Kendrys Morales plans to begin running bases next week

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Kendrys Morales is ready for a big step forward.

According to beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels slugger told reporters in spring camp Wednesday that he is planning to begin running the bases next week.

Morales has progressed recently from straight-line jogging to taking zig-zag cuts, and has experienced no issues with the ankle that he fractured during a walkoff home run celebration nearly two years ago.

He’s on pace to be nearly 100 percent by the start of the 2012 regular season.

“Every day I’m feeling better,” Morales said through an interpreter. “My strength is getting better, I’m getting better push off my legs, and I’ve had no next-day soreness.”

Morales will serve as Anaheim’s primary designated hitter this season if his left ankle cooperates.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.