign with the dynastic Yankees of the 1950s. Playing the percentages works, but the book doesn't always apply.
More» Rizzo drives in three in Cubs' win|
|Happy birthday wishes go out today to a pair of Hall of Famers who enriched the game with superlative talent and grace: the incomparable Hank Aaron and the brilliant Roberto Alomar.
More»MLB Productions looks back at No. 715|
|Yasiel Puig told a few reporters about a 10-year-old L.A. kid he knows who is a big Cardinals fan and how much it bugs him, adding that the Cardinals are the bane of his existence for knocking out the Dodgers in the playoffs in both of his seasons. While this, on face value, was not so bad, when Puig went on to say that the Cardinals were the Dodgers' big rivals because of what they've done to his team, well, that was just too much for some folks to handle.
More» Puig possesses an incredible set of tools|
|The majority of the game's established catchers are in the 28-to-35 age group. In the 27-and-under class is an impressive collection of receivers determined to carve out their own identities. Here's a look at eight of the most promising.
More»Salvador Perez wins second career Gold Glove Award|
|Had he walked away earlier from the Los Angeles Raiders to focus entirely on baseball, Bo Jackson could have been the Mike Trout of his generation.
More» Bo Jackson hits leadoff homer in first|
|We are witnessing a major shift in Major League Baseball having nothing to do with loading up the infield on one side of the field. It involves a deeper appreciation of the value of defense by catchers, a critical phase of the game obscured for decades by the power and glory of offense.
More» Posey catches Hamilton trying to steal third|
|A case can be made that the Royals' Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain form the best defensive outfield in Major League history. Factoring in offense, the world of analytics narrowly favors Kansas City's outfield over the Angels and Marlins.
More» Cain makes a great grab in right|
|The news of Ernie Banks' death on Friday, eight days shy of his 84th birthday, brought a flood of memories to contemporaries. Those who knew the man during his playing days as "Mr. Cub" -- and well beyond -- will tell you he was as universally loved and respected as any player the game of baseball has seen.
More» Ernie Banks|
|The Blue Jays made two major splashes in November -- orchestrated by general manager Alex Anthopoulos -- that compare in potential impact with any moves made over this highly active winter.
More»New-look Blue Jays stocked with Canadian talent|