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Post info: By NationsNational on February 28th, 2015
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DUNEDIN, Fla. – Marcus Stroman appears poised to become a major-league star. After a breakout rookie campaign in 2014 the Toronto Blue Jays are putting a lot of hopes in the 23-year-old righthander, but if baseball for some reason doesn’t work out, he’s already jumped into the business world. Earlier this year Stroman trademarked the phrase “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart.” For Stroman, it’s both a motivational saying and a personal brand. His website is already selling HDMH merchandise and there’s more to come. While it’s a personal mantra for the diminutive pitcher, he also wants to empower other undersized athletes – and inspire kids or anyone else told they can’t do something because of their size. “There’s a bunch of undersized athletes out there,” Stroman said. “I’m trying to just get that message out there. I’ve seen it, people get discouraged because someone will say that they’re too short to play a position. Or too small to do this, or too small to do that. “I think it’s had a pretty positive impact already. I’ve interacted with some fans and young athletes through Twitter and Instagram. They seem to like it and it seems to give them a bit of motivation and inspiration to be better.” While Stroman wants to motivate, it’s also a business venture. He studied sociology and business while playing baseball at Duke University and said if he wasn’t playing he believes he would be involved in sports marketing or sports business.

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Post info: By NationsNational on February 28th, 2015
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The Detroit Tigers have signed reliever Ryan Perry to a minor league deal, bringing the right-hander back to the organization that drafted him in the first round in 2008. Perry hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2012, when he appeared in seven games for the Washington Nationals. He pitched for the Tigers from 2009-11. Perry received a $1.48 million signing bonus when the Tigers took him with the 21st overall pick out of Arizona in 2008.

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Post info: By NationsNational on February 27th, 2015
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When the Minnesota Twins brought back Torii Hunter this season, that $10.5 million was earmarked for more than just a reliable power hitter and right fielder. The unofficial outfield mentorship program that has existed on and off since the end of Kirby Puckett’s career was ready to be revived. We have a chance to meet with each other and become like brothers,” Hunter said of his relationship with young outfielders Aaron Hicks, Jordan Schafer and Byron Buxton, all of whom have cubicles near Hunter’s in the spring training clubhouse. ”You hope they say, ‘Hey, I’m next to Torii Hunter.

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Post info: By NationsNational on February 27th, 2015
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The Washington Nationals’ Jayson Werth is back on the field, just not 100 percent yet. Werth participated in outfield drills Thursday during the Nationals’ first full-squad workout Thursday. Still, the fact Werth was with his teammates instead of hanging out with the trainers spoke volumes for manager Matt Williams.

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Post info: By NationsNational on February 26th, 2015
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Post info: By NationsNational on February 26th, 2015
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Offseason acquisition Asdrubal Cabrera is eager to help the Tampa Bay Rays anyway he can, whether it’s at shortstop or second base. It’s not the same,” said Cabrera, who signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract as a free agent in January. The 29-year-old Venezuelan broke into the lineup with Cleveland as a second baseman early in his career, but would up spending most of his nearly seven seasons with the Indians as the club’s regular shortstop. ”We’re going to be versatile, and he’s going to be versatile – going back and forth, getting his work in at both spots,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said, adding there’s no definitive timetable for a decision.

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Post info: By NationsNational on February 25th, 2015
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Trea Turner has shown up to Padres camp even though he’s been traded to the Nationals. ”But I’ve talked to him a little bit today, he’s a smart kid.

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Post info: By NationsNational on February 25th, 2015
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Adam LaRoche grew up around old Comiskey Park, when his father Dave was the Chicago White Sox bullpen coach and Robin Ventura, Harold Baines and Bobby Thigpen were early in their playing careers. A quarter-century later, LaRoche arrives on the South Side as the oldest player on the team at 35. The first baseman, who signed a two-year deal in the offseason to join the White Sox, is returning to his roots, and he reminisced about it Tuesday, the team’s first full-squad workout. Adam said his dad Dave LaRoche, a two-time All-Star reliever in a 14-year career that included two seasons with the rival Cubs, ”knows my swing better than anybody.” Now Adam has his 13-year-old son Drake in camp.

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Post info: By NationsNational on February 24th, 2015
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Where does Max Scherzer go from here after winning the American League Cy Young award in 2013 and signing a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Washington Nationals in January? Upwards and onwards, according to the man himself . With an emphasis on upwards.  Scherzer arrived to Nationals camp on Friday not knowing where to park his car or carry his bags, but he knows exactly what he wants to do this spring and all throughout the new season. He wants to get better, and he wants to help get Washington over the hump in the National League playoffs. [ Baseball is back! Check out Yahoo For Spring Training for great spring training pics. ] “I’m always trying to find a way to get better,” Scherzer said. “In sports, you never stay the same. You either get better or you get worse. I’m focused on getting better. There are things I can do this year that I haven’t been able to do in the past. I’m looking to continue to get better every time I’m on the mound.” There is a third option, actually. Sometimes pitchers simply level off, which is what Scherzer appeared to do last season. After going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 144 ERA+ in his award-winning season, Scherzer’s numbers were slightly down in all three categories in 2014 (18-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 127 ERA+), but certainly not enough to fret over. Is there room for more improvement though at age 30? Undoubtedly, and moving back to the National League can only help. But it’s about more than dressing up already terrific numbers. Those will sustain on their own if he’s doing his job. It’s about staying ahead of the curve and evolving, as Scherzer put it. “[I want to] have my pitches evolve, keep getting more consistent with everything I do. That’s the most I can tell you.” That’s all we need to know for now. As for team expectations, Scherzer further emphasized what was already said. As good as their starting pitching looks on paper with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez, it will take all five of them continuing to evolve and continuing to improve to take another step forward. The games aren’t played on paper, otherwise Scherzer and his former Tigers teammates may have already faced these Nationals in a World Series. “Obviously, we are as talented as anybody in the league right now. On paper, we look great. That doesn’t mean anything when you go out there during the season, because everybody would be gunning for us and everybody wants to take their best shot at us. It’s a matter of what we do in response to that — how much hard work we have to put in to be at our best.” A lot of what Scherzer said during his first days at Nationals camp can be dismissed as cliched, but there’s truth to all of it. The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals have proven year after year that there’s a difference between expectation and execution, and now the Nationals must collectively figure out how to cross that line. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By NationsNational on February 22nd, 2015
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