Royals' Anderson hits for cycle in four innings

Leave a comment

Former White Sox first-round pick Brian Anderson, currently auditioning for a spot on the Kansas City bench, hit for the cycle and drove in seven runs in the first four innings Friday as the Royals took a 17-0 lead over the Diamondbacks.
Anderson, who would have had a shot at a starting job before Rick Ankiel was signed, appeared to be losing a competition with Mitch Maier for one spot on the Kansas City bench, but he may have reversed his fortunes in the span of an hour and a half.
The 28-year-old doubled and tripled off Arizona starter Billy Buckner, singled off closer Chad Qualls and then hit a two-run homer in the fourth off Clay Zavada.
The homer was his first of the spring. He entered the day with a .273 average and three doubles in 22 at-bats.
Anderson wasn’t the only former White Sox first-round pick having a big game for Kansas City, either. Josh Fields, another player battling for a bench spot, was 3-for-3 with a double and five RBI before being pulled for a pinch-runner.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.

Tigers to give Omar Infante some work in center field this spring

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Omar Infante #4 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on an RBI single scoring Prince Fielder #28 during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field  on September 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Brian Kersey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.

Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.

The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”