Chris Carpenter faced live hitters for first time since March

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Chris Carpenter took another step in his comeback from neck and shoulder injuries today by facing live hitters for the first time since spring training.

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Carpenter threw 34 pitches to an assortment of Cardinals batters, mixing in off-speed stuff with fastballs.

According to Strauss the plan is for Carpenter to face live hitters a couple more times before potentially scheduling a minor-league rehab assignment.

Bryce Harper finally gets his first spring training hit with Phillies

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Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper hasn’t had the best spring training showing. After a delayed start because he didn’t officially sign until early this month, Harper made his Phillies debut on March 9. Then Harper had an injury scare when he was hit in the ankle by a pitch on March 15. Harper returned on Sunday and finally registered his first hit of the spring on Wednesday — a line drive up the middle.

Harper finished 1-for-2 with a walk on the afternoon. In 10 official at-bats, Harper is batting .100/.438/.100. As you can see, five total walks are helping that on-base percentage. Spring stats are largely meaningless, though, so no one should be worried about Harper with the start of the regular season just a week away.