Joc Pederson goes 2-for-2 in Cactus League debut

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It was an enjoyable first day of Cactus League competition for Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson.

The 22-year-old, who is expected to be the Opening Day center fielder in Los Angeles, singled against White Sox rotation hopeful Brad Penny in the third inning and then doubled off the left-center field wall in the fifth inning Wednesday afternoon in his spring debut, a 6-4 loss to the Pale Hose. Pederson served as the Dodgers’ DH while Andre Ethier manned center field. Ethier finished 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and couldn’t catch up to a ball hit to deep center.

Pederson batted .303/.435/.582 with 33 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 121 games last season at Triple-A Albuquerque. He’s among the preseason favorites for National League Rookie of the Year.

Ethier, meanwhile, has requested a trade.

Blue Jays sign Marc Rzepczynski to minor league deal

Marc Rzepczynski
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The Blue Jays announced on Monday the signing of lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. “Scrabble,” as he’s affectionately known, spent the first two and a half years of his career with the Blue Jays in 2009-11.

Rzepczynski, 34, hasn’t appeared in the majors since July 2018. He struggled across 44 2/3 innings with the Reno Aces, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, last year. He posted a 5.04 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 28 walks.

While lefty relievers are always high in demand, it seems likely that Rzepczynski will begin the regular season in the minors and serve as organizational depth for the Blue Jays.